Tour Of California Stage 6

Title: TOC Stg 6
Location: Palmdale to Big Bear Lake Finish
Date: 2012-5-18

While not technically in the OC, how often can you ride to -not 1 – but 3(!) chances to witness the world’s top riders competing in your own backyard – so to speak.
Yes, the Amgen Tour of California is back to SoCal!

If you can afford to play hooky, or get the day off, here’s a real treat to see some of the best racers compete on the same roads you train on – Awesome!

How funny is it that this stage is happening on the National Ride to Work Day?

Which brings up this curious factoid; a commuter rides their bike to work to get paid, while a pro gets paid to get on their bike and work!

Amgen Tour of California
Miles: 115.7 KM: 186.3
Big Bear Lake is back on the race map, challenging riders to face a daunting Stage 6, which will feature the first of the race’s “Daily Double”: Big Bear Climb and Mt. Baldy. If the 2010 route was a killer, this slightly toned down route will be a crusher because following it is the 2011 mind numbing Stage 7 with its 2 KOMs, and a Sprint.  Not to mention of course, the excruciating pain (for us mortals) of the switchbacks on the last mile to the finish.

Stage 6 will be all about strategy as the riders will still be feeling the sting
of the Bakersfield Time Trial from the day before. Will riders leave it all on
the mountain climbs on Friday in hopes they can survive the brutal ascent to Mt. Baldy on Saturday? Or will they match the move of their nearest rivals and let Mt. Baldy decide the ultimate winner of the Amgen Leader Jersey? Or will there be a standout star that is capable of attacking both the Big Bear Climb and Mt. Baldy?

Tour Of California Stage 7

Title:  TOC Stg7
Location: Ontario to Mt. Baldy
Date: 2012-5-19

Amgen Tour of California
Miles: 78.3 KM: 126.0
If the Stage 6 climb to Big Bear Lake created some separation between the contenders and the chasers, Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California will be the ultimate test of the rider’s resolve to capture the Amgen Leader Jersey. Did they leave it all on the roads to the Big Bear Climb, or did they hold back enough to survive one of the most difficult stages in the history of bicycle racing in the United States?

It’s been called the “Queen’s Stage” and compared to the epic stages of the European Grand Tours – a return to the mountain top finish that thrilled so many during Stage 7 of the 2011 race.  This is the training ground for many of the local racers in southern California, but only a handful have done the entire route, and none have done it after six days of racing more than 750 miles.

This will be the stage where legends are made and winners are decided.

The unknown spectator at KOM2

These guys are scary fast crossing KOM2, (must-get-faster-camera)!

KOM2 GMR 2011

Get yer cowbells ready!

Distraction on the course. Who's #1?