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Following ToC Stage 3

Old 04-09-15, 02:36 PM
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snotrockets
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Following ToC Stage 3

I'd like to ride to watch stage 3 of next month's Tour of California.

I could ride to one of the climbs, wait for the race to woosh by, and go home, but it'd be more fun if I could catch the race a few time that day. I'm not fast enough to follow the pros on their route, but I don't have to follow them: I can try a shorter loop that intersects the race loop in a couple of interesting spots, hopefully getting before the caravan.

I'm new to the area, so would welcome suggestions: assume I start from Dublin's BART, and ride to catch the peloton on the 84, maybe at the sprint point?
Is there a road to ride east so I could get to one of the final climbs before the peloton does?

Suggestions (and riding partners) are very welcome.
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Old 04-09-15, 03:22 PM
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In many past years when the Tour of California came through the Tri-Valley there were ways to fairly easily take your bike and catch the riders 2 or 3 times. Not so this year.

The stage comes into the Tri-Valley on Vallecitos Road (84), cuts across the southern end of Livermore on Concannon/Tesla, and then take off up Mines Road and heads south. If you are at the sprint point, the only way to see the riders again is to hurry back towards the end of the ride, but I don’t think it is reasonable to do that on a bike, you’d have to drive somewhere. If definitely won't work to ride, because almost right after the sprint point, they start heading southish to ride for a long time before heading westish to climb Hamilton.

The only plan I have heard of that seems to make some sense for seeing the riders go by more than once without a car involved is someone I know who is planning to watch the riders come by at the top of the Calaveras wall, and then ride to see the final KOM on Quimby Road, but he lives in Milpitas so doesn’t need to take BART or drive anywhere. Fremont would be the closest BART station to do that, but you’d probably need a nice early start to get to the top of the Calaveras wall before they won’t let you up.
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Old 04-09-15, 03:42 PM
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How soon before the caravan do they clear the road?
Maybe it's my search-fu, but I can't find times on the race site (My experience with some european races is that they close for cars at least a few hours ahead, but they only close the road for bikes a few minutes before the caravan)
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Old 04-09-15, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by snotrockets View Post
How soon before the caravan do they clear the road?
Maybe it's my search-fu, but I can't find times on the race site (My experience with some european races is that they close for cars at least a few hours ahead, but they only close the road for bikes a few minutes before the caravan)
They won't publish the predicted times until later - IIRC, the doc is called PRESS or similar, in the same sidebar as the profile and map PDFs. They'll clear cars off a couple hours early and the goons come by about 10 minutes ahead of the race to get fans off the road.
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Old 05-04-15, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by snotrockets View Post
Maybe it's my search-fu, but I can't find times on the race site
OK, timetables are up now - in the sections about each individual stage there's map, profile, and timetable PDFs.

I got invited to go up Mines road with a buddy so I'll probably be near the first KOM trying to get on TV... and probably failing like every other year.

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Old 05-05-15, 01:01 PM
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Geez, Scott, you already own a whole mountain. Now you want international TV exposure, too? Don't be greedy.
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Old 05-12-15, 03:41 PM
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No helicopters, no race motocam, and no interest from the press photogs. Still a fun little adventure. I've seen at least one stage of all 10 ATOCs

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Old 05-12-15, 05:15 PM
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I missed it for the first time since the race started 10 years ago. I was planning to go on Mines Rd. but work issues prevented me from joining the fun.
Glad you made it DiabloScott.

At least I saw the live coverage online, they only started when the leader was almost at the top of Hamilton. So DiabloScott international coverage. :-(
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Old 05-12-15, 05:38 PM
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There was definitely a different kind of crowd on Mines than on Diablo... not many folks ready willing and able to take time off from work, so lots of retired guys.

And it was damn windy!

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Old 05-12-15, 06:44 PM
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After a 35-mile ride from Moraga, I was at the Calaveras/680/84 junction at 11:00 AM (around mile 18), and after about a 30-minute wait, it was 15 seconds of pure chaos as they flew by. I wish they would show more of the early parts of the race on TV as it seems really important how these breakaways get started. There was a 4-man break with a short gap (no idea who they were as they flew by so fast), and then another bunch of riders came flying out of the group from the right-hand side of the road, it seems trying to catch them. And then there were probably a dozen stragglers who must have had some issues on that first climb, and they were just hanging behind the team cars by mere inches as the whole entourage flew by probably at 35 MPH.

And then they were gone.

And the few spectators (probably no more than a half a dozen at my location) got back on their bikes, or back in their cars, and we all went home or back to work.
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Old 05-12-15, 09:05 PM
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I think I've seen a stage of every race starting with a time trial in SF.
I was in Sacramento this year. It was fun, but no where near as wonderful as being on Diablo.

Today's stage 3 on TV rocked. I so wish I could have seen it live.

Here's 14 seconds of the womens race in Sacramento. It's kinda cool.
https://youtu.be/WnFGLlj9KWQ
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Old 05-12-15, 09:07 PM
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I agree about showing the early parts of the race. I really wanted to see them ride across teh Rio Vista Bridge in stage 1, even if it was just a highlight on the evening coverage.
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Old 05-13-15, 04:49 PM
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Since my wife was along (she's a non-rider, at least not on roads with traffic), I picked a spot we could easily access by walking: the intermediate sprint just outside Livermore. The break was a couple minutes ahead at that point, so there was fun little mini-sprint, followed by the entire peloton blowing through looking like it was just another day at the office. This was my wife's first in-person bike race experience, and she really enjoyed the color and the pageantry from the first moto to pounding on the barriers to make noise to the final "End of Caravan" CHP car. A good day.
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Old 05-13-15, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
There was definitely a different kind of crowd on Mines than on Diablo... not many folks ready willing and able to take time off from work, so lots of retired guys.

And it was damn windy!

Some of us did! Made an excellent lunch ride. Made it up to the first KoM. Man, the peloton flew passed that KoM point.
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