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The 3rd annual Tour of California cycling race, which is really gaining international popularity, went whizzing through our town yesterday and Mike and were right there cheering them on!

This was an awesome stage; they rode from Santa Rosa to downtown Sacramento which included several mountain passes, rain and a total distance of 115 miles. Can you say "tired"!

For any of you Tour de France fans, this race is a smaller version, yet just as exciting with the same big names that you'll see in this years European tour.

Mike and I parked ourselves on the side of Trinity Road and we were all smiles and shouts as the riders gritted their way up the steep mountain pass.

And we almost had a moment of fame on International tv! When we were watching the cycling highlights last night, the camera panned right where we were standing, but our faces were obstructed by the wall of riders. Oh well. Maybe next year!

Here are some of the exciting images.

Lots of police escorts.

Here is the breakaway rider who had an outstanding lead.

And here is the Peloton, which is the pack. The Peloton is truly a force! Because they are all drafting, they can exceed much greater speeds than solo riders and they literally swallow up any solo breakaways. The above breakaway rider was eventually caught by the Peloton which is a shame because he kept his solo lead for about 100 miles, but lost his ground in the last 10 miles.

The rider in the middle of the pack with the blue sleeves is Levi Leipheimer who is the favorite! He is a Santa Rosa resident, he won last years Tour of California AND he took 3rd in last years Tour de France!!

Here we are after the riders passed.


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