Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Faces of The Tour Of California

Team Astana registers from Luxembourg, but is sponsored by five companies in Kazakhstan (capital Astana), will be allowed to ride in this year's Tour de France. It is made up of some former members of the Discovery Channel team and the "clean" Astana riders. Team Saxo Bank's Jason McCartney, born in Honolulu, wears the red King of the Mountain Jersey. He's explaining to Lance Armstrong the latest techniques for a successful hill climb. I wonder what Lance is thinking? -whatever. Commentator Phil Liggett arranging for afternoon high tea at the Fess Parker, or maybe happy hour at The Hitching Post. Mark Cavendish of Columbia Highroad won Stage 4 and Stage 5 in an all out sprint finish, deserving of the Herbalife Sprinter's Jersey. Lance imagining he's riding in the Tour de France. Oscar Sevilla Rivera peeking out the Rock Racing Motor-suite to see if the sun is out. Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen - the fastest in the peleton. That's why they call him Big George Hincapie. Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis discuss what they did while serving their suspension from cycling. Ouch! Tom Danielson takes his last swig before the grueling Solvang Time Trial. Swiss Cervelo Testteam wear Catlike Whisper Plus Helmets made in Spain.Canadian Michael Barry sporting the new Oakley shades. Pretty cool, Eh? Chris Horner going out for a donut and coffee run for Team Astana. Christian Vande Velde back from a morning spin. Lancemania! is alive and well. The Champion waves to the crowd. 2 million people showed up. The highest attended sporting event in California. The peleton heads west. Just another 135 mile day at the office.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Machines of the Tour Of California

Three time Tour of California winner Levi Leipheimer's time trial machine. It has a custom paint job with a Golden Bear on the top tube, stars and a Solvang windmill on the seat post, roses on the seat stay, and fancy scrollwork on the handlebars. Lance Armstrong's Trek Madone 6.9 Livestrong road bike. The 1274 on the seat post refers to the number of days he was "retired". The 27.5 on the seat stay is the number of deaths (in millions) due to cancer during that time. Must be rough maintaining Lance's time trial bike to his exact standards. Must be even harder to guard it. You never know when someone might want to steal it. BMC Racing Team truck full of DT Swiss wheels at over $1,000 per set. The "90's" team BMC is a USA team that rides Swiss based BMC cycles. Team OUCH, formerly Health Net, was named initially as a joke by Dr. Brent Kay the orthopod who resurfaced the hip of Floyd Landis. Kuota is their bike of choice. Jelly Belly Cycling Team, very colorful, rides GT Cycles powered by Sport Beans. Felt is the ride for the Garmin Slipstream team, and wouldn't you know it, all their bikes have Garmin 705 GPS's on them. Garmin Slipstream's David Zabriske used this time machine to come in second in Solvang, 8 seconds behind Leipheimer. "DZ" used the new Shimano electronic shifters (Dura Ace Di2 7970) on his road bike. Garmin Slipstream's Christian VdV's Felt, complete with the new Camelback water bottles. Bissell Pro Cycling mechanic shows off his Pinarello. Dutch team Rabobank rides Giant bikes-the seatpost looks like it might fit a giant. The sexy Fuji time trial bikes for the sexy Rock Racing team. sexy saddles, sexy wheels, . . . even sexy water bottles. Oh, yes, you can't forget the support vehicles.The engine that powers these machines, courtesy of Saxo Bank's Gustav Larsson.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tour Of California

I've been on the road following the Amgen Tour of California. Just a quick post, more pictures to follow.
Lance protecting Levi on the road. Stage 5 Podium presentation in Paso Robles
Cavendish, Mancebo, Horrillo, Leipheimer, Crane bookended by the Podium Girls Kristen and Joanna.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

MS Bay to Bay Tour 2008

The riders of the 2008 Bike to Bay MS tour (BiketoFinishMS) raised over $2 million! There's always a sense of energy at the start of a bike ride-excitement energy, physical energy, nervous energy, and pent up energy from all the training you've done. This is when you know all the weeks of training rides will pay off. Ryan, rider #1125, ready to attack from the start. He's planning a break away. This is his first multi-day ride and he worked hard to prepare for it. The route for day 1 snakes us out of Irvine, dodging cars in Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach, through the hilly neighborhood of San Clemente, playing "Frogger" with the surfers near San Onofre, and the uphill grind in Camp Pendleton. 59 miles in all. Speeding into Dana Point Harbor means the rollers of PCH are over and we've gone 25 miles. Ryan checking out the shrink-wrapped Range Rover SAG Wagon before we chowed down some Wahoo's tacos. San Onofre Bluff overlooking surf beaches with names like Trestles, Church, The Point, Old Man's, and Dogpatch. The Oceanside Pier means we're in Carlsbad and only a few more miles to the finish. Tonight we stuffed ourselves at Olive Garden and passed out at the Marriott. Day 2 was 43 miles mostly along the coast with a tailwind. Cruising into Torrey Pines State Beach-downhill and downwind. Lurking in the background is the hill climb dreaded by all the MS riders, except Ryan. He's a mountain goat. The Torrey Pines profile-short but steep. Down the cobbles of La Jolla. Last coastal view as we head inland for the finishing line. Happy finishers at Mission Bay. 102 miles in two days, 3940 feet of climbing, 5380 Calories, and raising money to help fight MS. Great job, Ryan!