Neat "old" building in downtown Merced
Home on the range....
Home on the range....
I have been impressed by the vegetation and scenery in this part of CA. Looks like GREAT cycling country, very Euroesque. I think I might have to come back WITH my bike, next time!
Something you never want to see, but here is Kim Kirchen (Columbia-Highroad) heading to the hospital. I've heard just a broken collarbone. Hey, I've got one of those! :(
Today's Stage, on paper, looks like it will be exciting! But compared to Le Tour de France, this whole race is pretty boring and predictable. Mind you, I said, COMPARED. Today's Stage will yet again have a breakaway go off and the leader (if he's really an overall contender) will just ride tempo and hope that another team will bring them back before the end. If a true contender is NOT wearing yellow, then today will be very active to try and shake whomever it is off their pedestal. Today's climbing Stage will probably decide who rides into Escondido with the polka dot jersey for best climber. We'll see!
Damn, I'm good! My pre-race report (above) was correct! Go here for the full race report for this Stage, but I wasn't far off. Today we had to leave the Stage start early to do some recon on connecting roads. Basically, we took two different routes to see if teams behind us could get around the peloton on them. The video is of an almost pig trail we took to see if it would help our teammates. Not sure if anyone went this way, but we had fun speeding through and checking out the countryside. Our first drop was in the small, quaint town of Mariposa. I continually have places like this change my mind of what I think of CA. It was too small for me, granted, but the surrounding area just speaks to me. If I were to live out here, I'd pic this general area to live. Somewhere east of San Fran/San Jose, close to the mountains, but with a little bit of country feel to it. The second drop was closer to the finish, but we weren't able to get to the finish to see anything this time. When I told the people around me I was from Gawja, they didn't believe me since I don't have a southern accent. But when I started talking about ya'll and over yonder, they knew I was raised in the South. Yeah c'mon! Ok, it's off to dinner at the Astana hotel next door. Ohhhhhhh, maybe I'll see Lancipants...... Whatever. Oh, I talked with local to ATL John Murphy last night at their hotel. Unfortunately he dropped out today. He said he was feeling the cumulative effects of the previous days. Damn, that sucks, he's a good kid and future sprinting star I hope.