MONSTER crowds of enthusiasts and the curious gathered on Berryessa Road to watch the Stage 3 start of the Amgen Tour of California in San Jose this morning.
My random notes and observations:
- It was wonderful to see all of the children who came out to watch with their teachers from the nearby elementary school. The little tykes got into it, cheering anybody and everybody they saw on a bike.
- The city of San Jose provided a bike valet service. In the past this was always provided by volunteers from the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.
- Jens Voigt is absolutely adorable in person.
- George Hincapie and Freddie Rodriguez have a huge fan base in California.
- Colombians showed up in force to support their Colombia-Coldeportes. I saw people waving the yellow, blue and red tricolor of their country.
- A certain American component company won’t like to hear this, but I saw electronic shifters probably most of the bikes in the pro peloton today. I’m told Rory Sutherland is running 2012 Red, but I didn’t see him this morning. Omega Pharma Quickstep are supposed to be SRAM equipped, but the start line was getting chaotic by the time they checked in so I didn’t get a look at their bikes. Just about everybody else had a battery pack.
- It’s a good idea to ensure you have a fully charged camera battery before you show up at a bike race.
Below is my raw video (1:34) of the race start on Berryessa Road. The Radio Shack Tour Tracker is showing live video from the race right now.