The Tour of California has announced it will be held May 16-23 next year (see e.g., Velonews – Amgen Tour of California May 16-23 ). Good and bad news in this. The good news is the weather will likely be a lot better than the February time slot. Bad news is this competes with the Giro and it is unclear what riders/teams will come.
Davis is just an incredible bike town. There is good reason it is one of two finalists for being the host city of the Bicycling Hall of Fame. And here is one example of why it should win — the bike paths and bike lanes around town make this city great for commuting on ones bike. Here are some pictures I took yesterday of my favorite bike ride to work. It is a little bit out of the way but it is worth it. About 7 or so miles total each way and it only has ~ 4 road crossings and one short stretch of a few hundred yards on a bike lane – and the rest is on off road bike paths.
Very excited that the Tour of California is starting in Davis this year (for Stage 1 on Sunday). It should be a good stage — from Davis to Santa Rosa.
And there are many many big names in the tour this year – even more than last year. In particular of course is Lance Armstrong. I have been a big fan of Lance for many many years — since I encountered him in Palo Alto when I was a grad. student. He had just won the World Championship and was in town to sing autographs and hang out at Wheelsmith, the best bike shop in the area. I was just getting into cycling and was going to Wheelsmith for some other reason and there was Lance. I got him to sign a few things and then thought, what would be coolest would be if he signed my favorite T-shirt (which I am wearing in the picture here). And he made my day by saying “Cool shirt” and asking where I got it.
Anyway — it is going to be a big big day in Davis tomorrow with Lance Armstrong, and a whole gaggle of big time cyclists here in the best biking town in the country.
And here are some links related to the race …
Big big news for Davis. Stage 2 of the Tour of California in 2009 will start in Davis (after Stage 1 which starts and ends in Sacramento).
- Stage 1, Saturday, Feb. 14 – Sacramento
- Stage 2, Sunday, Feb. 15 – Davis to Santa Rosa
- Stage 3, Monday, Feb. 16 – Sausalito to Santa Cruz
- Stage 4, Tuesday, Feb. 17 – San Jose to Modesto
- Stage 5, Wednesday, Feb. 18 – Merced to Clovis
- Stage 6, Thursday, Feb. 19 – Visalia to Paso Robles
- Stage 7, Friday, Feb. 20 – Solvang (individual time trial)
- Stage 8, Saturday, Feb. 21 – Santa Clarita to Pasadena
- Stage 9, Sunday, Feb. 22 – Rancho Bernardo to Escondido
If you are into cycling in any way, you should check out the route for Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California. The race, which will likely feature a collection of some of the top pro cyclists in the world, is coming through Davis on February 20, 2007. And they even give Davis a little plug:
Continuing east past Lake Berryessa, the peloton will head through Davis, recently named the best cycling town in the U.S. by Bicycle Magazine.
It should be a good day for the town, although I hope it is not raining too heavily. I am not sure what the plans are for closing roads and/or for town activities on that day, so if anyone out there knows anything please let me know.
From the map it looks like they will take Russell through town and then sneak on up to Covell to Road 102 and then on towards Woodland. It also looks like there will be a bonus sprint in town.
This years Tour is turning out to be a total mess – due the what is being called the latest doping scandal. For some good coverage of this see Velonews. In summary, a whole bunch of riders names have been associated with a Spanish doctor who himself is implicated in doping. Apparently, the evidence is strong that these riders did something untoward. But from my reading of the news stories I am not so sure. What they are reporting on is finding log books with various riders names (or, actually, their names in some code) and notes as to what illegal doping activities they were doing.
And this has led to these riders basically being kicked out of the Tour. The list includes many of the top current riders, including Ullrich, Basso, Mancebo and others. Yes, I am sure a lot of professional cyclist dope. What I do not get is the almost depserate rush to kick these guys out when all that is being publicized is a bunch of innuendo. Apparently, the concept of innocent until provde guilty does not apply here. In the Olympics, they do not kick someone out for this type of thing – they kick you out if you fail a test. In other sports, testing is also the key. Yes, testing is imperfect. But you know a few years ago it was reported that Hitler’s diary was found. And then Jesus’ brother’s grave. And so on. If you accept that people are willing to inject someone else’s blood into themselves to gain a few seconds in a race, why would you not believe that someone might falsify some doping recrods just to screw with the Tour. I think they should be a litle more cautious in responding to the latest doping accusations in order to avoid sweeping up the innocent along with the cheaters.