Friday, February 24, 2006
The past week has been a great day for the American cycling community. The 1st Tour of California began last sunday and has been a great race so far. The coolest part about the race (besides that American's are dominating the race despite a number of very good European professionals being present) is that stage 2 of the Tour went through San Jose. The stage started up in the north bay and wound it's way down the eastern foothills into San Jose. My inlaws live in San Jose and last summer, before coming to medical school, my wife and I spent a month with them hanging out in San Jose. We brought our bikes out with us (of course) and found some incredible roads out there. Our favorite ride was on a Calaveras road out to a small town called Sunol and back. We would finish the ride by riding down the steep and extremely fun descent of Sierra Rd. We did this ride a couple times a week while we were there. I was stoked back in the fall when I found out that stage 2 would in fact be riding on Calaveras and then UP Sierra rd. One day last summer I set out to ride up Sierra. It was an incredible and extremely painful experience. It's an amazing climb, steep andn killer. This stage was touted as being crucial in the overall of the Tour. Unfortunately my academic constraints kept me from flying out to Cali for the Tour, but luckily my wife went and had a great time. This pic is of the leaders after the shattered the peleton on the Sierra rd climb. You can see Tom Danielson of Discovery on the left, Levi Leipheimer of Gerolsteiner (then the leader of the Tour) in the middle and Floyd Landis of Phonak (the current leader as of today) on the right. All American, all kicking butt on this climb. It is incredible to be so close to world class cyclists during an event like this. If you ever get a chance to attend a professional bike race (try to make it a "Tour" they're the best to attend), DO IT! It will give you an appreciation, not only of the sport of cycling, but for the tremendous athleticism of the people. Plus it's like going to a traveling tailgate party. And if you are ever in the bay area and happen to have your bike you got to check out Calaveras and Sierra roads. If you want more info about the Tour of California check out their website at www.tourofcalifornia.com. They have daily updates with pictures and even some video of the stages. Enjoy!