The actual course routes for the Tour of California have been announced. I gave it a quick scan and I can give you the great spectator spots to check out the race.
Prologue: Same as last year. Get on Telegraph Hill as close to the top as possible. But don’t stand behind the finish line like some people did. Photographers will be blocking your view and all you’ll see is the back of my head. You can yell at me all you like and I’m still not going to move!
Stage One: Get up to
Stage Two: This is a new course, so I don’t have any first hand knowledge. According to the course description 12 miles into the stage there is a good climb, which gives you the opportunity to watch the riders suffer going over the top. Then jump into your rental and drive to Sacramento to watch the peloton do three laps downtown. At least that’s what we are going to do.
Stage Three: This stage is a combination of a new route and old. After rolling through Tracy and Livermore it hits the most difficult climb of the race, the Category One Sierra Road climb in
Stage Four: This is a beautiful stage. However, as a spectator I think the best spot is to go to the finish and watch the field sprint. The course, while the longest of the race, isn’t tough enough to blow things apart. If you decide to sit on one of the climbs, like we did last year, all you’ll see is the group come flying by. See the start and then drive directly to
Stage Five: This new time trial stage starts and ends in Solvang. As a spectator it’s cool to see the riders warming up and maybe grab an autograph. Then go to the short steep hill and watch them suffer. To get around on the course bring your hiking boots or your bike.
Stage Six: This is a tough stage. Go see the action unfold on the last climb of the day,
Stage Seven: This is a stage I’m personally excited about. As a resident of
The best spots to watch: the finish line on
The big question; will Floyd Landis be racing in February? I hope so and I plan on asking him that question very soon.
What to bring as a spectator:
1. Plenty of water
2. Snacks (granola, Red Vines, beef jerky are the best)
3. Sun tan lotion. I learned that lesson the hard way.
4. Latest issue of ROAD Magazine because you’ll have plenty of downtime to read. Also, pros love to autograph the huge pictures of themselves.
Get the full scoop at the official Tour of California site.