Critical Section

getting ready for the Tour

Friday,  02/13/09  09:42 AM

Tour of California - starting gate
TOC - the starting gate

It has come to this: I am getting ready for the Tour of California, which starts tomorrow.  The biggest baddest cycling race ever on American soil, we have the creme de la creme of pro cycling, including the returns of Lance Armstrong (!), Floyd Landis (with an artificial hip no less!), Ivan Basso, and Tyler Hamilton, among others.  And two-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer.  And George Hincapie, Fabio Cancellara, Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre, Michael Rogers, Christian Vende Velde, the Schleck brothers, Stuart O'Grady, Mark Cavendish, Tom Boonen, Thor Hushovd - you name him and he's here.  Wow, I cannot wait!

Tour of California - Lance and Levi are ready
Lance and Levi are ready

Truly the Tour of California has risen to the top, after only four years; an amazing thing.  Part of it is the timing and the weather - all the European pros like to come out here - and part of it is the great riding - let's face it, California has it all, mountains, seacoast, cities, plains - and part of it is the crowd support; we all have really gotten behind this event, and there are thousands of people lining the roads everywhere the tour goes.  Very cool.  And part of it is serendipity; there is a network effect that kicks in with an event like this, once everyone is here, everyone else wants to be here.

Fortunately for us spectators, Versus are broadcasting live coverage in HD every day - I have my Tivo ready.  And I'm planning to go to the time trial in Solvang on Friday (a week from today), and of course be at the top of Palomar mountain for the final stage on Sunday.  Stay tuned, it's time to get it on!

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