22 May 2016

You probably don't remember me, but

Of course I remember you!

I was standing in the road near the start line of the Amgen Tour of California next to Darrell Parks, an incredible photographer working for Pez Cycling and Peloton who has become a friend to me and a smiling face at the tour. We were talking to Jamie, the humorous in-car announcer who drives the route of the Tour of California preceding the peloton to let fans out on the road know the situation coming at them. I have met Jamie every year, for six years. What I mean exactly is that I have introduced myself to Jamie six times anew.

Now put into perspective that gathering at a race like the Amgen Tour of California is a reunion of sorts. Once or twice a year I get to see really cool, highly resistant, impressively energetic, honest yet positive folks who love the sport of cycling. We collect as a group to either administer or report on the race. We all know each other; from the officials to the marshals, motos, security, staff, photogs, journalists, key staff, team staff and me. We come from across the country and from overseas to do our best to present an excellent race in hopes that it will continue.

So how is it that I am still introducing myself?

Because it is normal. You see, I have this knack for remembering people. I can remember exactly where I met them, the entire setting behind them, and what we spoke of. I notice all the details and never forget a face or a story. Sometimes I embarrass myself by blurting out the location and details of our first meeting only to be met with a glazed response clearly indicating - I have no idea who you are. 

So this week when a fan wrote to me with the opening sentence "You probably don't remember me, but I was watching the Tour of California stage 1, here in San Diego with my Norwegian friends. We met you when you photographed me, my friend and the rider Alexander Kristoff." Remember you - of course I remember you - you were a highlight of my day, I responded. And they truly were.

You never know what will happen at a bike race. This is my creed, which not only applies to the battle on the road within and in front of the peloton, but to the experience of being a fan at the race. Just show up, give it your best and let the magic happen. For the young students from Norway who brought their large red white and blue Norwegian flag to Stage 1 in San Diego, California, with the hopes of seeing their favorite rider, unplanned magic indeed happened.

Of course I remember you!
I had spotted the colorful photo op and approached them in a friendly manner. In utter excitement they explained to me, "We came because maybe we will get to see Kristoff, he is a really big deal in Norway." By the time they took a next breath, out of the Katusha team RV stepped Alexander Kristoff. "Hi I'm Alex," he proclaimed as if we did not know the man who was now standing two feet in front of us. What is the sound of dropped jaws and exhaling in utter amazement? Well that was all the three of us could muster as a response. Their dream was coming true and I was happy to be a part of it.

There we were the four of us, me snapping pictures and them talking a language I hadn't heard in quite some time. Within two minutes every Norwegian speaking fan in San Diego had miraculously gathered around Alex. I could tell he was almost as amazed as me at the number of Norwegians now chatting away while swarming him for selfies. This week I sent Andreas, the young Norwegian student who had contacted me, ten photos taken of his minutes with Alexander Kristoff in San Diego. He responded, "There were so many nice pictures here, and this moment is something I will remember forever."

After Alexander Kristoff stepped back into the team RV, the young Norwegian girl turned to me with her hand outstretched, showing me she was physically shaking from the surprising experience. Kristoff was indeed a big deal in Norway, but in that moment on the pavement of a parking lot near a watery bay in California, Kristoff had been a really big deal to two students studying far from home. 

People make a bike race, no matter where the memories are made and with whom. Whether I am meeting a new fan for the first time, an old friend, or reintroducing myself for the sixth time, all that matters is they made a special moment happen and they give me the courage to get out and make more.

"this moment is something I will remember forever."
Alexander Kristoff
The ability to make memories and win bike races - Alexander Kristoff, winner of yesterday's Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California.

P.S. Thank you Darrell Parks for always remembering me!

19 May 2016

Women's teams and startlist for Tour of California

Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease™ Women’s Race Empowered with SRAM

That long title is the official name for the women's race at the Tour of California. Just as Amgen supports the Breakaway from Cancer walk at stages of the tour for those affected by cancer and has attached their name in fighting cancer with the men's race, the company also develops pharmaceuticals for heart disease. Amgen works to alleviate the impact of the leading causes of death to both men and women. And so sponsoring a women's race in the name of fighting heart disease and improving health in the general population makes perfect sense.

SRAM is also a title sponsor of the women's race, which is not just kind but good business. The numbers of women in cycling and amateur racing is growing. The likelihood of a women walking into a bike shop to buy a bike is high, SRAM wants the consumer to know their name. Sponsorship is a balance of doing good in the community and wanting to get your product in front of the community. Through the involvement of both Amgen and SRAM, perhaps more young girls will be exposed riding a bike and a healthy lifestyle.

The highest level of women athletes in the sport of professional cycling are gathering today in Lake Tahoe to begin their four day bike race. It's a big deal and a large number of fans are expected. The women will race 197.8-miles during four-stages in South Lake Tahoe, Folsom (team time trial), Santa Rosa and Sacramento.

Coryn Rivera (USA) of United Healthcare Womens team signs an autograph for a young fan. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
STARTLISTS

For a 1 page printable startlist with numbers, please go to TourChaser.com: Women's Race Details ATOC.

For a team startlist for the women's team time trial in Folsom, please go to TourChaser.com: Women's Race Details ATOC

WOMEN'S PRO TEAMS

Let's look at who will be competing. 18 teams will compete with 8 riders each, 144 pro women cyclists will take the start line

Women’s teams - 18 teams

BePink (Italy) 
Boels-Dolmans (Netherlands)
Canyon – SRAM Racing (Germany)
Colavita – Bianchi (USA)
Cylance (USA)
Drops (Great Britain)
Hagens Berman – Supermint (USA)
Hitec Products (Norway)
Podium Ambition (Great Britain)
Rabo – Liv (Netherlands)
Rally (USA)
Tibco – SVB (USA)
Twenty16 – Ridebiker (USA)
UnitedHealthcare (USA)
USA Cycling (USA)
Visit Dallas DNA (USA)
Weber Shimano Ladies Power (Argentina)
Wiggle High5 (Great Britain)

Top contenders for the classification jerseys and stagewins in the women's race:

General Classification (Overall Contenders)
Emma Johansson (SWE) – Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling (WHT)
Megan Guarnier (USA) – Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team (DLT)
Lisa Brennauer (GER) – Canyon/SRAM Racing (LPR)
Lucinda Brand (NED) – Rabo-Liv Women Cycling Team (RBW)
Kirsten Wild (AUS) – Hitec Products (HPU)
Chantal Blaak (NED) – Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team (DLT)
Alena Amialiusik (BLR) – Canyon/SRAM Racing (LPR)
Lauren Stephens (USA) – Team TIBCO-SVB (TIB)
Marianne Vos (NED) – Rabo-Liv Women Cycling Team (RBW)
Emily Collins (NZL) – Team TIBCO-SVB (TIB)

​Sprinters
Barbara Guarischi (ITA) – Canyon/SRAM Racing (LPR)
Lauren Tamayo (USA) – UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (UHC)
Megan Guarnier (USA) – Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team (DLT)
Kirsten Wild (AUS) – Hitec Products (HPU)

Climbers
Mara Abbott (USA) – Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling (WHT)
Lauren Stephens (USA) – Team TIBCO-SVB (TIB)
Lex Albrecht (CAN) – BePink (BPK)
Emily Collins (NZL) – Team TIBCO-SVB (TIB)
Chantal Blaak (NED) – Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team (DLT)
Alena Amialiusik (BLR) – Canyon/SRAM Racing (LPR)

Stage Wins
Emma Johansson (SWE) – Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling (WHT)
Marianne Vos (NED) – Rabo-Liv Women Cycling Team (RBW)
Linda Villumsen (NZL) – UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (UHC)
Lisa Brennauer (GER) – Canyon/SRAM Racing (LPR)
Tayler Wiles (USA) – USA Cycling (USA)
Lauren Stephens (USA) – Team TIBCO-SVB  (TIB)
Barbara Guarischi (ITA) – Canyon/SRAM Racing (LPR)
Lex Albrecht (CAN) – BePink  (BPK)
Chloe Dygert (USA) – Twenty16 – RideBiker (T16)

The women's jersey's at the tour:

Women's team jersey 2016 Amgen Tour of Califorrnia
Women's team jersey 2016 Amgen Tour of Califorrnia.

WOMEN'S LIST OF RIDERS - TOUR OF CALIFORNIA 2016

Canyon-SRAM
Lisa Brennauer (Ger)
Alena Amialiusik (Blr)
Hannah Barnes (GBr)
Tiffany Cromwell (Aus)
Barbara Guarischi (Ita)
Alexis Ryan (USA)
Elena Cecchini (Ita)
Mieke Kroeger (Ger)

Wiggle High5
Emma Johansson (Swe)
Mara Abbott (USA)
Audrey Cordon (Fra)
Danielle King (GBr)
Amy Pieters (Ned)
Mayuko Hagiwara (Jpn)
Anna Christian (GBr)
Amy Roberts (GBr)


UnitedHealthcare Women
Annie Ewart (Can)
Katie Hall (USA)
Coryn Rivera (USA)
Iris Slappendel (Ned)
Lauren Tamayo (USA)
Linda Melanie Villumsen (NZl)
Abigail Mickey (USA)
Diana Peñuela Martinez (Col)

US National Team
Madeleine Boutet (USA)
Kelly Catlin (USA)
Aliya Traficante (USA)
Jennifer Valente (USA)
Tayler Wiles (USA)
Ruth Winder (USA)
Sarah Hammer (USA)
Ashlyn Woods (USA)

Weber Shimano Ladies Power
Maria Fadiga (Arg)
Luciene Ferreira da Silva (Bra)
Jessenia Meneses (Col)
Rocio Parrado Guarnizo (Col)
Caterin Elisabeth Previley (Arg)

Podium Ambition Pro Cycling p/b Club La Santa
Elizabeth-Jane Harris (GBr)
Sara Headley (USA)
Sharon Laws (GBr)
Nicole Moerig (Aus)
Claire Rose (GBr)
Sarah Storey (GBr)

Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
Emily Collins (NZl)
Lauren Hall (USA)
Kathrin Hammes (Ger)
Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl)
Lauren Stephens (USA)
Brianna Walle (USA)
Lauren Komanski (USA)
Kendall Ryan (USA)

Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
Marianne Vos (Ned)
Thalita De Jong (Ned)
Lucinda Brand (Ned)
Shara Gillow (Aus)
Jeanne Korevaar (Ned)
Anouska Koster (Ned)
Moniek Tenniglo (Ned)

Hitec Products
Kirsten Wild (Ned)
Charlotte Becker (Ger)
Tatiana Guderzo (Ita)
Janicke Gunvaldsen (Nor)
Cecilie Gotaas Johnsen (Nor)
Lauren Kitchen (Aus)

Twenty16 - Ridebiker
Kristin Armstrong (USA)
Holly Breck (USA)
Allie Dragoo (USA)
Chloe Dygert (USA)
Alison Jackson (Can)
Leah Thomas (USA)
Jennifer Tetrick (USA)

Hagens Berman / Supermint Pro Cycling Team
Megan Alderete (USA)
Lindsay Bayer (USA)
Scotti Lechuga (USA)
Allison Elizabeth Linnell (USA)
Liza Rachetto (USA)
Eri Yonamine (Jpn)
Ivy Audrain (USA)
Jessica Uebelhart (Swi)

Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling
Mandy Heintz (USA)
Nina Marie Laughlin (USA)
Mia Manganello (USA)
Amanda Miller (USA)
Beth Ann Orton (USA)
Anna Sanders (USA)
Breanne Nalder (USA)
Sara Tussey (USA)

Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
Megan Guarnier (USA)
Chantal Blaak (Ned)
Karol-Ann Canuel (Can)
Nikki Harris (GBr)
Romy Kasper (Ger)
Evelyn Stevens (USA)

Cylance Pro Cycling
Alison Tetrick (USA)
Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (USA)
Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spa)
Rossella Ratto (Ita)
Valentina Scandolara (Ita)
Doris Schweizer (Swi)
Erica Zaveta (USA)

Bepink
Lex Albrecht (Can)
Amber Neben (USA)
Francesca Pattaro (Ita)
Lenore Pipes (Gum)
Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita)
Silvia Valsecchi (Ita)

Rally Cycling Women
Heather Fischer (USA)
Jasmin Glaesser (Can)
Kirsti Lay (Can)
Sara Poidevin (Can)
Hannah Ross (USA)
Emma White (USA)
Katherine Maine (Can)
Catherine Ouellette (Can)

Colavita/Bianchi
Whitney Allison (USA)
Jessica Cutler (USA)
Katie Donovan (USA)
Lauretta Hanson (Aus)
Gretchen Stumhofer (USA)
Kimberley Wells (Aus)
Emma Grant (GBr)
Elizabeth Hernandez (USA)

Drops Cycling Team
Sophie Coleman (GBr)
Rebeca Durrell (GBr)
Jennifer George (GBr)
Laura Massey (GBr)
Hannah Payton (GBr)
Lucy Shaw (GBr)
Alice Barnes (GBr)
Rebecca Womersley (GBr)


About Breakaway from Heart Disease (as described by race organizers)

Amgen’s new Breakaway from Heart Disease initiative encourages Americans to take action to make heart health a priority. The campaign encourages people to use road bikes and stationary bikes to get active and heart healthy. At the race, female athletes will wear Breakaway from Heart Disease “I Heart” race numbers recognizing someone they love. For more information about the campaign and how to get involved, visit breakawayfromheartdisease.com.

Women line up to race. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
How to watch the women's race at Tour of California:

Women's race TV coverage Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease™ Women’s Race Empowered with SRAM - available only on the Tour Tracker app:

WOMEN's RACE COVERAGE
  • Thursday 5/19/16 Stage 1 Amgen Breakaway From Heart Disease Women's Race Empowered by SRAM Highlight 9:00 p.m. PDT On Tour Tracker app only
  • Friday 5/20/16 Stage 2 Amgen Breakaway From Heart Disease Women's Race Empowered by SRAM Highlight 9:00 p.m. PDT On Tour Tracker app only
  • Saturday 5/21/16 Stage 3 Amgen Breakaway From Heart Disease Women's Race Empowered by SRAM Highlight 9:00 p.m. PDT On Tour Tracker app only
  • Sunday 5/22/16 Stage 4 Amgen Breakaway From Heart Disease Women's Race Empowered by SRAM Highlight 9:00 p.m. PDT On Tour Tracker app only
WOMEN's RECAP SHOWS
  • Thursday 5/26/16 AmgenBreakaway From Heart Disease Women's Race Empowered by SRAM Recap Show 10:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. PDT on NBCSN 
How to watch the Amgen Tour of California live online:

Follow the Amgen Tour of California Men's Race and the Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women's Race live on Microsoft Tour Tracker, the app that gives you in depth access and analysis of America's Greatest Race via the web or your mobile device. Whether you are out on the road, waiting at the finish line, or watching at home, you can keep track of the race Download the app. You can watch Microsoft TourTracker on the web.

All of this information may also be viewed on the Tour Chaser Womens Race TOC page: www.tourchaser.com/womens-race-toc

12 May 2016

List of Riders Amgen Tour of California 2016

The Riders - a complete list of competitors

The rider startlist and bib numbers have been finalized and made available by ProCyclingStats.com, a day after quite a different startlist was released by Amgen Tour of California media personnel. Whomever starts on Sunday morning is now committed to ride their way to Sacramento (no more changing the roster!).

The official 2016 startlist of riders (rider roster, squads) has not yet been released by organizers of the Amgen Tour of California, but I got impatient because I am headed to the race tomorrow. However on the ProCyclingStats.com startlist of riders you can click on each name and see a photo of the rider and their palmares (the career race history), a great way to get familiar with who will be racing at the Tour of California.

​Through reading news reports and rider twitter accounts (some are already in California training pre race), I can add to the list of riders who will be racing in California at the 2016 Amgen Tour of California this week. ATOC typically leaves the announcement of the startlists until just before the start as teams formalize their squads having recovered from recent illnesses or races.

Team rider startlists

There will be a thrilling list of riders to compete in California this week. Tom Boonen is coming to California!! Julian Allaphilippe will be returning in 2016, he won the best young rider jersey in 2015 and won the stage to Mt Baldy. Peter Sagan is coming back with his teammate and brother Juraj Sagan. Mark Cavendish and Bradely Wiggins will both return in 2016. Team BMC has an action packed team, their red jerseys should be a frequent sight on the podium.

I am super excited to see Tom Boonen and Mark Renshaw race again and am looking forward to watching the other powerful sprinters including Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin), Tyler Farrar (Dimension Data), Ben Swift (SKY), John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin), Niccolo Bonifazio (Trek-Segafredo), Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie), Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Brad Huff (Rally), Rob Britton (Rally), Robin Carpenter (Holowesko-Citadel), Wouter Wippert (Cannondale), Travis McCabe (Holowesko-Citadel), and John Murphy (UHC).

Because I am a huge fan of the Spring Classics I will be like a giddy fan to see Greg van Avermaet, John Degenkolb, Alexander Kristoff, Zdenek Stybar and Tom Boonen in California. I wouldn't be able to get anywhere near them in Belgium; which also stands true for Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins. I also look forward to watching the young Axeon Hagens Berman team and observing the French riders on Team Direct Energie enjoy their time in California. Although 'enjoy' is a loose term once they experience the tough level of competition in this tour.

Recommended Read: Preview: What you need to know about the 2016 Amgen Tour of California, by Neal Rogers. Who writes, "Sagan returns to the race that he’s done every year since 2010, along the way compiling a total of 13 stage wins (a record),five points jerseys (a record), one best young rider’s competition (2010), and one overall victory." "Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), a nine-time California stage winner and two-time points classification winner."

Pedal Dancer Race Preview for 2016 Tour of California on TourChaser.com: tourchaser.com/race-preview-atoc

FULL  STARTLIST - 2016 Amgen Tour of California, 144 riders to compete:* to be updated with bib numbers after the official announcement of the ATOC startlist. 

Tinkoff
1 Sagan, Peter
2 Baška, Erik
3 Blythe, Adam
4 Gatto, Oscar
5 Gogl, Michael
6 Kolar, Michael
7 Sagan, Juraj
8 Trusov, Nikolay

Etixx - Quick Step
11 Allaphilippe, Julian
12 Boonen, Tom
13 Bouet, Maxime
14 Maes, Nikolas
15 Richeze, Ariel Maximilliano
16 Stybar, Zdenek
17 Vakoc, Petr
18 Velitz, Martin

Team Sky
21 Kennaugh, Peter
22 Fenn, Andrew
23 Kiyrienka, Vasil
24 Moscon, Gianni
25 Nordhaug, Lars Petter
26 Peters, Alex
27 van Poppel, Danny
28 Zandio, Xabier

Dimension Data
31 Cavendish, Mark
32 Brammeier, Matthew
33 Eisel, Bernhard
34 Farrar, Tyler 
35 Nathan Haas
36 Janse van Rensburg, Jacques
37 Renshaw, Mark
38 Teklehaimanot, Daniel

Team Katusha
41 Kristoff, Alexander
42 Guarnieri, Jacopo
43 Haller, Marco
44 Isaychev, Vladimir
45 Machado, Tiago
46 Mørkøv, Michael
47 Restrepo, Jhonatan
48 van den Broeck, Jurgen

BMC Racing Team
51 Bookwalter, Brent
52 Dennis, Rohan
53 Drucker,Jean-Pierre
54 Phinney, Taylor
55 Sánchez, Samuel
56 Schar, Michael
57 Van Avermaet, Greg
58 Wyss, Danilo

Team Wiggins
61 Wiggins, Bradley
62 Christian, Mark
63 Doull, Owain
64 Kelly, Jake
65 Latham, Christopher
66 Patten, Daniel
67 Tennant, Andrew
68 Thompson, Michael

Cannondale Pro Cycling Team
71 Talansky, Andrew
72 Bevin, Patrick
73 Craddock, Lawson
74 Gaimon, Phillip
75 King, Benjamin
76 Marangoni, Alan
77 Skujiņš, Toms
78 Wippert, Wouter

Trek - Segafredo
81 Stetina, Peter
82 Arredondo, Julián David
83 Bernard, Julien
84 Bonifazio, Niccolo
85 Irizar, Markel
86 Reijnen, Kiel
87 Stuyven, Jasper
88 Zubeldia, Haimar

Direct Energie
91 Coquard, Bryan
92 Anderson, Ryan
93 Duchesne, Antoine
95 Nauleau, Bryan
96 Petit, Adrien
97 Sicard, Romain
98 Tulik, Angelo

Team Giant - Alpecin
101 Degenkolb, John
102 Kragh Andersen, Søren
103 Curvers, Roy
104 de Kort, Koen
105 Sinkeldam, Ramon
106 Fairly, Caleb
107 Skjøstad Lunke, Sindre
108 ten Dam, Laurens

Team LottoNL - Jumbo
111 Groenewegen, Dylan
112 Bennett, George
113 Roosen, Timo
114 Teunissen, Mike
115 van Widen, Dennis
116 Vermeulen, Alexey
117 Wagner, Robert
118 Wynants, Maarten

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
121 Brajkovic, Janez
122 Canolo, Mario
123 Clarke, Jonathan
124 Eaton, Daniel
125 Jaramillo, Daniel Alexander
126 Jones, Christopher
127 Murphy, John,
128 Putt, Tanner

Axeon Hagens Berman (U23 team)
131 Geoghegan Hart, Tao
132 Barta, Will
133 Curran, Geoffrey
134 Daniel, Greg
135 Guerreiro, Ruben
136 Neilands, Krists
137 Owen, Logan
138 Powless, Nielson

Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
141 Morton, Lachlan David
142 Cheyne, Jordan 
143 Morton, Angus
144 Putt, Chris
145 Rathe, Jacob
146 Sheehan, Michael
147 Sheldon, Taylor
148 Wolfe, Ben

Holowesko-Citadel Racing Team
151 Carpenter, Robin
152 Clark, Oscar
153 Flaksis, Andzs
154 Hornbeck, Jonathan
155 Krasilnikau, Andrei
156 Lewis, Joe
157 Squire, Rob
158 McCabe, Travis

Team Novo Nordisk
161 Clancy, Stephen
162 Henttala, Joonas
163 Lozano, David
164 Megias Leal, Javier
165 Peron, Andrea
166 Planet, Charles
167 Verschoor, Martijn
168 Williams, Christopher

Rally Cycling
171 Anthony, Jesse
172 Britton, Rob
173 De Vos, Adam
174 Huffman, Evan
175 Nalo, Patrick
176 Oronte, Emerson
177 Pate, Danny
178 Routley, Will

All of these riders will be racing again in 2016: (All Photos ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®)

American Brent Bookwalter (BMC).
Latvian Tom Skujins (Cannondale).  
From the U.K. (Isle of Man) Mark Cavendish (now with Dimension Data). 
Australian Rohan Dennis (BMC).
American Tyler Farrar (Dimension Data). 
Slovakian Peter Sagan (Tinkoff). 
American Taylor Phinney (BMC).
American Lawson Craddock (now with Cannondale).
American Logan Owen (Axeon Hagens Berman).
Mark Renshaw (now with Dimension Data).

Julian Allaphilippe (Etixx-Quickstep).

Laurens ten Dam (now with Giant-Alpecin).

WHO WILL WEAR BIB #1 IN 2016?

It is tradition that the previous year's overall stage winner, if returning to the race in the current year, wear the #1 jersey. His team being recognized as the first team, thus wear #1-8. The other teams are ordered according to race organizers preference, eighteen teams total with eight riders each. At the Tour of California, as is usual, you will see the ProTour teams listed on the roster before the Pro Continental or Continental teams.

Peter Sagan will wear #1 on his jersey at the Tour of California. He will be racing hard in 2016 to wear #1 again in 2017.

More Pedal Dancer® race coverage 2016:

10 May 2016

The order of jerseys

Yellow, green, polka-dot, white - in that order

CLASSIFICATION JERSEYS

Classification Jerseys for the Amgen Tour of California 2016 are awarded for best type of rider in a field. This year the Tour of California will feature 5 classifications: Leader (fastest overall time, yellow/gold jersey, also called GC); Mountain (climber, red polka dot jersey); Sprint (fastest sprinter, green jersey); Best Young Rider (under age 25, white jersey); Most Courageous (most combative/competitive, blue Breakaway from Cancer jersey).

Look for these jerseys on the road or on the TV: yellow, green, polka-dot, white and blue. The competition for the classification jerseys begins on day one: Stage 1 in San Diego.

Classification jerseys 2016 Tour of California

As the stage race progresses the overall classification winner is presented with his jersey on the podium after each stage and will wear the jersey at the start of the next day's stage.

Mark Cavendish won the green sprinter's (points) jersey a the 2015 Amgen Tour of California. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
PRIORITY OF JERSEYS

Peter Sagan won the Tour of California last year and will be returning to the ATOC again in 2016. Peter Sagan is also the current World Champion and wears the rainbow striped jersey in every road race.Peter is also the current Slovakian National Road Champion and Time Trial Champion (he's had a good year!). At the start of Stage 1, Peter will be wearing his rainbow jersey at the start line.

What if Peter Sagan wins Stage 1 in San Diego,will Peter wear the Amgen yellow leaders jersey or will he wear his rainbow jersey? UCI rules state that the race leaders jersey trumps the rainbow jersey,so at the Tour of California and other UCI pro races, Peter would wear the yellow leader's jersey on the road, or the green sprinters jersey, if he earns either of those jerseys after any stage of the race.

Otherwise we will see Peter Sagan in his white and rainbow striped jersey (which is equally thrilling). However, when Peter steps onto the start ramp at the Folsom time trial, don't be surprised if you see him in his Slovakian National time trial skinsuit. Unless he is in the lead in a classification and he will wear the leader's yellow or the sprinter's green jersey, made into a special skinsuit just for him.

Classification jerseys in 2015. There will be new designs for 2016. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
Yellow (gold)  - Green - Polka-dot - White

This is the order of priority of jerseys. On the podium, the stage winners are awarded before the classification winners. Sometimes the jerseys are awarded out of order on the podium if a rider is late in arriving, but the yellow jersey is always awarded last.

World Chimpion at the ATOC. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
WHICH JERSEY TO WEAR?

What if Peter is ahead in both the overall(yellow) classification and the sprinter (green) classification - which jersey will he wear?

According to UCI rules there is a specific order of priority of jerseys. The classification jerseys take precedence in order of yellow, green, polka-dot, white. If a rider is already in a more prominent jersey and has earned one or more other jerseys, he will be awarded with all his jerseys on the podium, but will wear the more prominent jersey at the start of the next stage. His other jersey would go to the second-place rider in that specific jersey classification, who would wear the jersey the next day during the race. Because a rider can only wear one jersey at a time, and because every race organizer wants to have all five jerseys be seen during each stage of the race. So don't be confused if you read that one rider won a classification but another rider shows up wearing his jersey at the stage start on the next morning.

UCI rules: should various provisions requiring the wearing of different jerseys apply to the same rider, the order of priority shall be as follows:

1. the leader’s jersey of the stage race (yellow)
2. the leader’s jersey of the cup, series, or UCI classification
3. the world champion’s jersey
4. the continental champion’s jersey
5. the national champion’s jersey
6. the national jersey

In summary the World Champion jersey trumps any National Champion jersey, but the World Championship jersey is trumped by the race classification jerseys. Peter Sagan is serious about defending his overall race leaders jersey again this year. I am looking for Peter to be wearing yellow ... or green ... or rainbow, he looks great in them all.

Peter Sagan in the Time Trial at Tour of California wearing a rather nice one-piece skinsuit. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
What if the first stage is a sprint?

As the stage progresses the first riders over the KOM marker (mountain points) will be tallied to award the first polka-dot jersey. The youngest riders (under age 25) will be tracked to award the white jersey. There are two sprint markers on route of Stage 1 but the finish line is also considered. Look for the rider vying for the green jersey to sprint at the markers in Navajo Road and Imperial Beach to attempt to weed out the field for the green jersey. It is possible that the first and second place finishers on Stage 1 will wear the yellow (1st place) and green (2nd place), it depends on the motivation and plans of each sprinter.

WHO DECIDES ON THE MOST COURAGEOUS RIDER?

This is a subjective award decided on by a panel of "experts" (read important people) gathered to acknowledge effort and courage displayed during the day's stage. This is not an accumulated classification but a spotlight on an different individual every stage and the awarding sponsor of the most courageous/aggressive/combative lime-light hogging jersey.

HOW IS THE BEST TEAM DECIDED?

The best team of the tour is determined by the lowest accumulated time. They get to celebrate wildly with champagne on the final podium.  The accumulated team time is calculated based on the total time of the first three riders across the line from each team, each day (not the highest 3 on GC). This accounts for the entire team effort on climbs, sprints and time trials to be considered. Each day those three rider times are added to the next day's three riders with the lowest times, the times accumulate for all 8 stages, and the lowest team time wins the title.

Team SKY won best team at the 2015 Amgen Tour of California.

Peter Kennaugh of Team SKY. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
CLASSIFICATION JERSEYS AT TIME TRIALS

Because World Championships are awarded in road racing, individual time trial and team time trial, each jersey must, and can only, be worn during the specific cycling discipline.

The current winner of the World Champion Time Trial, Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) racing on Team SKY, must wear the time trial skinsuit during every ITT and TTT competition for a year following his win. Peter Sagan, the current Road Champion, cannot wear the rainbow striped jersey during any time trial stage.

All riders who have earned a National Championship Time Trial may wear their national colors skinsuit during the time trial.

The current Team World Time Trial Champions, BMC Racing Team, wear a small UCI rainbow emblem on the front of their jerseys year round, during both road and ITT or TTT stages.

BMC TTT logo on their jerseys
Time trial stages do not typically award KOM points. The polka-dot jerseys earned by a rider after Stage 5, in this year's Tour of California, will be worn at the start of Stage 7 in Santa Rosa.

Yes, all classification jerseys are worn during the time trial (with special skinsuits often made for the riders.

BIB NUMBERS

We call them race numbers here in the United States. Bike racers know them as bib numbers, European bike racers as dossard. They are the numbers identifying a racer worn on his or her jersey and on their bike.

There is a meaning to the bib numbers (dossards) worn by each rider on a team: read more about the bib number at Word of the Day: Dossard , By Pedal Dancer.

Riccardo Zoidl of Trek - showing he was the 1st rider on the 5th team at ATOC in 2015. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
WHO WILL WEAR BIB #1 IN 2016?

It is tradition that the previous year's overall stage winner, if returning to the race in the current year, wear the #1 on his jersey. His team being recognized as the first team, thus his teammates wear #2-8. The other teams are ordered according to race organizers preference; eighteen teams total with eight riders each. At the Tour of California, as is usual, you will see the WorldTour teams listed before the Pro Continental or Continental teams wearing lower bib numbers.

The 2016 startlist should be announced (hopefully) within 2-48 hours. Anticipation!

See the team jerseys for the 2016 Amgen Tour of California at TourChaser.com
See the team bikes and equipment for the 2016 Amgen Tour of California at TourChaser.com
More Fan Education provided by Pedal Dancer®.

More Pedal Dancer® race coverage 2016:

Taking photos at the race, and being Media

On race photography, and being credentialed Media/Photo

Over the years my race photography has improved with a lot of practice. What I have learned is that great photos are more about the eye, and the opportunity, than the equipment. When it comes to equipment I use it all from an iphone, a compact Sony camera, to my large Pentax with numerous lenses.

I like getting the unusual shot, taking close-ups(zoom), and capturing a moment between fans, riders, coaches, reactions, exhaustion, excitement. Go broad to capture the mood and setting, but zoom into capture human subjects.

My biggest tip is to see the race with your own eyes. Get as many photos as you can of yourself and your family and friends at the race. Take a sweeping video of you enjoying the scene at the race. And share those on social media. But when the race actually comes, put down the camera and WATCH IT. Peter Sagan or Taylor Phinney might only pass you once and you will miss looking into their faces if you are looking into your camera.

It also pays to know how to move around at a bike race. I often arrive early to map out how to get to and from different key areas of the race. Good shots can be gotten near the teams buses, near the sign-in stage before the start, at the start ramp of time trials or on the corners, or in the area just past the finish line where riders stop to meet their soigneurs post race. Or out on the road at KOM markers where the riders slow down slightly at the passes and the atmosphere is fun.

At race starts, I admit I set the camera on auto and use the zoom extensively. Because I spin constantly to react to riders approaching and leaving, taking in different light and length in shots, I let the camera do its thing and put my time into recognizing the riders and who I want to capture: who I think might be in the break, might win, might be the next big thing, or of interest to the fans.

At other times I experiment with focus and either bring the whole picture into view or blur out the background to highlight the subject. I take lots of photos, most aren't so great, but plenty are fine. I have learned it is all about the light in fast bike racing, especially in Colorado, I like the northwest facing corners.

Read more: My Photography - how I get the shots, by Pedal Dancer®.

Also read: Photog’s View: Darrell Parks 2016 Cycling Calendar, by Darrel Parks in PezCycling News, about photos he captured at the Tour of California for his annual calendar.

Also read: Jim Fryer and Iri Greco of Brake Through Media who write a fantastic series for VeloNews titled The Shot about how they achieve iconic images of the races in Europe.


How did I get this shot? I sat on the ground, on the dirty pavement, and watched the winner of the 2015 Tour of California pass by as I pushed the shutter button. My work was easy, Peter Sagan's hard work won him the race!

The magnificent Peter Sagan. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

What is it like being a credentialed photographer at the race?

I get to wear a fancy PHOTO badge that flips and spins in the wind and gets tangled up in my camera straps. I also get to wear the most unbecoming numbered blue vest (if I am deemed worthy in the great pecking order of photographers) that many a photographer has sweated in prior to my own wearing of the vest. There is an unspoken dress code among photographers that we wear black or khaki, which gets really hot on sunny days and appears so boring in the midst of all the colorful fans. I think we wear black because we are not supposed to stand out (as if the camera focuses in on us anyway). There are other norms I had to learn, like who stands where in the pack at finish lines or podium presentations. The yellow bib photographers are like mini-gods, I must give respect to the yellow-bibs, those who are more 'accomplished' and arrive late to the pack at the finish line on the back of motorcycles (really they are just bigger than me ... and more serious).

Basically photographing a pro bike race is juggling a series of implied laws yet trying to be unique within the boundaries. The pressure is intense, the fun is great, the reward is memorable.

In response to the intensity, I introduced the smile.

I can say it took me five years to melt the ice with that smile. Five years of smiling and getting to know people, making friends, not stepping on toes and being really really nice. All while moving around the venue like a banshee set on discovering the next great photograph or story. At times I feel intrusive by snapping photos of strangers, but I have enjoyed recognizing the riders and seeing their growth throughout their careers. For me, it really is about discovering what makes a particular competition excellent. Finding the stories in the people, discovering a new perspective and sharing my enthusiasm by participating in a sport I love.

Without the fans the sport of cycling would be so dull. If the riders do not notice the beautiful scenery they race through, they certainly remember which towns had huge crowds. My purpose in conjunction with the race is to help the crowds gather. To tell the story of the fan.

​I look forward to attending the 11th Amgen Tour of California.

How did I become Media?

I had to apply through an application form for media. I had to prove I worked for a publication which shone a positive light on the event and reached a community of old and new followers. I first got up the nerve to apply in 2011 when I realized, hey I am already promoting this race (for free), I want better access. I later discovered that a "photo" badge would get me into far more places than a "media" badge (there is a difference and it is printed on the badge). I can always do the job of media while photographing a story, but since I started as a writer I had to up my game in photography. Pictures might be worth a thousand words, but I have come back to the truth that the story matters. The story is the race. And the fans and sponsors who support the race by showing up.

What it is like being Media at the race?

Firstly, I had to drop my old habits of jumping barriers, hanging out with family and asking anybody the silliest questions. I had to remind myself not to ask Mark Cavendish, who was standing right in front of me, for an autograph, because 'Media' persons don't that. I do however have a tradition of asking the overall winner to sign my badge after the last press conference. I keep them, hanging in my bike room, which is covered with cycling memorabilia.

I have had the experience, on a number of occasions, of riding inside the Media car during the race along the race route. Let me tell you, it is true what they say - it is crazy out there on the road with motos zipping this way and that and the race radio reporting in multiple languages. But most of the people in motion following the peloton have a history together; they are experienced and they know the procedures and roads. Steve and Terry who have driven the two Media cars for many years in the major American Tour races are excellent drivers (Terry being an ex-racer himself).

Life on the road as one of the many photojournalists chasing the race, is a series of very long days of scouting out the stage, planning on the map where to get shots, capturing 1000s of photos, being severely dehydrated, rushing to the podium, maybe to the post-stage press conference, downloading, editing, posting, writing, finding food somewhere,driving to the next town, unpacking, packing and trying desperately to keep up with what is happening in the real race. The race becomes what is happening in front of my square footage view unless I read social media or other news reports. It is exhausting, but everyone stays in good mood knowing we need each other to get through the week, stage after stage.

Ideally I think it takes a crew of three to really cover a stage race well. A driver, a navigator, a planner/reader of race happenings. And definitely two out of three need an excellent sense of humor, patience and a love of adventure; maybe all three.

The type of stories I write need a light-hearted human and humorous approach. I try not to let the physical exhaustion over-power the pure giddy excitement I feel about being at a bike race. I love pro cycling, I love that there are so many moving parts and so much more to learn about the sport. I love that the competition is so unknown and yet the best riders, who often know each other well, and perhaps have been teammates on other teams, put all aside and try their very best to win the race, because each race is a new chance to prove themselves as a champion.

Read more specific Spectator Tips, Fans Education and How to Watch the Amgen Tour of California, starting in San Diego this Sunday!

Remember my new website Tour Chaser (TourChaser.com).

More Pedal Dancer® race coverage 2016 Amgen Tour of California:

09 May 2016

Top 22 tips to see the Amgen Tour of California

SPECTATOR TIPS

Top 22 spectator tips for seeing the Amgen Tour of California, by Pedal Dancer®:
  1. Print this one single page with all the facts created by AmgenTourofCalifornia.com
  2. Study the team rosters (startlist) and team websites to better recognize the racers (Teams)
  3. Attend the Team Presentation if possible (Events & VIP)
  4. Check for road closures and allow for time to park (always park where it is easiest to get out)
  5. Know the start and finish times of the stage you are attending (see Stages)
  6. Arrive 2 hours before any start or finish (stages)
  7. Allow time to watch the women's race before the men's race.
  8. Bring water, snacks, sunscreen and a rain jacket
  9. Ride your bike up a mountain!
  10. Ride your bike into the city: use bike valets or bring a good bike lock
  11. Visit the team buses at the start of a stage and ask the mechanics a question
  12. Use Tour Tracker app to watch while you wait, or watch the jumbo-trons in the Lifestyle Festival near the finish (How to watch)
  13. Enjoy the festival and sponsor booths at every finish area while you wait
  14. Bring a rider startlist to the time trial, or use your Tour Tracker app to check the order of rider start times
  15. Buy a VIP ticket in San Diego, Monterey, Santa Rosa, or Sacramento
  16. Put down the phone and watch the race with your eyes - look for the yellow jersey
  17. Stay overnight in a host city and dine locally
  18. Go to more than one stage: see a start, a finish, a mountain top, a sprint, a KOM, a feed zone (feed zone locations are marked on route profile maps) (Routes and Maps)
  19. Wear your Tour of California tshirts, hats or gear (ATOC shop), or wear blue and yellow.
  20. Bring 3 sharpie pens for autographs (just in case you loose one, or two) (Spectator Tips)
  21. Always carry something to autograph, just in case you see your favorite racer before or after a stage, or while walking around town.
  22. Come back again next year!
Read more by Pedal Dancer at TourChaser.com:
Recommended Read: Ted's blog post GooOOOOoooOOooOOooo Team!  Ex-pro American Ted King explains to fans what it sounds like from the saddle inside the peloton - TED King on what not to say - the riders hear what you say.

A bike race is coming to town:

Servais Knaven of Team Sky probably using Tour Tracker to check the stage start time (and why does this Team Sky car have New Jersey plates?).
©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

Joe Dombrowski was deep in concentration pre ITT in 2015. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

Team Sky staff members wait at the finish line at Mt Baldy KOM in 2015. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
United Healthcare staff members in 2015. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
Taylor Phinney signs an autograph for a fan. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
More Pedal Dancer® race coverage 2016 Amgen Tour of California:

03 May 2016

Profile Maps for the Tour of California 2016

Stage profiles, stage sponsors and city websites.

Profile maps have been provided for each stage of the upcoming Tour of California (May15-22, 2016). The route will cover nearly 800 miles and almost 16,000ft of climbing. Each stage is sponsored by a major race supporter. Below are the profile maps with start / finish locations, distance, sprint locations, KOM locations (with climb rating) and feed stations.

2016 Amgen Tour of California 

Stage 1 profile map Tour of California - 106 mi/170.5 km

Stage 1 profile map Tour of California
Stage 1 profile map Tour of California
Stage 2 profile map Tour of California - 92 mi/148 km

Stage 2 profile map Tour of California
Stage 2 profile map Tour of California
Stage 3 profile map Tour of California - 104.1 mi/167.5 km

Stage 3 profile map Tour of California
Stage 3 profile map Tour of California
Stage 4 profile map Tour of California - 133.6 mi/215 km

 Stage 4 profile map Tour of California
 Stage 4 profile map Tour of California
Stage 5 profile map Tour of California - 132.4 mi/213 km (men)

Stage 5 profile map Tour of California
  Stage 5 profile map Tour of California
Stage 6 profile map Tour of California - 12.6 mi/20.3 km

Stage 6 profile map Tour of California
Stage 6 profile map Tour of California
 Stage 7 profile map Tour of California - 109 mi/175.5 km (men)

Stage 7 profile map Tour of California
Stage 7 profile map Tour of California
 Stage 8 profile map Tour of California - 84.8 mi/136.5 km (men)

Stage 8 profile map Tour of California
Stage 8 profile map Tour of California

Tour of California Stage Sponsors and Host Cities

Stage 1 - Sponsor: Breakaway from Heart Disease
Stage 1 - Host City - San Diego
Stage 1 - May 15, 2016

Stage 2 - Sponsor: SRAM
Stage 2 - South Pasadena and Santa Clarita
Stage 2 - May 16, 2016

Stage 3 - Sponsor: Breakaway from Cancer
Stage 3 - Thousand Oaks and Santa Barbara County
Stage 3 - May 17, 2016

Stage 4 - Sponsor: Visit California
Stage 4 - Morro Bay and Monterey County
Stage 4 - May 18, 2016

Stage 5 - Sponsor: Visit California
Stage 5 - Lodi and South Lake Tahoe
Stage 5 - May 19, 2016

Stage 6 - Sponsor: SRAM
Stage 6 - Folsom
Stage 6 - May 20, 2016

Stage 7 - Sponsor: SRAM
Stage 7 - Santa Rosa
Stage 7 - May 21, 2016

Stage 8 - Sponsor: Lexus
Stage 8 - Sacramento
Stage 8 - May 22, 2016

Tour of California - route maps, start and finish times, Host City information websites
See the stage route maps, here: Stage Route and Maps Tour of California 2016

Visit California offers tips on where to see the race and local businesses of cycling significance, here: Visit California Tour of California page.

Official Race Website - Amgen Tour of California

More Pedal Dancer® race coverage 2016 Amgen Tour of California: