February 20, 2006

We're on ESPN2

offtopicartisan and Al told me to watch the ESPN2 coverage of the Prologue carefully. It looks like our position on the course was good for more than just great views (hint: I'm the one with the giant camera):

us on TV us on TV

FYI: the guy with the beige hat sitting on the course in front of us is photographer Casey Gibson, so his prologue shots on VeloNews are like having our own pro photographer to document our point of view.

3:37 PM | comments(0)

February 19, 2006

Favorite prologue photo

Dave Zabriskie getting some private warm up time:


photo by frenquency

bigempty also has some excellent photos from the prologue finish

11:58 PM | comments(0)

One final note from the prologue

I love my photo printer. Printing my own photos is fun, but what is also fun is downloading hi-res press photos and getting them autographed at events. After today's prologue, I wandered to the top of the hill and managed to stand right where Levi Leipheimer decided he was going to walk. The result:

Leipheimer autograph

I just need to work on the sharpie. I've used similar techniques with a Flickr photo to get Ivan Basso's autograph and my own photo photo to get Dave Zabriskie's autograph.

9:48 PM | comments(0)

February 15, 2006

Tour of California roster released

tour of californiaThe Tour of California roster has been released and it looks pretty spectacular:Julich, Voigt, Zabriskie, Landis, Evans, Horner, Rodriguez, Leipheimer, Simoni, Savoldelli, Danielson, Hincapie, and more. VeloNews has interviews with Leipheimer and Landis that discuss their Tour of California and season plans.

9:56 PM | comments(0)

January 18, 2006

Tour of California Full Route Announced

Tour of CaliforniaThe full route and maps are available on the Tour of California site. They include departure times, estimated arrival times, elevation profiles, and both Google Maps and pdf versions of the road route. Stage 5 goes through Solvang, where both Discovery and CSC are training. It should be a good test of who knows the Cat 1 San Marco Pass better. If work dies down a bit I may just have to road trip down, but if not I'll have to be content with the Cat 1 climb up Sierra Road in San Jose for Stage 2.

5:11 PM | comments(0)

January 16, 2006

Tour of California update

Tour of CaliforniaAl and I went to the Tour of California Stage 2/3 route announcement at the San Jose City Hall Rotunda. There was a lot of speeches for very, very little information, but it looks like the best place to grab a spot for stage 2 will be on Sierra Rd. I've driven up Sierra Rd before and it's steep. I'm hoping to catch the riders climbing up that, then hop in my car and make it to downtown San Jose for the finish. It's hard to tell if this is possible. Despite all the speechifying about wanting lots of spectators, they didn't give out any information about estimated arrival times, instructions on when the roads would be closed off, or where the good lookout areas are.

Stage 3 is a bit easier to figure out. The riders will start on Bailey Ave and do a 17 mile loop consisting of McKean Rd, Uvas Rd, Oak Glen Ave, Willow Springs Rd, Hale Ave, and Santa Teresa Ave, ending at Los Paseos Park. I'm hoping to watch riders going up the McKean Rd. hill and then darting over to the finish line. The area is pretty darn remote (near IBM Almaden/Bernal Rd), so there may not be enough road to cut between different parts of the course.

They said to expect another big announcement in a week or so, presumably another major team that's entering. Last week, CSC announced they would be racing with Zabriskie, Julich, and Vande Velde. Gerolsteiner, Discovery, T-Mobile, Phonak, Saunier Duval-Prodir, and Lotto have also been announced, so the field already looks to be really good.

12:12 AM | comments(0)

November 22, 2005

Gain a race, lose a race

San Franscisco Grand Prix-13Q: What happens when Armstrong retires and the biggest star in your sport is no longer there to attract TV cameras?

A: The San Francisco Grand Prix is no more as the sponsor has pulled the plug.

It's hard to tell what happened as there is so much disagreement from both sides, but the facts appear to be somewhat irrelevant. Several members of SF's Board of Supervisors claimed that San Francisco Cycling hadn't paid the police bills for last year's event. San Francisco Cycling claims they received the bill one working day before the Board of Supervisors started making their charges. The same supervisors making the charges don't want the city to subsidize the costs of the annual race. Although the race is estimated to bring in $10.4 million in cycling-related tourism, some businesses are complaining that they see less business because of the closed off route. Both sides admit it was a mistake to run the race last year over the Labor Day weekend.

The SFGP was something I really looked forward to every year -- it was the driving force behind my purchase of my 70-200 camera lens. It was a chance to make what I saw on TV with the Tour de France more real. You got to see the fleet of support cars, the police clearing the streets in advance, the wind whip up as the peloton flew past, the team directors hitting the gas to slingshot their riders forward, the water bottles flying at you.

Much of that will be there for the Tour of California, but without the star power of the SFGP the scale will be much, much smaller. I love the smaller events -- there is a greater level of accessibility and less crowds to fight -- but the sports fan always wants it all.

8:05 AM | comments(1)

November 2, 2005

Tour of California

tourcalifornia.jpgThe official route for the inaugural Tour of California has been announced. The eight-day course will run from Santa Rosa all the way to Redondo Beach, with plenty of opportunity for Bay Area residents to watch some stages (Santa Rosa, Sausalito, San Jose, Monterey). They got some real big teams to sign up for this: Discovery, Gerolsteiner, Davitamon-Lotto, Phonak, Saunier Duval Prodir, T-Mobile, Health Net, and Navigators. I'm hoping that we'll at least see Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner) show up and perhaps Floyd Landis (Phonak) and Tom Danielson (Discovery). It's scheduled for early in the race calendar, February 19-26, so it might be a good warmup for ProTour riders.

9:29 PM | comments(0)