Wednesday, May 18, 2011

2011 Amgen Tour of California - Stage 4

Camera chopper following racers climb Mt. Hamilton

Stage 4 is a 81.8 mile route from Livermore to San Jose. This stage consists of two major climbs with the first being the back-side of Mt. Hamilton on Mines Road and Hwy 130. The second major climb is Sierra Road where there is a mountain-top finish.

The last 5+ miles of the Mt. Ham climbs 1,900' with average gradient of 8.4%. The road has numerous switchbacks and the gradient is unrelenting with no flat spots. It is a beast of a climb.

I positioned myself about four miles up at a hair-pin curve with fantastic views of the valley and open views of the road as it snakes its way up.

Click on pic once/twice for enlarged view

Peloton descending KOM 3 and hit the valley floor before the start of 5 mile climb

The only flat spot before the beastly climb begins

View across the canyon with main pack flying up 8+% grade

Ben Jacques-Mayne, Team Bissell, the break away rider less than a minute ahead of chase pack

Chase pack in hot pursuit

The fast pace shreds the pack and riders falling back

Ben Jacques- Mayne coming around a corner. . .

. . . and sweeping up

The pack closing in

Team Radio Shack setting the tempo

The speed of the riders is amazing!

Andy Schleck (in black) in the middle of the pack

Around the hair-pin turn and . . .

. . . and whoosh! . . . away they go

Stage 4 won by Chris Horner of Team Radio Shack

End of ATOC post

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