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Tour of California - Fan Report Stages 1 & 2
By Staff
Date: 2/21/2007
Tour of California - Fan Report Stages 1 & 2

Fan Report: Amgen Tour of California Stages 1 & 2

By Lyne Lamoureux

As a cycling fan, I am privileged to live in California and have access to the stages of the Amgen Tour of California. My goal is to commune with other cycling fans, share our love of this sport with each other and hopefully introduce this amazing event to others, and share some of the sights with everyone.

On Monday morning, bright and early, we made our way to the beautiful town of Sausalito just north of San Francisco, to view the riders up close at the team parking. The crew was still setting up the start line, the announcers just showing up, and everyone excited about this great race.

The Tour of California Photo c. Lyne Lamoureux

The team caravans were just starting to roll in and get situated, and I joined the crowd next to the QuickStep caravan to get a good look at World Champion Paolo Bettini. I must admit that lust took over for a few seconds while looking at the beautiful bikes that were being set out by the mechanics.

Fans of all ages and background were milling around, from future champions, and a mature lady who was impatiently waiting for Bettini to show up as she knew his family in Italy.

After 20 minutes or so, we were rewarded by Il Grillo signing anything that was put in front of him. Fans everywhere were getting autographs from Fabian Wegman, to Aaron Olsen and just enjoying the day.

Time to make our way to the course as the riders were just called to the start and they're off. And so are we, racing (while following the speed limit of course) to the town of Santa Rosa for the finish. We decided to avoid the massive crowd at the finish line and positioned ourselves at the last turn before the finish line to try and get some good photos. As all cycling fans know, patience must be developed by all, so we bid our time and get to know our neighbors on the sidewalk.

The folks around us were Santa Rosa residents, not that familiar with the sport but embracing it and supporting it. Finally, the first police escorts show up and with an estimated crowd of 250 fans at our corner, we start making noise.

At the first lap, the magenta boys are driving the peloton around but everything is in shambles by the second lap. We don't know who is leading and who is being lapped, obviously an incident happened.

Tosatto showed us the magnitude of the crash with his wounds.

So we make our way to the cars, ask the fans at the finish line for info on the final podium and get ready for tomorrow.

Another early morning for Tuesday in Santa Rosa, to meet more fans waiting for their favorites and showing their colors, from fans of Levi to Credit Agricole, to Toyota-United, everyone is getting a chance to meet their cycling favorites.

Such as Alan, from the Lake Country, with his RAGT cap. He has raced in this cap, worn it to races, climbed humongous mountains in it, been off the back with it and wants Christophe Laurent from Credit Agricole to autograph it.

Next up, the CSC Fans intermezzo, but that's another story.


All photos copyright Lyne Lemoureaux

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