The folks over at SoCalCycling.com have given us this great preview of the Queen stage climb up to the Mt. Baldy ski area. Just a heads up – it gives you a great feel for the gradient and switchbacks (especially towards the end of the climb) but if you don’t like watching a lone rider climb an empty road for 20 minutes then fast forward to the end (watch the switchbacks!) where Michael Smith Larsen discusses the climb (at 22:30min). Can’t wait ’til next week when this road is filled with thousands of crazed fans! Head over to the Tour of California and SoCalCycling for daily reports and insight.
On a personal note, for years I’ve watched coverage of races from the other side of the world and have wondered how cool it would be to live and ride in the area where epic races take place. I’ve been envious of riders in places like France, Belgium, and Italy that ride their local training routes week in and week out then once or twice a year, have those same roads close as the best in the business come rolling through. This is one of the highlights of the TOC for cyclists in California. Seeing pros fly up our local, training climbs and cheering them on is just pure fun! We’ll be heading up to Lake Tahoe next weekend to ride around the Lake and watch Stages 1 and 2 from the side of the road.
The Tour of California airs on Versus all next week.
The Giro d’Italia began Saturday with a team time trial that saw HTC-High Road take the win. Yesterday’s stage ended in a sprint with 37 year old Alessandro Petacchi edging out Mark Cavendish. There are always fireworks when the big sprinters come out and play and yesterday was no exception. Cavendish insisted that Petacchi moved over on him 3 times in the final burst to the line. You can see the press conference and read all about it HERE. Even so, Cav’s finish put him in the pink jersey so not all was lost.
The Giro d’Italia airs on Universal Sports all month.