People dig the Specialized Angel

Specialized Angel-1I ended up near the Specialized Angel for two of the Tour of California stages. In all that time, I only took one photo of her when I saw an amusing moment at the top of Sierra Road. That photo: 1634 views. None of the other hundred or so photos I took at the Tour of California got half as many views. The next nearest photo in popularity? This one of Bobby J, Floyd, and DZ, which got 300 views by virtue of being posted on I told the Specialized Angel as much when I ended up near her again at the Sea Otter Classic: she's more popular than Bobby J, Floyd, and DZ combined.

She's rocketed to popularity in a very short period of time. I first saw her standing along the Coit Tower climb at the Tour of California Prologue. By the end of that short stage she had already been elevated to prime positioning at the finish line. By the end of the Tour of California she was standard montage material in the television coverage. Her popularity definitely carried over well into the Sea Otter Classic. Everyone passing by her on the course paid her homage. Riders would nod, fans would take photos with her "for the bikeshop back home," drivers in the motorcade would slow down and blow kisses.

I remember one rider that we were cheering up the climb because he had fallen way off the back. His gaze seemed locked towards the top of the climb, determined to make it, except that as he got closer, his head rotated, and rotated, and rotated, until he was looking backwards over his shoulder at the Angel on top of her van. He didn't make it back into the pack.

I took a lot more photos of her this time because who can turn down 1600 instant hits? It's ten times harder to get a crisp shot of Levi, but lazily point your camera at the Specialized Angel and suddenly everyone's viewing your photo album. Who knew a female model could be so popular? (Potential suitors: she's married)

Stairway to Heaven-1 Specialized Angel-3

Specialized Angel-Sea Otter Classic

Update: A new photo from the 2007 Tour of California. More photos in the Prologue and Stage 3 galleries.

Specialized Angel
Photo by Ken Conley

related articles: Sea Otter Classic Tour of California 2007
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