Time to experience Amgen Tour of Cali Pain!

In the past few years, I’ve ridden a few parts of the Amgen Tour of California and enjoyed watching the race.  Last year I was able to capture this pic, as Lance & George crested over the Mines rd.(Livermore stage)  king of the mountain:

I love this shot, although they almost ran me over!

Last year I was also able to meet up with and ride with my friend Sonja Wieck, who originally peaked my interest in joining Team Trakkers!   Here’s her post ride blog from last year: http://gosonja.com/?p=2710

At Santa Cruz Finish Line

This year, I’m upping my game a bit!  The UBS Masters cycling team is offering an opportunity to ride the closed course with them prior to the racers coming through!  We also get access to the VIP tent at the San Jose finish!

2011 Breakaway Challenge

Ride stages of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California and enjoy a VIP finish experience!

Join the Breakaway-UBS Masters Cycling Team while they ride stages of the Amgen Tour of California to help promote awareness for Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer® initiative.To raise funds for the charity, the team is seeking other riders to ride a stage with the group.

This year, participating riders will also enjoy a VIP finish line hospitality suite serving food and beverages while providing live TV feed of the approaching race. Rolling support is provided during each ride by Mazda team support vehicles.

OK, so here is the scary part!  Riding with the Masters cycling guys, I have to ride 81mi with two nasty climbs including a finish line climb!  That last climb is 1,759 feet and averages 9.4%……….
STAGE04

Livermore to San Jose

Miles: 81.8   KM: 131.6
Start: Wed, May 18: Livermore
Finish: San Jose
Start Time: 11:45am   Finish ETA: 3:15-3:34pm

2011 Amgen Tour of California - Livermore to San Jose

Stage 4 is short, at just 81 miles, but what it lacks in distance it makes up with three grueling climbs. Two of the climbs are legendary in California lore. Livermore is hosting their first Amgen Tour of California, but the race has gone through Livermore many times. Home of the renowned Lawrence Livermore Labs, the City of Livermore (established in 1869) played a prominent role in California’s “Gold Rush” history and today is home to a thriving wine industry. After getting their legs loosened a bit around the Labs, the course heads out to Mines Rd and the first of several KOMS on the day. Mines Rd is a 25 mile long section of the route that is hilly and very winding. It is very easy for a riders to get off the front and never seen by the chasing peloton. In 2010, the riders enjoyed a long descent into a finish in Modesto off of Mines Rd. This year, there is no similar luxury. Mines Road becomes San Antonio Canyon Rd. After shaking things up with two more KOMs, the riders come face to face with the daunting challenge of Mt Hamilton…the Tour’s first HC climb. The two mile climb to the Mt. Hamilton Observatory (4,130) offers a spectacular view of San Jose and Silicon Valley. Next is the treacherous descent down the front side of Mt Hamilton. After a few miles of flat riding, comes a right turn onto Sierra Rd. What follows is a 3.5 miles ascent with a 10% average grade and 1,700’ feet of climbing. The finish is simply a line across a narrow road. It is barren of trees. What is usually the home of herds of cattle will be replaced by thousands of screaming fans as they welcome home the finisher of the first true mountain top finish of the Amgen Tour of California. As far removed as this seems from the race finishes in downtown San Jose, we are still in the city limits. Many thanks to the City of San Jose and their tireless efforts to make a finish on Sierra a reality.

Cheers,

Michael

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One response to “Time to experience Amgen Tour of Cali Pain!

  • Colleen Kingery

    Sounds amazing! My husband and I want to get out there so bad, especially since his team is racing it again, but maybe next year.

    That ride looks wicked…fun, but wicked! 🙂

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