The night before stage 1, I could hear the howling winds from my hotel window. This served as an omen, and all I could think about was that I would get cold cold and more cold. So went ahead and suited up with my rain pants, one layer undershirt (short sleeves), two layers of long sleeves, a fleece jacket, and a rain jacket on top of that. I felt like the little kid in “A Christmas Story” … the smaller kid, who was bundled up in so many layers, he could not move his arms … very funny movie if you haven’t seen it already.
The first drop off point was in Davis, where we got supplies, like food, drinks, batteries (for the radio). One of the other crew members observed some people were there a loooong time …
They had a cool Merry Go-Round powered by a cycling machine. Oh, I soooo wanted to power that, but I was working … 😦
Anyhow, we got to our first drop off after the first two laps of the circuit at the beginning of Davis. I pretty much was a human barrier. At first, CHP instructed us not to let anyone cross the street, as they were closing off the route. They also mentioned no one can be on the middle island … then what happens???? 30 minutes later, they allow people to cross the street, and just as the pelaton approached, they let people scurry to the islands. It was funny, like seeing a mass sprint from one side of the street to the middle. And just to think this was completely all planned out, but in actuality, the CHP didn’t know exactly what to do. And throughout all of this, it was raining, and I was getting wet.
Lynn saw me on her rounds, and took a picture of me. Ok, you can stop laughing now…
Second drop off point was the descent through Deer Point, which was after the KOM at Lake Berryessa. It was continuous rain at that point, and yes, getting more wet. I was kicking myself, as I didn’t bring my umbrella with me … was still stuck in the van. I was getting wet and cold, and the pack was at least 1 hour away. So I just had to stand out there getting soaked. Not many people at that location, as it was fairly remote, but had company of 2 CHP’s nearby. Mancebo was up ahead, but he was not going down into a tight tuck. It seemed like he was on a leisure Sunday ride, not the lead of the Tour of Ca. He did have a fairly large lead over the rest of the pack.
We had to now race to beat the lead rider back into Santa Rosa. We had made it just in time (about 15 minutes ahead), and prepared for the riders into town. At this point, once they made it into town, they would do 3 circuit laps. However, the circuit lap and the route into town could overlap, so there was a good chance that some that didn’t make it in time would overlap. Well, this caused mass confusion, and when the slower pack came through, we had to tell the to STOP!!! Yes, a pack of about 40-50 riders suddenly put on the brakes, and the numbers were jotted down, with all of them finishing with the same time. No circuit racing for them for today. The riders were actually relieved that it was over though. This was one tough, cold, painful stage. And the rest of the Course Marshalls were wet and tired, including myself. First thing after checking into the hotel???? Nice hot shower.