Yesterday I rode the l'Etape California, a sort of pre-Amgen Tour event where normal people* could ride the same course up Mount Baldy as the professionals racing in the Amgen Tour of California stage 7. The course started in the flats of La Verne, climbed 4,000 feet to Baldy Village, descended down Glendora Mountain Road, and then climbed Baldy again, 6,000 feet all the way up to the ski lifts, where you "finished" through the same course as the pros. After which you could hang up at the top of the mountain and watch the pro race. Awesome, right?
Yeah, except for the 10,000 of climbing, including 10%+ in the last five miles, and the freezing cold. Brrr. Anyway I made it, so it is fun to talk about after, and I watched a great pro race; Julian Alaphillipe won, out-climbing Sergio Henao to the finish, but even more excitingly Peter Sagan hung on gamely for third, finishing just 47s behind, leaving him just 3s behind Alaphillipe going into today's final [sprint] stage from LA Live to the Rose Bowl. Sagan will probably be able to pick up some bonus time in the sprints to win - stay tuned. After yesterday's amazing ride we have to root for him, although Alaphillipe is a great young rider and if he wins he'll deserve it.
In the meantime, here are some pictures from my day:
Cheers, and go Peter!