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Old 05-05-14, 03:06 PM   #1
DiabloScott
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Stage 3 Mount Diablo - Any Viewing Suggestions?

Heck yeah... I'll be in the Summit VIP tent hobnobbing with podium girls and slamming down Michelob Ultras.







Thanks to Diablo Wife for the birthday present.
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Old 05-05-14, 08:04 PM   #2
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Nice, that sounds like fun. The podium girl on the left has been around for most of the ATOC editions, and man she's hot! You'll have to get a picture .

I'm sure they are going to halt all the riff raff at the same place they did last year...don't want us freeloading on the Michelob Ultra lol! I'll be wearing my King Leopold NetApp jersey, hope to get some TV time this year...we got a flash last year.

Anywhere along the ~mile and a half stretch b/w Juniper and Devil's Elbow will probably be the best viewing. Steepest sustained stretch of the mountain and likely where the decisive move for the KOM will be made. A little ways up from the gate past Juniper are good spots because you can also see back down the mountain quite a ways. For fun, I'll pick Acevedo this year FTW.
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Old 05-05-14, 11:49 PM   #3
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It is only right and fitting you be there. Congrats to Diablo Wife on the perfect present for you.

I shall be lower down with the lesser folk.
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Old 05-06-14, 07:39 AM   #4
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I'm sure they are going to halt all the riff raff at the same place they did last year...

For fun, I'll pick Acevedo this year FTW.
This year I think they're stopping bikes at Muir, about a mile below the Elbow, so the hike to the Summit will be a bit longer.

The shuttles for VIP passes and staff are staging at Turtle Rock Ranch, so I'm riding my bike to there, parking it and then beginning the hospitality experience.

I'd like to see Konig win again - he could be as famous for winning the Diablo stage as Sagan is for winning Amgen sprints. But Acevedo for overall is a good pick. It would probably be bad manners to chalk "FUTJ" on the road.
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Old 05-06-14, 09:52 AM   #5
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Heck yeah... I'll be in the Summit VIP tent hobnobbing with podium girls and slamming down Michelob Ultras.

Just make sure the podium girls don't miss the podium ceremony!


Not sure where I will be. Last time I was riding on Diablo was at last year race. It was fun sitting right in Devil's Elbow apex with the riders turning around me. Will try to find a spot with multiple photo angles this year. If the legs are up to it, it might be above the junction or above Juniper.



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Old 05-06-14, 08:56 PM   #6
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This year I think they're stopping bikes at Muir, about a mile below the Elbow, so the hike to the Summit will be a bit longer.

The shuttles for VIP passes and staff are staging at Turtle Rock Ranch, so I'm riding my bike to there, parking it and then beginning the hospitality experience.

I'd like to see Konig win again - he could be as famous for winning the Diablo stage as Sagan is for winning Amgen sprints. But Acevedo for overall is a good pick. It would probably be bad manners to chalk "FUTJ" on the road.
Sorry Mr. Diablo, where is Muir? Is that a picnic area? If so, is that the one on the left kinda just below that area with like 3 or 4 utility poles (about halfway between Juniper and Devils Elbow)? Why are they stopping us lower down the road?

Have you been up there lately? Does the park have signs up yet? I remember last year there were a few barricades set up with some signage explaining details of the logistics. Wonder what time they will close the park this year...

Also, I'm picking Acevedo for the stage, not the overall . Weather looks to be upper 80's, maybe even low 90's (yikes!). I think the Columbian will do better in that kind of heat over the softie Euros
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Old 05-06-14, 09:45 PM   #7
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Oops...oh well, looks like Konig is out this year. Bummer!

NetApp-Endura Looking For More Californian Sucess | Cyclingnews.com
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Old 05-06-14, 10:24 PM   #8
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Sorry Mr. Diablo, where is Muir? Is that a picnic area? If so, is that the one on the left kinda just below that area with like 3 or 4 utility poles (about halfway between Juniper and Devils Elbow)? Why are they stopping us lower down the road?

Have you been up there lately? Does the park have signs up yet? I remember last year there were a few barricades set up with some signage explaining details of the logistics. Wonder what time they will close the park this year...

Also, I'm picking Acevedo for the stage, not the overall . Weather looks to be upper 80's, maybe even low 90's (yikes!). I think the Columbian will do better in that kind of heat over the softie Euros
Yes, Muir is the picnic area near the four poles; it's actually a pretty big loop of road back there leading to several picnic sites and some neat views. I can only guess that last year they either had some kind of problem with bike parking at Devil's Elbow or else they wanted fewer people on the Summit Wall and figured this would spread things out more.

They have similar signs to last year - with directions on where parking would be allowed, what time the race is estimated to arrive, etc. No barricades or anything like that.

Too bad about Konig... OK, Chad Haga then.
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Old 05-06-14, 11:37 PM   #9
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I arrive a bit late last year and got stopped at Muir. They had a barrier preventing all bikes to go further. I hiked to Devil's Elbow and was amazed to see hundreds of parked bikes where the trail crosses the road below the elbow.
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Old 05-07-14, 12:05 AM   #10
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Sadly, I won't be able to make it up Diablo this year. I can't get off work

Last year we watched from the steep section below Juniper.
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Old 05-07-14, 12:17 PM   #11
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I arrive a bit late last year and got stopped at Muir. They had a barrier preventing all bikes to go further. I hiked to Devil's Elbow and was amazed to see hundreds of parked bikes where the trail crosses the road below the elbow.
That was the plan all along last year - valet bike parking at Devil's Elbow and then anyone could hike above there.

Word is that there's a lot of poison oak on the trail at the elbow this year, maybe that's why they moved the bike parking spot.
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Old 05-08-14, 11:41 AM   #12
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Rode up last night, found a good spot for viewing. A few turns below Muir, it has at least a peek at sections of the road below, and plenty of road to see right below and above where we will be. Also, I think it will have some shade by the afternoon, good if it's in the 90's. Looks like we may be on the cusp of a heatwave, NOAA is saying around Wednesday, some spots could be over 100...but Tuesday may still be ok.

I can completely believe it about the poison oak. There is still a lot of green up there, and very nice flower displays, even on the sides of the road. The poison oak I do see looks VERY oily and nasty.

Didn't see any signs, but I didn't stop at the Jx on the way up or down, if that's where they were. Nothing up top.
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Old 05-08-14, 11:30 PM   #13
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Didn't see any signs, but I didn't stop at the Jx on the way up or down, if that's where they were. Nothing up top.
Where to park, what to bring, what not to do, blah blah blah.
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Old 05-13-14, 08:57 PM   #14
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Just got back...long day! They were behind schedule, so it made for a longer day than we thought. Overall, it was a good time, thankfully we found a spot of shade near one of the dead trees above Juniper. It didn't feel as lively though, compared to last year, and there weren't as many people as there were last year. Probably a combination of heat and a midweek stage. My camera died right as Tom Boonen was leading up the autobus, oh well. Got some good pics of Wiggins stomping out a brutal rhythm though...he was impressive. Funniest thing was one of the domestic team riders toward the back took a can of beer from some guy on the side of the road, cracked it, and downed a big gulp. Crowd went nuts haha!

So who else was up there, what was everyone's experience? I'm not surprised they left the water on, they would have had people lying on the side of the road in that heat if there was no water. I gotta ask DiabloScott how it was up top? Were you bombarded by the hordes of flying earwigs? They were awful around Juniper, and only slightly better where we ended up at about 2.5K to go.

I hope they make it a yearly ride up there, but I'm not sure...it was pretty hot and it didn't seem like the crowd was nearly as big. The logistics of riding in that area make it a pain the butt too. I'm guessing they go back to a "through ride" coming up to the junction and finishing elsewhere.

Oh yeah, almost forgot, saw Dave Brailsford of Sky getting his bike out at some anonymous spot on the side of Diablo Road and then passing us later on up the mountain. He's pretty fast and looks fit.

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Old 05-13-14, 09:14 PM   #15
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Yeah, earwigs were everywhere.

Oh... there was a bike race?

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Old 05-13-14, 10:12 PM   #16
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I was also just above Juniper. Saw bikeshearer on the way up. Apparently I missed lanceoldstrong at Rock City, I checked as that's where I saw him last year but no one I could recognize.
Last time I went up the mountain was last year for the same race so I had no expectation on how high I would climb. I took it easy but darn it was hot. Anyway I enjoyed the ride, Diablo is so beautiful. The curve just above Juniper sounded perfect for shooting with different options.

Many riders were still going up further, some quite colorful:


We first saw the racers on the ramp way below. Last year this place was packed, not so much this year on a weekday:


When they emerged at the 'leg breaker' section Wiggins was leading tempo a group of a dozen riders:


He was still leading below Juniper:


But Carter Jones (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Startegies) launched an attack past Juniper:


Wiggo and the other contenders were not far though:


Wiggo looked easy and impressive, fully in control:


Eventual stage winner Rohan Dennis was in the middle of the group, Acevedo at his side:


Daniel Alexander Jaramillo Diez (Jamis) was definitely in pain:


Some from the escape group started to fall off the pace and went into easy mode to the top:

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Old 05-13-14, 10:17 PM   #17
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From there on it was a study in pain and survival:


















Some local riders happy to see friends and family:
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Old 05-13-14, 10:31 PM   #18
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Finally the groupetto arrived with some familiar faces such as Thor Hushovd and Taylor Phinney leading the pack:






They were followed by the Bus with Freddy Rodriguez and Tom Boonen:


As well as KOM leader William Routley (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies):


A photographer was having fun with us:


And the Red Lantern candidates passed by:




With the Broom Wagon on the ready:


I was expecting the racers to go down the mountain later but it never happened, they were all driven down on cars and vans. The Devil himself eventually made it down though:

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Old 05-13-14, 10:38 PM   #19
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Tricia and I were up just past teh junction, in a wonderful shady spot with s group of cyclists from Lithuania with cool jerseys who shared wine with us.

You shot great photos! I didn't do as well, but here's one...

Amgen Tour of California stage 3 diablo 2014 a by ccorlew, on Flickr
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Old 05-13-14, 10:56 PM   #20
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Old Jensie telling his legs to shut up. Love it!

I passed a woman with 'Shut up, legs' tattooed on both calves. Priceless.
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Old 05-14-14, 08:15 AM   #21
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Old 05-14-14, 08:53 AM   #22
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Cccorlew, that is one of the best pictures of Jens Voigt I have ever seen, professional or otherwise. I would seriously encourage you to send it to him.
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Old 05-14-14, 12:50 PM   #23
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I spent the race with my friend Carl just a little above Rock City in the shade at the 10km sign. No photos - I let Carl do that and I just enjoyed the moment. Our original plan had been to go up to Juniper or thereabouts, but the temps changed our minds for us.

Wiggins hadn't taken over the pace-making yet when the then-chase group passed (the breakaway was down to three), be he certainly looked to be in full control. And, once again, I was treated to the spectacle of the pros climbing faster than I go on the flats.

I did see LanceOldstrong and his Dad comfortably sitting in the shade at Rock City. Well, more accurately, Lance saw me and hollered out. Earlier, I was passed at the bottom between Athenian School and the first entry gate (not the first ranger station) by hueyhoolihan, making his way up on his single-speed. Notice that he passed me, I did not pass him. In fact, in keeping with my climbing prowess, I don't think I passed anyone who wasn't stopped at the side of the road. (Hey, I don't have to get there fast, I just have to get there. ) Gpelpel spotted me resting in the shade at my final destination. He claimed not to have even 100 miles in this year, but he sure looked fit and strong to me.

It was a fun day on the Mountain. It sure beat working.
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Old 05-14-14, 12:56 PM   #24
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Old 05-14-14, 11:04 PM   #25
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I got my short blog post up with a few more photos
Curtis Corlew in Bicycle Land: Amgen Tour of California Stage 3 Mt. Diablo 2014

I've enjoyed returning here several times to enjoy gpelpel's wonderful shots. Wow. I'm, so impressed (and I'm pretty grumpy)
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