Sunday, February 25, 2007

Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach

The best cyclists in the world came to Long Beach today for the final stage of the Tour of California. Click on the link for final results as well as other information on the Tour.
Mechanic truck for Team BMC, based out of Santa Rosa, CA is sponsored by the Swiss bicycle maker BMC. This company is owned by Andy Rihns who was the owner of Team Phonak which folded last year after team member's Floyd Landis Tour de France doping case.
Wearing the Yellow Jersey, leading the Tour from start to finish, Levi Leipheimer from Butte, Montana rides this year for Team Discovery Channel.
Belgian Team Predictor Lotto (Predictor is a pregnancy test-makes sense, Lotto is the Belgian Lottery-makes sense again) riders: Mario Aerts (Belgium) , Nick Gates (Australia), Bart Dockx (Belgium)
Australian rider Celeb Manion heads to the starting line as the USA Team Colavita/Sutter Home car (olive oil and wine companies) provides interference.
Support car for Team CSC-A Denmark team sponsored by the California based Computer Sciences Corporation.
Kjell Carlstrom (Finland) of Team Liquigas (Italian Propane Distributor) rolls out to the start.
The Toyota United Pro Team (USA) uses a Prius for their support car. Bicycles and a Hybrid car-a victory for the "Green Team".
The final stage of the Tour of California was a criterium-ten laps of a 7.75 mile circuit course around the Long Beach shoreline.
Over $10,000 worth of wheels and frames on the top of this car. Mavic is a French manufacturer of wheels and bicycle components.
Paola Bettini (Italy) of team Quick Step-Innergetic (Begian laminated flooring company-Innergetic is a line of mattress), wearing the rainbow world champion jersey, bringing up the rear of the pack.
Just me, posing like the traveling gnome.
These guys don't fix flats, they just change the entire wheel-in a matter of seconds.
Team Discovery protecting Levi Leipheimer in the Yellow Jersey.
Making the turn down Shorline Drive.
Sean Sullivan of Toyota United enjoys a Coke while in the breakaway group. To his front right in the white argyle design jersey with the rainbow-trimmed sleeves is Danny Pate (USA), former world champion, of Team Slipstream powered by Chipotle. I guess the team eats a lot of burritos and tacos. This is the youngest USA team and Slipstream is a sports management company.

The peloton on Ocean Blvd passing so close you could smell the tires burning on the pavement.
Riding on the Bluff with the Queen Mary and San Pedro Bay in the background.
Today's stage winner Ivan Dominguez (Cuba) being told a "Yo-Mama" joke. Maybe that's what spurred him on to victory. The rider in the lime green jersey is the top sprinter Juan Jose Haedo (Argentina) of Team CSC. Maybe he's just getting advice on how to get into the country illegally.
Waiting on the podium for my yellow jersey.

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