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Stage 4: Blue Skies and Tired Riders

Posted by MariHolden on Feb 19, 2009 1:59:57 PM

Today was a much nicer day. We woke up to blue skies for the first time of this race. There were four KOM's today, and the climbs were not as steep as the other days. But, that is not to say that the race was not difficult.

 

The race is underway!

 

I have one friend who is an averaged-sized cyclist and managed to have an average power of almost 350 watts for the first hour. It did look impressive, even from the car. The peloton was attacking and strung out until the break got away. It only finally got under control when Mancebo dropped back from the break to the peloton.

 

There were a lot of crashes today, and that is another indication that the riders are tired. When people are tired, they have slower reactions and they make small mistakes that they would not normally make. It is not always the fault of the cyclist who crashes, but it is an indication that the peloton is fatigued.

 

The break of three was caught with a couple kilometers to go. It turned out to be a day for the sprinters, with Cavendish taking the win.

 

The breakaway.

 

As far as the crowds go, it was another amazing day. There were people lining the course not only near the normal gathering points like sprints and climbs, but they were lining the fields and farms. There were kids and marching bands.

 

There is a van that hands out Livestrong posters etc, and I always have to be careful when driving close to him because the crowds that gather around him to get Lance paraphernalia can sometimes be dangerous. He is like the pied piper of the Tour of California. Kids and adults coming running into the streets and lose their minds for a poster. It is too cool, and I am serious when I say that you would not believe it unless you could see it in action. 

 

Here I am before the race getting food for the long car ride.

 

Me and my friend Min Reid with UCI president Pat McQuaid

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