20 May 2011

Stage 5 Tour of California

Alright this Tour is building momentum 
And clear skies. This years coverage of the Amgen Tour of California on TV is making my home state of California look wonderful, "what a great place to live," even the residents admit. We were marveling at the skills of the cameramen who capture these images and endure miles and miles on motorcycles to deliver such amazing footage. Athletic professionals in their own right.

The drive south to Paso Robles along Hwy 101 was gorgeous today, miles and miles of vineyards and densely productive agricultural land. I had fun reading the license plates on the cars from various states, all traveling in one long procession to the next stage start. I stopped for coffee, and again at a rest stop, where everyone happily greeted total strangers simply because they had bike racks on their cars, or team apparel on their backs. 
I enjoyed an excellent dinner with local wine in Santa Ynez tonight with my family who have gathered here in Solvang for Stage 6 time trial tomorrow. This is sort of a tradition by now, our (nearly) yearly reunion in Solvang. My Mother actually stopped by and chatted with the owner of the Bulldog Cafe today, just to stop in and see how things were going and talk about the big day tomorrow. My parents and brother and sister-in-law were thrilled to meet Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen in the hotel lobby this evening, and I was thrilled to throw them a wave.

Tomorrow should be great fun, with much to see and great atmosphere to enjoy. So far each day has been totally different at the Tour of California. Today I saw the finish of Stage 5 in Paso Robles, a wonderful welcoming town with a shady park in the center of town. It was easy getting in and getting out, but most notable for the relaxed atmosphere. A day of hanging around and watching people, and then, some fast bike racing came into town ...
Pictures from Stage 5 Amgen Tour of Colorado - Paso Robles
George Hincapie
Matt Goss
more Matt Goss
Every day I've seen Johan Vansummeren, but miss getting a good picture - he's too tall
Coca-Cola commercial by Daniel Martin
Coen Vermeltfoort cramps up at the finish
Anibal Andres Borrajo

Jelly Belly team after the race
Bob Roll interviewing Peter Sagan (with his translator)
The Specialzed/SRAM guys relaxing after the race
Stage 5 results
1  Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale)           5:16:03 
2  Leigh Howard (HTC-Highroad)   
3  Ben Swift (Sky)   
4  Paul Martens (Rabobank)   
5  Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit)   
6  Joan Aen Jorgensen (Saxo Bank-SunGard)   
7  Coen Vermeltfoort (Rabobank)   
8  Taylor Phinney (BMC)   
9  Frank Pipp (Bissell)   
10  Alexander Gottfried (NetApp)  
 Stage 5 Highlights w/ Phil Liggett (03:52 English) — nbcsports - [Steephill.TV]
 Chris Horner Post-Stage 5 Interview (02:11 English) — nbcsports - [Steephill.TV]