Persistence pays off bringing Tour of California to Santa Cruz

Local business owner and cycling fanatic Matt Twisselman is the Santa Cruz Local Organizing Committee for the 2009 Amgen Tour of California. He’s been trying to bring a stage to Santa Cruz since 2005 and finally succeeded for the 2009 race.

Four years after Twisselman, 49, first thought the race might roll through Santa Cruz, he’s actually going to see it happen. On Feb. 16, the 117-mile second stage of the nine-day Tour of California will begin in Sausalito and finish at the corner of Front and Cooper streets in downtown Santa Cruz. It will be one of the largest sporting events ever hosted by the city. And it may not have happened without Twisselman.

More at the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Matt Twisselman

Garmin-Chipotle cyclist Svein Tuft will compete in the Tour of California beginning this weekend. This Canadian cyclist has taken a very unusual path to professional sports:

Those who have heard the tale of Svein Tuft have wondered, could it possibly be true?

How he dropped out of school in the 10th grade, lured by the freedom of the outdoors. How he evolved into a barrel-chested woodsman with Paul Bunyan biceps. How he ventured, at 18, from his home in Canada into the wilderness on a $40 thrift-shop bike hooked to a homemade trailer.

They have learned of the way he traveled sparingly, towing only his camping gear, a sack of potatoes and his 80-pound dog, Bear. The way he drank from streams and ate beside an open fire. Or hopped trains across Canada, resting as the land flickered by.

Read more in the New York Times.

Tour of California Stage 8 passes over the summit of Palomar Mountain. If you want to see the race along Palomar Mountain Rich Kelly scouted the route and has his viewing suggestions. Several people also recommend viewing from from Mother’s Kitchen on the Palomar Summit.


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