Friday, February 13, 2009

Amgen Tour of California - Day Before

America's biggest bike race starts tomorrow in Downtown Sacramento with the Prologue, a 2.4 mile time trial, circumnavigating the State Capitol and adjoining streets. A crowd of 75,000 is expected to line the course to watch the 136 pro-cyclists representing 17 teams.

This race is REALLY BIG TIME with the field being the strongest and most fascinating for it's short 4-year history. The biggest buzz is 7 time Tour de France champion, Lance Amstrong, coming out of retirement. The loaded field includes 2 time Amgen champ, Levi Leipheimer going for a 3-peat, last year's TdF winner Carlos Sastre from Spain, Fabian Cancellara, the 2008 Olympic Champ from Switzerland, and Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton two notables attempting comebacks from drug suspensions.

The local news was abuzz with reports of cycling teams out on training rides on the local roads or spotted roaming around downtown. So today, dodging raindrops, I walked from my house to downtown to see who I could spot and check out the venue for tomorrow's big race.

Note: To view enlarged photo, click on pic

At the corner of L and 10th Streets, the TV trucks are taking up all the parking spaces

Checkin' the Checker!!

Tents being set-up for the vendor show in front of the Capitol

The view down 11th Street toward the Capitol

Motorcycle crews prep-ing on L St.

Set-up of the start area on Capitol Mall and 9th St.

Got a tip from a friend that the Jelly Belly Team was making an appearance at Sacramento Sweets in Old Sacramento

Three members of the Jelly Belly Team - Matt Crane, Kiel Reynen, and Jeremy Powers

How many pro-cyclists does it take to rack a bike?

Jelly Belly team cars gets my vote for coolest support vehicles

Especially this cutey!

More race pics coming tomorrow!!

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