Sunday, May 16, 2010

2010 Amgen Tour of California - Stage 1

King Kong takes on the Forresthill Bridge
(May 16)

Today, I did of a bit of driving to catch Stage 1 of the TdC which covered 104 circuitous miles from Nevada City to Sacramento. Having ridden the hills of Placer County for over 4 decades, I was familiar with the race route and figured that the High Forresthill Bridge with it's breath-taking views of the canyon would be a strategic spot to catch the race.

From the High Bridge, you can catch 3 perspectives of the race - as they come zipping down the hill from Lincoln Way and cross the bridge, as they go swooping down into the canyon on Old Forresthill Road and cross the lower bridge, and finally, as they climb Hwy 49 out of the canyon toward Cool.

After the racers disappeared toward Cool, I jumped into my car and hammered back to downtown Sac to catch the finishing circuit around the state capitol and mid-town district.

The following pics show the race from these venues.

For enlarged view, click twice on pic

The long view across the Forresthill Bridge. The racers will come swooping down and climb this side of the hill.

This must be a good spot. An official tour photographer stops to takes some pics.

Fans, young and old, begin to gather along the route

Sunday riders out to ride the course before the pros show up

One of many official vehicles signaling the racers about ready to arrive

When you see the chopper, the racers are almost here

Official tour car with loud speakers announcing the imminent arrival of racers

Cameras at the ready!

The four man breakaway group comes swooping down the hill about 4 minutes ahead of the peloton

And away they go

Followed by support bike and team cars

Four minutes later, the peloton swoops down and crosses the bridge

King Kong cheers on the peloton!

HTC in control of the pace

There's Levi (#1) . . . my man!

Four-man breakaway swooping down Old Forresthill Road and crossing lower bridge

There's Eric Saur (red jersey) on the hill taking photos. Click on pic to enlarge.

Breakaway group crankin' up Hwy 49 toward Cool (above and below)

Four minutes later, the peloton comes swooping down Old Forresthill Road

Followed by team cars (above and below)

Blue chopper leading peloton up Hwy 49

Rabobank bus in front of state capitol

It took me 40 minutes to drive back to Sac. Enough time to check out the course and catch the final 3 laps to the finish.

Some familiar faces - David and Christina Vandershaf

Bob Tribe and back of Jim Regan's head

Christina, David and Joe Kremer join many fans along N St.

HTC still in control leading the pack down N St.

There's Levi (black and red Radio Shack jersey)

Levi banking into corner at 15th and N Sts.

Fans along L St.

I move over to L St. to see finish

Team Radio Shack fans

Big crowd along L St.

Looks like a big bunch finish

HTC in total control and leading Mark Cavandish to sprint finish. Winning time: 4:04:46.

Oh Noo! . . .Crash on final sprint . . . next 6 pics

Eric joined me at the Forresthill Bridge

King Kong and the new Fay Ray


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