I woke up this morning around 6 am, and I could look out my hotel room, and see a medium intensity rain falling. It was not light, and not heavy, but a constant rain. That spelled bad news to start the day. Much to my surprise, after having breakfast, and while waiting to board the van, I saw that the rain had stopped. Woohoo! There was even a rainbow to be found:
We headed over to downtown, where the race would start. Our usual routine is to get supplies, including lunch, drinks, batteries, etc … Usually, they would have various booths set up, but I could hardly see anything displayed here. No special vendor setup, and it just seemed like no life to the start of this stage. At least at Davis, there was an excitement in the air, despite being under a downpour of rain. But in San Jose, there was no such excitement.
Since it was a much later start today (12 PM), a bunch of the team needed to send packages back home. I probably should have thought of sending a bunch of extra t-shirts back via mail too, but didn’t really think about it. They gave us lots of t-shirts, but I figure I’ll take care of those after I get home (unless someone wants to meet me at one of the hotels I am staying at???). If interested, email me.
The first drop off point for me was in Livermore, after the first sprint. We completely bypassed Sierra, so we didn’t drive up Sierra … so if you were looking for me up there, you wouldn’t find me. It’s a shame, as I thoroughly enjoyed watching the pelaton climb Sierra like it was a flat road. The carnage up there must have been fun.
On the way over to Livermore, it was pouring, and we knew this would be another miserable day for the racers. We stopped at a Safeway near the sprint points, to get lunch. As soon as we finished, it cleared up, and saw some blue skies. However, this would not last, because as soon as we drove over to our drop off points, it started pouring again. So here I go again, umbrella at hand, and then it stopped, just in time for the riders to pass by.
As we finished our duties, we hopped in again, driving through the mass crowds, trying to get through traffic. I got a shot from within the van, to just give you a short idea of the carnage:
The next KOM was at Patterson Pass, but we didn’t have a drop off there, so we went directly onto 580, then to 132 onto Modesto. We were about 12 miles from the end of the stage, and off a small little road. I basically had to make sure no one got on the road, but as usual, the locals needed to cross the road, even though they were told, long ago, that this road closure would happen. In a span of about 15 minutes, I have never seen so many emergencies occur … of course, if there was a real medical emergency, we are not to prevent them from crossing … BUT … 6 emergencies in a 15 minute span???? I felt sorry for the CHP, as he was running ragged from one side to the other. I tried to help as much as I could, but there were so many people that just couldn’t wait. Other than those complaints, it wasn’t too bad. At least it wasn’t as bad as Santa Cruz. Here, the same pattern of rain followed, where once I was dropped off, it was driving rain, but when the riders went through, the rain stopped.
We drove into town, to watch the the podium presentations, finally. But I didn’t get to the podium as aggresively as I would have liked to. I was able to see the podium interview with Levi … I didn’t get a really clear shot, but at least I did get a shot … kind of grainy