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Old 12-01-06, 06:32 PM   #1
Gee3
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Best place to watch the Tour of Calif?

This will be my first pro event and I was wondering if anyone knew of the good places to watch the first day and where a good place to catch the riders for autographs would be? Will there be a manufacturers midway? swap meet? souvenir stands? etc?

Like I said, I've never been to one of these so I have no clue what to expect.

Thanks for any help/tips you can give.

Gary
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Old 12-01-06, 09:38 PM   #2
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Has the route been announced yet? Until that is known, I couldn't begin to tell you.
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Old 12-01-06, 10:20 PM   #3
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In Santa Rosa we have learned some of the route for the first day. Sausalito over to the coast and up through Bodega Bay. Then just over a mile north of Bodega Bay it makes a sharp right turn onto Coleman Valley Road and makes a very steep and twisted climb into the Coast Range. Get there early as this segment will be a local Alpe Du Huez. Some of our local fans will camp out. KOM points here.

As for the rest of it After the Peloton passes you go back down the hill to Bodega Bay. on down Hwy 1, left on Hwy 12 thru Bodega and Sebastopol to Santa Rosa. You just might beat the race into town. Booths and shows in town. Chances to meet riders and teams. Reserve sleeping space now, before Christmas if you can as you also get to see the race take off from here in the morning on its way to Sacramento. I am willing to bet it will go up the Trinity Grade then down the Oakville Grade into Napa County. Skip the start and find a good watching point for the climb or the descent into Oakville.

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Old 12-01-06, 11:22 PM   #4
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Well, looking at the map it looks like maybe they'll race from Stockton to San Jose via Mt. Hamilton. Sounds like a good excuse to climb Mt. Ham in February and spectate around the observatory.
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Old 12-02-06, 12:14 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SteveE
Has the route been announced yet? Until that is known, I couldn't begin to tell you.
Linkage to the race/route info (Well, where it will be published...)

Hanging out near the finish line during and after the San Francisco prologue is probably a good idea. I know that a few of the riders after the San Francisco Grand Prix came out and signed autographs for fans and what not. Being as this is a stage race, I am not entirely sure how long they'll be just hanging out.
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Old 12-04-06, 06:58 PM   #6
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Linkage to the race/route info (Well, where it will be published...)

Hanging out near the finish line during and after the San Francisco prologue is probably a good idea. I know that a few of the riders after the San Francisco Grand Prix came out and signed autographs for fans and what not. Being as this is a stage race, I am not entirely sure how long they'll be just hanging out.
Last year Telegraph Hill was great viewing. I started at the start line and walked the course as the race was going on, ending up at the finish as the last riders were coming through. I found out that Levi had won the stage from Johan Bruyneel...

Also, downtown Santa Rosa was packed with people. Good place to check things out. I've gotten emails from AEG that the race is going over Trinity and past Lake Berryessa for the stage into Sac. Davis will have a big turnout, and Highway 128 would be fun to watch the peloton race by (the dam, the top of Cardiac, maybe Lynch Canyon for some isolation).
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Old 12-04-06, 07:02 PM   #7
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I'll probably watch the finish line sprint here at the Capitol.
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Old 12-05-06, 10:44 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for the great info so far! I'll probably try and catch the finish line on the Prologue since I'll be dragging my wife along. But I'll see if I can catch some of Sunday's action too.

Gary
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Old 12-07-06, 01:30 PM   #9
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I watched 2 stages last year: the Telegraph Hill time trial and the Sierra Road climb on the way to San Jose. Time trials and mountains are a great way to see the riders individually. They closed Sierra Road to cars hours before the racers arrived, but allowed bikes until just 15 minutes ahead of the pack. You need to arrive early to find a good viewing spot, because the road gets crowded near the top.

Sierra Road is steep; maybe 4 miles at 10% average grade. You can really appreciate the race pace after you've just climbed the hill yourself. The back of the pack wasn't moving much faster than I was, though
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Old 12-07-06, 06:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveE
Well, looking at the map it looks like maybe they'll race from Stockton to San Jose via Mt. Hamilton. Sounds like a good excuse to climb Mt. Ham in February and spectate around the observatory.
Sorry, no Mt. Hamilton - I was hoping for that, too, with an approach up Del Puerto Canyon from the town of Patterson. The 3rd stage will instead go over Patterson Pass Road from Tracy to Livermore, then head to Sunol and hook into last year's route along Calaveras Road, up and over Cat-1 Sierra Rd., and on into San Jose.

As for spectating, the top of Patterson Pass Road will be absolutely killer. The Tracy side of that road is bare-naked devoid of trees, and there is the Mother of All false Summits (trust me, it has broken the heart of more than one cyclist - me very much included) about a half mile or so before the real summit. The combination means that you can see about a half-mile of serious climbing action from pretty much anywhere along that half-mile or so stretch of road.

But shhhhhh - we don't want absolutely everyone to know about this, do we? And bring your bike and ride up - the road is narrow (especially on the eastern, Tracy side) and parking will be non-existent. That is no exageration.
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Old 12-07-06, 10:20 PM   #11
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...there is the Mother of All false Summits (trust me, it has broken the heart of more than one cyclist - me very much included) about a half mile or so before the real summit.
So I've heard. Especially when the winds kicks up!
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Old 12-07-06, 10:51 PM   #12
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Pier 39!

but no, seriously, i don't know.
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Old 12-08-06, 03:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
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So I've heard. Especially when the winds kicks up!
It's all true. Horribly, unfathomably true.
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Old 12-12-06, 01:37 PM   #14
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Two sprints on the stage into Sacramento will occur in Winters and Davis. I'm still debating but will probably hit the Davis sprint-it's at 3rd and F Street, the finish line for the 4th of July Davis crit, across the street from my lbs and a very decent outdoor restaurant.
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Old 12-12-06, 01:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rushfan
Two sprints on the stage into Sacramento will occur in Winters and Davis. I'm still debating but will probably hit the Davis sprint-it's at 3rd and F Street, the finish line for the 4th of July Davis crit, across the street from my lbs and a very decent outdoor restaurant.
Oh, sweet!
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Old 12-13-06, 04:34 PM   #16
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Downtown Santa Rosa was great last year - I hung out and checked the vendor booths, live music etc at Old Courthouse Square (3rd st at Santa Rosa Ave) then mosied over to Railroad Square and watched them up close as they passed by 3 times. Was a great day!
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Old 12-23-06, 07:18 PM   #17
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Odds are 19 to 1 that I will e a course marshall going into/leaving Santa Rosa for the race. When I know more I'll leave a note.
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Old 12-23-06, 10:08 PM   #18
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Odds are 19 to 1 that I will e a course marshall going into/leaving Santa Rosa for the race. When I know more I'll leave a note.
Awesome!

I remember I worked as a course marshal during the SF Grand Prix.
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Old 01-03-07, 06:30 PM   #19
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Consider being a course marshall (and a few other jobs) yourself. I got a long sleeved lime yellow Volnteer t-shirt. Go to the Amgen TdC site for details.
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Old 01-04-07, 02:20 PM   #20
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Cool! I may look into that.

But if I can't do that the only day I'll have to watch is during the Prologue. I may have to check it from the start or somewhere along the Embarcadero since Coit Tower and the road leading up to it are crazy, even when no event is going on.

Thanks again everyone!
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Old 01-04-07, 02:32 PM   #21
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Consider being a course marshall (and a few other jobs) yourself. I got a long sleeved lime yellow Volnteer t-shirt. Go to the Amgen TdC site for details.
I marshaled at prologue last year. At the corner right where motorcycles turned off to ride back. Wasn't able to see most of it. Debating if I should do it again this year or not.
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Old 01-09-07, 12:52 AM   #22
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SOLVANG - Stage 5 - Individual Time Trial!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gee3
This will be my first pro event and I was wondering if anyone knew of the good places to watch the first day and where a good place to catch the riders for autographs would be? Will there be a manufacturers midway? swap meet? souvenir stands? etc?
The Best place? Come to Solvang for the Stage 5 Individual Time Trials on Friday, Feb. 23rd! The riders are here all day. The ITT starts at 11 am and runs to about 2:30. Afterwards, all riders will hang out here in town until they leave the next morning for the Santa Barbara start of Stage 6. There will be an "Autograph Alley" featuring all the riders, all teams will stay here in town, the Amgen Lifestyle Festival is here, setting up in the wee hours on the 23rd. It's going to be very special as compared to all the other start/finish towns. Want access to all riders, wrenches, managers, VS TV personalities and the world press from 24 foreign countries? Oh! There's a HUGE Gala event the night of the 23rd that will be very classy with prizes, riders, and lots of surprises. Solvang is the place! Period.
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