09 June 2011

More from Stage 4 Tour of California

More photos from our day at Stage 4 from Livermore to San Jose
More photographs have been uncovered from the start of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 in Livermore. Cameras where clicking for hours that day so of course there would be many more images to post. Stage 4 was an action-packed day as a fan.  I hardly had time to sort photographs after attending both the start and the finish and then driving to position myself for Stage 5 the next day. Tough life. 

There are a number of things you should never try to do with another person in tow - go to the Louvre, go Christmas shopping, get a massage, and go to the start of a stage race. It is almost impossible to keep tabs on another persons whereabouts when led by fancy from one shiny rock to the next. There are a lot of shiny rocks at stage starts. Ooh there goes Jens, was that George, oh my is that Bernie again, and wait I just gotta chase down Jonathan Vaughters one more time. 

Uh-oh where is Kenny? I lost Kenny! Oh well, doesn't everyone know to meet at the Start line when lost, I am sure we were all taught this at age 6. Right? Yes right, because loosing Kenny resulting in two fans going hog wild at the start in Livermore California, and capturing these fabulous fan photos below (and at my previous post Stage 4 Amgen Tour of California). Plus I eventually found Kenny at the Start line and he had a blast in my absense. 

Thirty minutes later Kenny got back at me for loosing him, when he told me, "get off the freeway here I'm gonna ride over (to the finish)". He proceeded to get out of the car dressed in civilian clothes, walked back to take his bike off the car and said to some passing cyclists headed up the road to the back side of Sierra Rd, "see you soon". "See you soon," I said, "see you soon ... gees Kenny." "What," he said, "I'm gonna see them soon". He hadn't even gotten dressed in his kit yet. 

A short while later Kenny flew by those cyclists on the road as they said, "oh there he is!". Cyclists have good humor when out for fun. I drove the car into San Jose. I was feeling good about loosing Kenny a second time, the alternative would have been trying to keep up with him on a bike (he's fast, he just got 7th at Escape from Alcatraz!). It was okay, I was on the lower part of Sierra Rd, Kenny was at the top, 3 km away without any cell phone coverage! Lost again.

Kenny later reported that Bernhard Eisel taught him humility on the way back down the hill that day, when Bernie yelled at Kenny to move over. Of course Kenny and the local he had found to ride with thought that was totally cool. "I got yelled at by Bernhard Eisel!" Kenny said with a huge smile.
All Photos by Karen at PedalDancer.com and Kenny Rakestraw, edited by PedalDancer
Team Radioshack
Levi Leipheimer

Dmitriy Muravyev
Chris Horner
Ben King
Tom Zirbel
Taylor Phinney
United Healthcare Pro
Rory Sutherland and teammates
I spent the entire week trying to learn the Saxo Bank riders by site. I get Gustav Larsson, Jorgensen and Vandborg mixed up: here are two of them (?) could be any two ...
Leopard Trek
Jens Voigt
Jens weaving his way through the small morning crowd
This is way too typical of my photography reflexes at these events (but I remember the rider was Johan Vansummeren)
Loading up the team cars
No space is wasted in the team cars
Nice Bikes
Lquigas Cannondale Bikes
Ted King's bike
At the neutral start in Livermore. The photos that appear to be taken by a 6'4" Kenny, were indeed. The ones that appear to be by a shorty, were me at 5'7" (click any image to enlarge)
I see Voigt, and Schleck and ...
Greg Hendersen in the Leaders Jersey
Johan Vansummeren (all of him this time)
I see Markel Irizar Aranburu
I see Hincapie, Van de Velde, Thor Hushovd, and Horner
I see Hincapie, Howard, and Van deVelde
I see Danielson, Talansky, and Sagan
I see Nick Nuyens
I see Oscar Freire and Matt Busche
Tom Zirbel
Team cars
A morning in Livermore. Then the riders disappeared and everyone walked home, or ... rode their bike to the finish in San Jose (Kenny!)
At the Finish of Stage 4 at the top of Sierra Road in San Jose, CA . This is where Kenny was mooching in on the Radioshack VIP tent, watching their big screen TV and begging for food and beverage.
back side of Sierra Rd
Stage 4 mountain top finish in San Jose
Luis Romero Amaran arrives at the top
Andy Schleck
Andy Schleck's legs
Andy Schleck and Bob Roll
Rory Sutherland
On the last climb of the Finish of Stage 4 on Sierra Rd in San Jose, CA
I was hanging out on the road above the music blaring from this partay where the road was steep!
Then the race came into town

Haimar Zubeldia Agirre
Typical roadside Fans checking their Versus Apps to see who is coming next
here they come
don't act like you don't know the Ape, he is wearing the same kit you are
The Bissell Ape scared off the Leader
Jason McCartney, Martin Pedersen, Charles Wegelius
Bernhard Eisel, Ted King and a peloton of others
Broom Wagon
After race interviews by the Guys from VeloNews.com
click any image above to enlarge
More images and stories about being a fan at Stage 4 by PedalDancer.com in a previous post at Stage 4 Amgen Tour of California.

I also enjoyed this blog post (and video) from another fan on the mountain that day: Sevencyclist's Blog ATOC Stage 4 – a Bay Area Cycling Holiday!