The route of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California was announced today and not surprisingly, my predictions as to the actual course were not far off. I can't understand why the AToC isn't going to pay homage to James Dean when they pass the site of his tragic auto accident on Stage 5. Members of the organizing committee, you have been warned. Rather than re-hash all the stuff from my previous blog, I thought I would post a few pics of the route.
Here is the stunning redwood forest on Tunitas Creek Road the first big ascent of stage 2. This is a great climb, the meat is about 1200 feet in 3 miles with sections up to 10%. Overall, the total ascent is 2000 feet spread over about eight miles. Too bad Tunitas Creek comes way too far from the finish to have any effect on the race. BTW, there was a major repaving effort on Tunitas Creek this past summer specifically to get the climb ready for the ATOC. Unfortunately, the repavers left the lower two miles of the aforementioned three mile steep section untouched which means the peloton will be riding over a lot of bad, heavily potholed pavement. For some reason, they repaved a lot of the less-steep sections. What a pity.
Palomar Mountain is the last big climb of the AToC. However, the ascent comes way too early in the stage to have any effect on the overall standings. Race organizers have called this the equivalent of a mountain top finish. Huh? What? Not even close. It makes one wonder. Here is a photo of Floyd and the current sponsor of his 2009 team, Dr. Brent Kay of Ouch Medical Center, riding up the lower slopes of Palomar with the bulk of the mountain visible ahead of them.
It can get pretty cold up on Palomar Mountain during winter!
Coming up, how to view the race and get in a ride to boot!
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