26 January 2011

More Images from the 2010 Tour of California - I

ATOC - Palmdale, California May 21, 2010 
In this hiatus between big races, I thought I would share more pictures of the 2010 Tour of California. I have so many cool pictures that I have not yet used on this website. This will be part one of maybe 7 or 8 (maybe more, I have a bunch of pictures from over the years).
I highly recommend going to a stage start whenever the Tour of California selects a small town. The experience is unmatched. The town of Palmdale was very laid-back. I parked my car 5 blocks away from the town center and walked toward the shady neighborhood park where the start line had been set up. The buses were parked in line around the square which had shade trees and green grass and nice sidewalks that connected the team buses. 
There was little sign of the now typical VIP Area blockades (only 1 small tented area). Us common folk could enjoy the entire venue with ease. This remains one of my top 5 favorite days as a cycling fan. I was able to bounce around the start area happily taking pictures and standing right next to the action.  No traffic, beautiful day, easy access - perfect. I also had fun calling out "Hi Jens!", "looking good JV", and tried to cheer up and get Zabriskie to crack his shy smile (it was a tough day for him, the news of Landis had just hit the press). You too could be here (come to California!):
Please click any and all photos to enlarge
Palmdale, CA stage start
Johan Bruyneel making plans for the day's stage at ATOC
Chechu Rubiera delighting the fans (he makes everyone smile!)
Team car. This is my own new car, wish this paint job had been available
Relaxed scene, most of the crowd was outside the RadioShack bus
Bikes glorious bikes
This was Saxo-Banks Team Bus (tiny sign). 
No one hardly noticed Fabian Cancellara sitting in this team RV. 
Then Andy Schleck popped out
Andy Schleck talking over the plan for the day
 didn't have time to zoom-out
I rarely see tattoos at this level of the sport, I snapped this shot of Simon Zahner's
The great Tom Boonen
JV selected pastel argyle for Palmdale, California
Theo Boss
Levi Leipheimer
Paul Martens
Alexander Kristoff
Mark Cavendish
Manuel Quinziato
Tony Martin
Christopher Butler
David Zabriskie
Chechu Rubiera
Mark Cavendish and David Zabriskie
Photographers ready to head out, small crowd!
Jens Voigt rolls by
Andy Schleck takes off
time for breakfast for Bert Grabsch and the others
And my new car again, in yet another paint job
Then I walked the 5 blocks back to my car, and drove an hour home. The Tour of California is SO easy. 
Please look back at my previous post on the actual day at the Tour and more photos: Pictures from 2010 Tour of California. Or all posts from PedalDancer.com about the Tour of California (lots more pictures).