Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tour of California

This year (unlike last year) we made the most out of The Tour of California. Cycling has a way of getting into your blood and making you love it more and more. Desiree and I even got Steele to take some time away from his crazy busy schedule and spend a couple of days with us following a few of the stages. There is nothing quite like witnessing a bike race in action. Like Desiree says, "It's like going to the World Series and sitting in the dugout." Or like another cycling fan who will remain anonymous, "It's like the Olympics, World Cup and the Super Bowl all rolled into one."

The time trial was held in Solvang, much better than last year when it was downtown LA. If you've never been to Solvang, it's worth the drive and the delicious treats. We arrived plenty early to get a good place at the finish line. 

There was a lot of waiting.

But in the meantime we saw Andy Schleck, who has been second place the last two years at The Tour de France.

Here is the eventual race winner Chris Horner after his time trial ride.

George Hincapie. Former three time USA Road Race Champion, as well as MANY other Classics and stage race wins. One of my favorite cyclists of all time. A truly great all around racer.

Oscar Freire. Three time World Champion. Three time winner of Milan-San Remo. A top sprinter. 

Johan Vansummeren. This year's Paris-Roubaix winner. And at 6' 5.5" the tallest man in the peloton.

Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin. The voices of cycling. No two men know more about the sport of cycling than these two. Their british accents and unique turn of phrase make them delightful to listen to. These guys travel all over the world commentating on this fascinating sport as no one else can. And we were lucky enough to hang out with them for a few minutes while they shot a race preview segment. That's almost like saying you got to hang out with Vin Scully, Howard Cosell and Harry Caray.

The next day the stage started in Claremont. We were at the start of this race. Here we are hanging out with Greg Henderson, winner of stage 2 and Ted King, a very funny guy. You can see the green jersey winner Peter Sagan a little further back. 

A super stinkin' fun weekend! Giving us practice for when we actually make it to The Tour de France and follow it for three weeks some July. In our dreams.

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