Tour of California

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 10, 2013 7:46 AM GMT
    Okay, I'm freaking out. The Tour of California starts on Sunday...look what I won in a charity auction:
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    So, yeah...I'll be right in the middle of the action in the Cannondale team car. Sunday's stage is in my backyard on roads I've ridden many times, including the climb up Palomar Mountain's East Grade and the technical descent down the South Grade. It's a sprint finish in Escondido, so look for this guy on the right to be in the hunt for the stage win, since he took 5 out of the 7 stages last year:
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    Peter is still working on his English, so talking to him about this race and the Tour de France (where I will also be) was difficult. He said he's not sure how his form will be after working so hard in the Spring Classics, but he is definitely looking to take Stages 1 and 2 in California. He said he's definitely riding in the Tour de France this year and defending the Green Jersey, but wouldn't say how well he will do against Cavendish who is having a pretty good Giro right now.

    Here's Paul Sherwin asking him about it:
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    I talked to Paul several times during the night. He was very engaging and eager to talk. Bob Roll and I talked about riding at altitude in Colorado. While Bobke is known to be a friendly guy to most, he also has a reputation as being standoffish when he's working for NBC Sports. He was definitely in a casual mode tonight and was quite approachable.
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    I'll probably take 600 pics on Sunday. I'll post the best here.
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    May 10, 2013 8:15 AM GMT
    Also, my prediction...Tejay Van Garderen takes the overall win. I think BMC has the strongest team to work for him with Thor Hushovd, Philippe Gilbert, Brent Bookwalter, Mathias Frank, and Marco Pinotti. Also, I think Tejay knows its time for him to post a big result right before the Tour (I think he'll make the podium in Paris this year).

    Peter Sagan will look for stage wins but Tejay is a better climber and time trialist, so he's better positioned for the general classification.

    With Chris Horner out, RadioShack is racing for Matt Busche who has promise along with Ben King, but even the likes of Jens Voigt and the recovering Andy Schleck as his domestiques won't take him all the way. Jens is such a hardass, it wouldn't surprise me if he pulls off a solo breakaway and takes a stage.

    Garmin Sharp will also look for stage wins in the sprints for Tyler Farrar against Sagan and an individual time trial win for David Zabriske, but that' up to him. Their GC team is in the Giro right now. I'm not sure where Andrew Talansky is...they could have ridden for him in California.

    Omega and Orica haven't released their rosters, but I don't think they can overcome the power BMC has thrown at this race or the stage abilities of Cannondale and Garmin.
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    May 10, 2013 9:18 AM GMT
    erik911sd saidOkay, I'm freaking out. The Tour of California starts on Sunday...look what I won in a charity auction: ...


    Wow, that's awesome. I have high hopes for TeJay also.
  • RaggedyMan

    Posts: 7185

    May 10, 2013 9:56 PM GMT
    Do you realize how jealous I am of upu right now? DO YOU!?
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    May 11, 2013 11:40 PM GMT
    that's a rather exclusive opportunity. very nice. icon_smile.gif
    i've given up long ago making predictions over the TdF . They're always wrong..lol.
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    May 12, 2013 12:49 AM GMT
    I rode up Palomar Mountain South Grade and back today which is the tougher side that the teams will descend tomorrow. It was much hotter than I expected. With tomorrow's stage start at 11:15 and all inland, it's going to be pretty toasty for the riders.

    A few shots from an in-store appearance of Andy Schleck and Jens Voigt later today.

    Jens Voigt's Madone
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    Of course this is Jens' top tube. I was thinking this on the ascent up Palomar today.
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    Andy said he is riding the Domane because it is a softer ride and is helping with his healing from his back injury last year.
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    Jens and me. I asked him about riding 100km from home to the start of the Wittenberg Criterium last week, then winning it. He said the 60km criterium was too short, so he just got up and rode from home to get in some more training.
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    Andy, a friend of mine, and me. He said he's getting better and better every day and is honored by all the fans who have encouraged him on his comeback.
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    May 14, 2013 1:35 AM GMT
    I'm still sorting through the 436 photos I took, but here's some video I shot of the technical descent down the East Grade of Palomar Mountain as I held on for dear life. The car I was in dropped back to support this rider who fell off the main field. Listen for tire squeals, race radio updates, and spare wheels rattling around as we take turns at 40 mph. Watch other team cars leap around us, cattle grates, and a quad.



    I did the same descent the day before and wished I could use the entire road the way the pros can when they don't have to worry about oncoming traffic. I had to take the turns much tighter.

    All-in-all, a really fun day in the passenger seat with a former sprinter from Italy at the wheel taking the Suburu Outback to its limits.
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    May 14, 2013 6:07 AM GMT
    A few more videos:

    Water bottle handoff:


    Thomas De Gendt working out a cramp:


    Listening to live Race Radio results while following the dropped group that ended up finishing 18:30 behind:


    Even though we had to fall back to support the dropped rider after the Palomar summit, it was still an exciting day in the car.
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    May 24, 2013 5:42 AM GMT
    I got to see stage 7, 15 miles after the start in Livermore. the racers only took about 20 seconds to pass, in 3 groups. the rest of the pre and post entourage went on and on. You are one lucky man.

    I would post the video, but do not know how to do that here.

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    May 24, 2013 9:39 PM GMT
    Upload the video to youtube, click share below the video, then post the embed code in the message box here.
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    May 24, 2013 10:06 PM GMT
    erik911sd saidAlso, my prediction...With Chris Horner out, RadioShack is racing for Matt Busche who has promise along with Ben King, but even the likes of Jens Voigt and the recovering Andy Schleck as his domestiques won't take him all the way. Jens is such a hardass, it wouldn't surprise me if he pulls off a solo breakaway and takes a stage.


    Stage 5 Winner : The Incredible Jens Voigt-- Great prediction Erik! What an opportunity for you!