31 May 2014

2014 Giro d'Italia

Giro d'Italia 2014

2014 Winner of the Giro d'Italia - Nairo Quintana (COL)

Karen from Pedal Dancer® went to the Giro Start in 2014. Are you going to the Giro in 2014 or planning to watch it in 2014? This fan guide on how to see the Giro d'Italia in 2014 is for you. More information on my own trip may be found at my post: An American at the Giro d'Italia in Northern Ireland. 

Where do I begin (my travels to the Giro d'Italia)

Giro 2014 route map
Dates, Cities and distance of 21 stages of the 2014 Giro d'Italia: 

1   9 May, Titanic Belfast - Belfast, 21.7km, Team Time Trial
2  10 May, Belfast – (Causeway & Antrim Coast) - Belfast, 218 km, Flat stage
3  11 May,  Armagh – Dublin, 187 km, Flat stage
R- 12 May, Rest day
4  13 May, Giovinazzo - Bari, 121 km, Flat stage
5  14 May, Taranto - Viggiano, 200 km, Medium-mountain stage
6  15 May, Sassano - Montecassino, 247 km, Medium-mountain stage
7  16 May, Frosinone - Foligno, 214 km, Flat stage
8  17 May, Foligno - Montecopiolo, 174 km, Medium-mountain stage
9  18 May, Lugo - Sestola, 174 km, Medium-mountain stage
R- 19 May, Rest day
10  20 May, Modena - Salsomaggiore, 184 km, Flat stage
11  21 May, Collecchio - Savona, 249 km, Medium-mountain stage
12  22 May, Barbaresco – Barolo, 46.4 km, Individual time trial
13  23 May, Fossano - Rivarolo Canavese, 158 km, Flat stage
14  24 May, Agliè - Oropa, 162 km, Mountain stage
15  25 May, Valdengo - Montecampione, 217 km, Mountain stage
R-  26 May, Rest day
16  27 May, Ponte di Legno - Val Martello (Martelltal), 139 km, Mountain stage
17  28 May, Sarnonico - Vittorio Veneto, 204 km, Flat stage
18  29 May, Belluno - Rif. Panarotta (Valsugana), 171 km, Mountain stage
19  30 May, Bassano del Grappa – Cima Grappa (Crespano del Grappa), 26.8 km, ITT
20  31 May, Maniago – Monte Zoncolan, 167 km, Mountain stage
21  01 June, Gemona del Friuli – Trieste, 169 km, Flat stage

Route map of 2014 Giro d' Italia Ireland to Italy
Giro Facts
Dates: May 9-June 01 2014
Route: 2014 Giro d'Italia percorsa
21 Stages
22 teams, 9 riders each, 198 total riders (preliminary startlist)

Giro Contacts

Website: 2014 Giro d'Italia
Twitter: https://twitter.com/giroditalia
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/giroditalia
Facebook - giroditalia
Facebook - GiroStart
Google plus - Giro d'Italia
Instagram - @giroditalia

The 21 stages in 2014 will include:

  • 2 Individual time trials
  • 1 Team trial time
  • 8 Flat stages
  • 4 Medium mountain stages with summit finishes
  • 5 High mountain stages with summit finishes
Posts by Pedal Dancer:

About the Grand Tours
Word of the Day: Passista, Scattista, Velocista
Great Moments in Giro d'Italia History, By Cycling Tips 

Giro Start in Belfast

Schedule and route maps for the start of the 2014 Giro d' Italia in Northern Ireland:

Giro Big Start Opening Ceremony - Thursday 8 May, Belfast City Hall
17:30, Live outdoor show

Stage 1 - Friday, May 9 2014, Titanic Belfast - Belfast City Hall
17:45-20:00, TTT 21.7 km (13.48 miles), route map, route profile, official timetable itinerary, stage guide, video tour of Stage 1!

Stage 2 - Saturday, May 10 2014, Belfast - Belfast
10:50-16:10, 218 km (135.46 miles), route map, route profile, official timetable itinerary, stage guide, video tour of Stage 2 !

Stage 3 -  Sunday, May 11 2014, Armagh - Dublin
11:20-16:13, 187 km (116.2 miles), route map, route profile, official timetable itinerary, (better Timetable and road closure schedule reflecting 11:20 start time), stage guide, video tour of Stage 3 !

Yes, I plan to discover Northern Ireland. This is Freddie Forte (Strong Freddie) the official character of the Giro Start. Strong Freddie even has a cookbook.
Official Websites and Files for the Giro Start 2014:
Giro d'Italia official complete website
Giro d'Italia Start official website
Giro Start Facebook Page 
GiroBelfast.com (news)
Discover Northern Ireland (lots of info)
Northern Ireland Tourist Board
Business Promotion Brochure

Helpful Information for attending the race in Belfast:
Giro Italia Essential Guide NI***** (events, road closures, caravan and peloton timing) 
Giro Fan Park Schedule and Guide, located at Titanic Quarter
Giro d’Italia 2014: a guide for travellers, By Telegraph
Bike parking spaces
Road Closures and Traffic
Train Schedules
Free (in advance) Tickets to Opening Event, Team Presentation
Preliminary Startlist at CyclingStage.com
Watch it live online at CyclingFans.com or Steephill.TV
Potential audience of 775 million
22 teams are expected representing 12 countries 

Armagh Start
Timetable and road closure schedule for Stage 3 in Armagh, UK.  Start Village and assembly point at Shambles Market near Saint Patrick's Cathedral. Roads near market close at 7:00, other nearby road closures in Armagh at 8:30. Team buses arrive at 9:30. Caravan departure at 9:40, Peloton Start at 11:20. Finish in Dublin 14:30 caravan, 16:13 peloton.

How to watch the Giro live on TV?
BBC NI to broadcast TV coverage live for all 3 stages of the Giro: Friday, May 9th 18:30 BST; Saturday, May 10th 14:00 BST; Sunday, May11th 14:30 BST.

Teams at the 2014 Giro d'Italia:
Australia: Orica-GreenEdge
Belguim: Lotto-Belisol, Omega Pharma-Quick Step
Colombia: Colombia
Denmark: Tinkoff-Saxo
France: Ag2r La Mondiale, Europcar, Fdj.Fr
Great Britain: SKY Team
Italy: Androni Giocattoli, Bardiani-CSF, Cannondale, Lampre-Merida, Yellow Fluo.
Kazakhstan: Astana
Netherlands: Belkin, Giant-Shimano
Russia: Katusha
Spain: Movistar
USA: BMC Racing, Garmin-Sharp, Trek Factory Racing

Riders known to be racing the Giro in 2014

Nario Quintana, Cadel Evans, Rigoberto Urán, Samuel Sanchez, Daniel Martin, Ivan Basso, Elia Viviani, Marcel Kittel, Tyler Farrar, Wilco Kelderman, Michele Scarponi, Maxim Monfort, Robert Kiserlovski, Johnny Hoogerland, Pierre Roland, Nicholas Roche. It looks like no Richie Porte and Mark Cavendish is a suspenseful question mark.He is thought to be heading to California with Bradley Wiggins for the Tour of California. Chris Horner is very iffy after his crash. 198 total riders (preliminary startlist)

2014 Amgen Tour of California Fan Guide

Pedal Dancer® Fan Guide Page to the 2014 Tour of California

2014 Amgen Tour of California, 9th edition, American Tour. Dates: May 11-18, 2014. 

Bradley Wiggins - Pedal Dancer
Bradley Wiggins won the 2014 Amgen Tour of California. Photo by Willie Richenstein for Pedal Dancer®
Bradley Wiggins - Pedal Dancer
Bradley climbing in Westlake Village/Thousand Oaks.  Photo by Karen Rakestraw for Pedal Dancer®
Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish - Pedal Dancer
Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish at the 2014 Tour of California.  Photo by Willie Reichenstein for Pedal Dancer®
Mark Cavendish - Pedal Dancer
Mark Cavendish exhausted after Stage 6.  Photo by Karen Rakestraw for Pedal Dancer®
Peter Stetina - Pedal Dancer
Peter Stetina being interviewed.  Photo by Karen Rakestraw for Pedal Dancer®
Jens Voigt - Pedal Dancer
Jens Voigt.  Photo by Karen Rakestraw for Pedal Dancer®
Tour of California - Pedal Dancer
Peloton at ATOC 2014.  Photo by Willie Richenstein for Pedal Dancer®
Taylor Phinney - Pedal Dancer
Taylor Phinney
Final Podium - Pedal Dancer
Classification jerseys. Photo by Karen Rakestraw for Pedal Dancer®
Peter Sagan - Pedal Dancer
Peter Sagan. Photo by Karen Rakestraw for Pedal Dancer®
Danny Von Popple - Pedal Dancer
Danny Von Popple. Photo by Karen Rakestraw for Pedal Dancer®
Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish - Pedal Dancer
Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish before the final stage start in Westlake Village. Photo by Karen Rakestraw for Pedal Dancer®
Ben King - Pedal Dancer
Ben King leads the circuit into Pasadena. Photo by Karen Rakestraw for Pedal Dancer®
Thor Hushovd - Pedal Dancer
Thor Hushovd. Photo by Karen Rakestraw for Pedal Dancer®
Mark Cavendish - Pedal Dancer
Mark Cavendish.  Photo by Karen Rakestraw for Pedal Dancer®
Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish - Pedal Dancer
Brad and Mark. Photo by Karen Rakestraw for Pedal Dancer®
Mark Cavendish Podium Girls - Pedal Dancer
Podium kisses for Cav. Photo by Karen Rakestraw for Pedal Dancer®


2014 Route of the Amgen Tour of California
Tour of California 2015 route
Route map of 2014 Amgen Tour of California

2014 Host Cities of Tour of California:

• Stage 1: Sunday, May 11 – Sacramento
• Stage 2: Monday, May 12 – Folsom (Individual Time Trial)
• Stage 3: Tuesday, May 13 – San Jose to Mount Diablo (mountain top finish)
• Stage 4: Wednesday, May 14 – Monterey to Cambria (coastal)
• Stage 5: Thursday, May 15 – Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara (vineyards & San Marcos)
• Stage 6: Friday, May 16 – Santa Clarita to Mountain High (mountain top finish)
• Stage 7: Saturday, May 17 – Santa Clarita to Pasadena
• Stage 8: Sunday, May 18 – Thousand Oaks (circuit climb)

Facebook: @amgentourofcalifornia #ATOC2014
Twitter: @amgentourofcali
Instagram: @amgentourofcali

Posts by Pedal Dancer about the 2014 Tour of California:

Posts by Pedal Dancer about a few riders racing in the 2014 Tour of California:
Laurens Ten Dam is featured in one of my all time favorite video clips on Alpe'd'Huez. Laurens is the Dutch rider who loves California and said he hopes to live in Santa Cruz someday with his family.

The fans want Podium Girls?  - meet Joanna and Allison the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Tour of California Podium Girls.

Posts by Pedal Dancer - Travels in California:

California Here I come - seeing the race and being a tourist in Santa Barbara.

Pedal Dancer at the race in 2014:

May 2014 will be a very special month for me. I am attending the Giro Start in Belfast, Northern Ireland, before returning to California for the Amgen Tour of California. I will be coveraing the last three stages of this year's tour only. I plan to bring you stories from the race and have been approved for Photo Credentials.

I am certainly missing out by not attending the earlier stages. Monterey is a beautiful area. The town of Cambria is one of my favorites places to relax, ride, eat and drink local wine. Santa Barbara is a city I would enjoy visiting any time of year, for any reason, but with this bike race in town - all the better.

The race returns to Santa Clarita this year for two stage starts. Being at the race in Pasadena will be new to me. Thousand Oaks is about 20-minutes from my parents house, so the final stage should be an easy fun-filled day.

The line-up of riders in this year's 2014 ATOC is especially exciting. Californians (and visiting fans) will be treated to watching the very best in the sport of professional cycling.

What is new for 2014

Amgen has resigned as title sponsor; many of the same sponsors have returned for 2014 with some added new sponsors; Ride 2 Recovery will offer four non-competitive cycling events; AEG Global Partnerships continues to organize the American Tour stage race; and the exact dates and host cities for the 2014 race will be announced today.

Mark Cavendish to skip Giro d'Italia to focus on Tour de France (and race in California!)
Hosting race comes at a cost- Thousand Oaks

Teams for the 2014 Tour of California:  see Team jerseys

WorldTour teams:
Garmin Sharp
Trek Factory Racing,
Omega Pharma-QuickStep
Team Sky

Domestic Pro Continental teams:
Team Novo Nordisk
German Team NetApp-Endura 

Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home
Jelly Belly (team of US Pro champion Fred Rodriguez)
Bissell Development Team

Riders for 2014 Amgen Tour of California

Peter Sagan, Jens Voigt, Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Matthew Busche, Laurens Ten Dam, Lawson Craddock, Joe Dombrowski, Peter Stetina, Christian Knees, John Degenkolb, Ted King, Haimar Zubeldia, Taylor Phinney, Jasper Stuyven, Tom Danielson, Rohan Dennis.  Final startlist to be released in May 2014, preliminary startlist by ProCycling Stats

Road Closures & City Guides for the Tour of California

Please refer to the information provided by each city. At the bottom of the Official Amgen Tour of California host city pages you can find links to the cities websites with more information about traffic and road closures if offered. 

Stage 1    5/12    Sacramento
Stage 2    5/13    Folsom
Stage 3    5/14    San Jose to Mount Diablo
Stage 4    5/15    Monterey to Cambria
Stage 5    5/16    Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara
Stage 6    5/17    Santa Clarita to Mountain High
Stage 7    5/18    Santa Clarita to Pasadena
Stage 8    5/19    Thousand Oaks

Which roads will be used for the Tour of California? For an estimation of when the riders will be on which roads, please see the detailed timetable (below) of when and where the race will progress and on which local streets (route map below). More information can be found under the individual city websites.

2014 Amgen Tour of California Route maps, profiles, guides, start time, miles

Stage 1 : Route Map  |  profile - 10:50 AM Start, 120 miles; Neutral Start at 11th and L Street, Sacramento
Stage 2 : Route Map  |  profile - 1:05 pm Start, 12.6 miles; Start on Sutter St. between Wool and Riley, Folsom ITT
Stage 3 : Route Map  |  profile - 10:45 am Start, 108.5 miles; Neutral Start at Raging Waters, San Jose
Stage 4 : Route Map  |  profile - 11:50 am Start, 102.6 miles; Neutral Start on Alvarado St, Monterey
Stage 5 : Route Map  |  profile - 11:45 am Start, 108.1 miles; Neutral Start at Pismo Beach Pier
Stage 6 : Route Map  |  profile - 11:35 am Start, 94.4 miles; Neutral Start on Main at 6th St, Santa Clarita
Stage 7 : Route Map  |  profile - 11:40 am Start, 88.7 miles; Neutral Start on Town Center Dr., Santa Clarita
Stage 8 : Route Map  |  profile - 8:45am! Start, 83.5 miles; On Townsgate Rd at Village Glen Dr., Thousand Oaks

Helpful Information
  • Download the Official Start list (PDF) 
  • Download the Amgen Tour of California Rider and Team Twitter Guide (PDF) 
  • Download the Women's Circuit Race Roster (PDF) 
  • Full route timetables for each stage

My 2013 guide to Santa Barbara applies for 2014

California Here I come

Three stages that will change the face of this race in 2014

1. Stage 2 - Folsom Time Trial: short traditional individual time trial at 20.1km. The yellow jersey will change from a sprinter's back to be worm by a time trial specialist.
2. Stage 3 -A 174.6km long road stage with Mt Hamilton and then Mt Diablo. With 10,900 feet of climbing, the jerey will change hands again to the climber who breaks away in the last couple kilometers or few meters.
3. Stage 6: Santa Clarita has played host many times in past years, but the final high altitude climb, with a steep last few miles to Mountain High ski resort, will likely announce the winner of this tour.

The stages into Santa Barbara and Pasadena are two Peter Sagan type stages. By now Californians are very familiar with this talented sprinter.

Two Womens Races at the Tour of California in 2014

Sunday, May 11, 2014 - Women's Circuit Race, Sacramento, CA
Monday, May 12, 2014 - Women's Time Trial Presented by SRAM, Folsom, CA

A womens criterium race was featured in conjunction with the Tour in 2008, 2009, 2010. A womens time trial was featured in 2011, 2012, 2013. (Results of those races). This year women will race in both a circuit race and a time trial, but not necessarily the same women. Crits and time trials tend to be specialties with different riders excelling in each sport.

List of womens teams to compete in 2014 at Tour of California.

Q: What is the difference between a circuit race and a criterium? A: distance and time

While both types of races involve going round and round on the same course. A criterium is a shorter course (2km or less), typically around city blocks, with the last lap determined by a preset time period of 40-60mins. A bell is rung to announce the last lap. A circuit race is raced on a longer course with repeated laps typically totaling 40-80 miles. The number of laps are predetermined ahead of time, for example, four laps of 20-miles each.

Tour of Californa race leader jerseys
Read more about the Classification jerseys for ATOC

Amgen Tour of California Gala Tickets

May 9, 2014 in Sacramento, $150.00 each: Buy Tickets
Sacramento Memorial Auditorium
1515 J St, Sacramento CA 95814
Friday, May 9, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM (PDT)

VIP Hospitality Ticket

Hospitality tents at the race, $150-$275 More information and buy tickets
Experiences packages or VIP car rides $1000-$7000: buy Tickets

Citizen's Ride

2014 L'Etape du California - Thousand Oaks, California, By Pedal Dancer
Ride 2 Recovery

Race Coverage

TV Schedule for Tour of California:

Amgen Tour of California Tour Tracker app:

Watch it live http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/watch-live/tourtracker. Download the official Amgen Tour Tracker app for real race viewing and standings: Daily streaming available - get it on Google play or download from the Apple App Store, with a ticker updates, gps tracking of riders, and fan chat. Free worldwide. The app is slightly delayed! So becareful not to use it for your timing to come out of that shaded cafe where you are enjoying your beer before the race arrives outside - you'll miss it. Also don't read Twitter until you have watched the finish yourself

International race viewing:

For international fans, please visit Steephill.TV and the list of live or recorded links to view the Tour of California in Europe. Last year the Tour of California was shown on Eurosport and on SBS in Australia. (1 mile = 1.60934 km). International links to coverage (bottom of page): http://www.steephill.tv/tour-of-california/

Previous Winners:

2013 | VAN GARDEREN Tejay
2012 | GESINK Robert
2011 | HORNER Chris
2010 | ROGERS Michael
2009 | LEIPHEIMER Levi
2008 | LEIPHEIMER Levi
2007 | LEIPHEIMER Levi

14 May 2014

A little late to the game

But I've been playing in Ireland

As you may know, the Amgen Tour of California is one of the races I focus on most each year. I love the stage race. In it's ninth year now, it crosses much of my home state of California. And since I am hoping to one day move back to California, the scenes and stories of the race and riders crossing the land that I call home is even more meaningful.

Then why I am not at the race?

Well I've been in Ireland. This is another kind of home. This is where my family came from. This is a country so beautiful it is a comparison in mildly beautiful to blow your mind beautiful. And then there are the people. Like all things in life, it comes down to family and friends; old and new. And here in Ireland, I made quite a few new friends. I also more deeply understood my own family's history and the state of current Ireland.

"You will talk to anybody"

I laugh at this statement I hear quite a lot from people who know me and people who have just met me. I will indeed talk to anybody. This habit comes from a place of ease and true interest. During this trip, I spoke with so many people who added joy to my days. I want to thank them, for traveling depends on ingenuity, self-determination, and the people you surround yourself with to help broaden your world a bit. Being part of the cycling community meant a warm welcome here in Ireland.

The perfect combination of travel and being a fan.

Having a reason to visit a country is a fine thing and the Giro d'Italia proved the perfect reason to go to Ireland this May. As my brother said, "Glad you are having fun. It really was a great opportunity. Ireland - Giro - TTT - Foreign travel - English speaking - small geography." Although I might question that language thingy. I am being honest in saying I had to ask many times, "What does that mean?" Not what did you say, but what are you saying. I have also broadened my vocabulary.

Go North my friends

Now I had been to the south and west of Ireland before, to the typical touristy spots. Which I think has become a sort of like the heart of Provence - a bit over trodden. Personally I couldn't get over the beauty of Northern Ireland, and now that times have and are continuing to change, please visit. It is glorious vacation territory. If that is not enough to convince you - I swear the Guinness is SO much better over here. I am ruined to the real taste of how it should be.

Homeward Bound

As the Giro moved off the Island to Italy, I return today to San Francisco, California. I teased with Jim Ochowicz of BMC racing the other day in Armagh, who was flying back from Dublin to SFO, "Yeah but you'll be up in First Class, I'll be way way in the back." "Nah" he said, "I fly business, comfortable but not extravagant." Off he rode in his team car toward Dublin with a farewell wave, "See you in California." I certainly will.

Ain't May great

In the month of May the Giro d'Italia and Amgen Tour of California are both neatly tied into a package so tight I have to concentrate to keep track of which news is coming from which race. Exciting starts to both races. Oh I met Michelle Aquarone in Belfast, he was masquarading as a normal looking fan in a hoodie. I walked straight up to him with another new friend, @RexGlobetrotter from Indiana, and shook his hand to have a chat. Memorable experiences are definitely made by reaching out to people.

Quite an operation

I also talked a long time with one of the key SKY mechanics. He told me how the team prepared for basically three races from their one Service Course based in Belgium. Time trial and road bikes were sent to Ireland and also Italy. More of the same to California for an entirely separate team of riders. The team hired a whole new crew to drive much of their equipment (buses, cars and mechanics trailers) from Dublin to Italy. The crew and riders in Ireland flew down. The logistical and equipment organization of stage races is mind-boggling; one being a Grand Tour.

Makes me realize my one suitcase is not such a big deal.

I bid farewell with a big thanks. Yes, I have tons of photographs to share and more stories and travel recommendations of course. But this trip was jammed pack with getting out there and doing it and not so much writing about it. I have been tweeting, so you can see some of my photos @karenrake.

I also prepped the Pedal Dancer Amgen Tour of California Guide Page: TOUR OF CALIFORNIA

Tour Tracker is a fantastic way to follow the race Live this year.  The official race Twitter (@amgentourofcali) and Facebook (@amgentourofcalifornia) accounts have been doing a great job of sharing varied news for fans. And Christian Vande Velde is co-announcing the ATOC this year for NBC. I identified his distinctive voice after the first 5 words I heard. Good for him for securing that job, a sign that attitudes have changed or memories are short term (and you know what I mean).

I will be writing and photographing from the last three stages in California. Willie Reichenstein will be back to join me, adding his fantastic photography as well. Follow along on our journey.

All the best to you.
I learned that phrase in Ireland.