California 2009- Tour of California

2009 Tour of California and skiing at Lake Tahoe

On the 12th of February, Christoper, Kate and I jumped in my car and did a road trip to California.  We stopped in Eugene for lunch, then Mt. Shasta for an overnight at Christopher’s sister’s place.  When we woke up in the morning it had snowed…a bunch.  I had to push snow with my bumper to get out of the drive way.  I left C and K behind and headed to Sacramento for the start of the Tour of California.  I should have stuck around and skied that day, but I was REALLY geeked up to watch the race.  I had my skies, my golf clubs, my bike and my computer.  I was ready for anything.2009TOC01

I grabbed a cheap-ish hotel about a 10 minute bike trail ride from the start of the prolog.  They had bike parking, which was perfect.  So far it was working out great.  The weather was decent and I was early enough to grab a good place to stand and take photos.2009TOC02 2009TOC03

Phil Liggett being interviewed by a local reporter.2009TOC04

Paul Sherwin and Craig Hummer were very friendly.2009TOC05

Frankie Andreu2009TOC06

Bobby Julich2009TOC07

Floyd Landis- return after doping at TdF.2009TOC08

A young Mark Cavendish2009TOC09

Ivan Basso2009TOC10

Fränk Schleck2009TOC11

Tom Boonen2009TOC12

George Hincapie2009TOC13

Lance Armstrong2009TOC14

Fabian Cancellara2009TOC15

 

The next day I drove to Napa Valley to watch the second stage of the race.  Unfortunately a huge winter storm blew in and was forecast to continue for the next few days.  I made the choice to drive to Davis, California to watch the start instead of the finish in Santa Rosa.  It was great.  I was able to see a lot of the riders prior to the nasty wet, cold and rainy stage ahead.

Dave Zabriskie2009TOC16

Tom Danielson2009TOC17

Michael Rogers2009TOC18

I called my dad, who grabbed a flight and met me in Reno that night.  I drove over Donner pass through a massive blizzard.  The skiing was forecast to be awesome.  Budka set me up with a $15 hotel room.  It was great!

Heavenly Valley with Lake Tahoe in the background.2009TOCSkiing1

The Geezer!2009TOCSkiing2

Double Diamonds?  Bring it!2009TOCSkiing3

We also skied Alpine Meadows in a massive blizzard.  It was really great.  The old man flew home and I drove down to the Merced area to watch a stage roll through the mountains.

Tyler Hamilton2009TOC19

Astana and Highroad lead the peloton through the mountains.2009TOC20

Armstrong’s last TOC.2009TOC21

That evening I had my car detailed because the drive over the Sierras was incredibly dirty. Then I drove north of Sacramento to spend the night, then hammered it home the next day.  Great trip!

…to the top!