It’s that time of year again … Amgen Tour of California is coming to our backyards. This always gets me excited … there are several things I look at on the calendar … Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and the week of Amgen Tour of California.
This year, it will come up and over Mt. Hamilton, before making its way to Morgan Hill. This gives me a great excuse to climb Mt. Hamilton. I had to look up the time on the ATOC web site, to see what approximate time they are expected to reach the KOM on Mt. Hamilton … it stated 1:45 PM. Hmm … well I was originally going to start off around 9 am, so that I can get to the top by noon. Things didn’t go so smoothly .. I always forget to bring something. Even after all that, I managed to forget to bring my gloves. D’oh.
I drove over to Cataldi Park, which is about a mile away from the base of Mt. Hamilton Road. I didn’t want to park right at the intersection, as some residents there don’t like when us roudy cyclists take over their neighborhood. I didn’t get going from there till 9:40 am. By the time I got up over the top, it was around 12:40 pm. Dang, 3 hours … I’m getting old and slow.
They didn’t have the KOM banner set up yet … I was trying to get near the KOM, but I couldn’t find it. Well, I decided to go beyond the 1 mile marker (they have mile markers painted on the road, such that you can see it from a chopper hovering overhead). I figure this would be a good spot, where we could still see some suffrage on some of the riders.
The pack didn’t arrive until around 2:15 pm (original estimate was 1:45 pm). I guess the previous day, with 14,000 feet of climbing, spent a bunch of the racer’s legs. This stage was still 9,000-10,000 feet of climbing, so it’s no slouch either.
We lucked out on weather, as by the time the riders came by, it was comfortable, short sleeve and shorts weather. However, by the time we headed down the mountain, it started getting cold and breezy.