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ATOC 2012 Day 1
And they're off!
Santa Rosa exploded in the brightest colours of bicycle racing today as the 2012 Amgen Tour of California began its trek down the coast.
More than the usual fanfare that surrounds US bike racing was present in a city that skipped last year's edition. One of the AToC's largest crowds in recent memory lined the streets of downtown Santa Rosa (home to Omega-Pharma's Levi Leipheimer) to see multiple views of the race before it headed out to the California coastline and the steep pitches for the KOM competition.
Coleman Valley Road is one of the most popular climbs in this region and provided what looked to be a more than adequate challenge. South American team Colombia Coldeportes, whose team motto is 'Inspired by Climbing', seemed slightly less than inspired upon cresting the one hill of the day.
In the coming days we'll document the fate of the US-based riders against their overseas adversaries, with the likes of Tom Boonen, Jens Voigt and Henrich Hausller likely to pull no punches. The real surprise on Sunday, though, came in the form of Team Exergy. Not only did they take third overall with the return of American race scenester 'Fast' Freddie Rodriguez, but their rider Sam Johnson was in an initial break of eight that lasted almost the entirety of the race.
We should also mention the Mobile Cycle Club did well to position itself at the top of the Coleman Valley Road for the KOM points. If you happen to be at the race, they do pull a fine espresso (or two). Keep an eye out for them as the coverage (including live TV) continues.
Other things of note:
• Pro Rapha-FOCUS cross racer Christopher Jones is here representing United Healthcare Cycling.
• The French guys who are driving the TV motos also drive them for the Tour de France.
• Brad Sohner and Dave Towle (the voices announcing the action) will be representing Rapha this week on the podium. Every podium.
• The Mobile Cycle Club serves delicious, absolutely free coffee all day (and sometimes all night). Stop by and hang out with Ryan and Ben.
Keep in touch with Rapha North America on twitter/instagram @Rapha_N_America and the Mobile Cycle Club @RaphaMCCNA for the rest of the week as we chase, keep pace and ultimately race the peloton down the length of California all the way to Los Angeles.
- 2 be clear that was @johnherety decision to not let @AaronBuggle start. Tour of Korea and Irish National Champs will be his next rendezvous
- Happy to report @AaronBuggle is as good looking as ever after 13 stitches in his chin. Sorry to report not letting him start tomorrow though
- @flammecast @AaronBuggle His Shrone is fine !!!
- Big thanks to all marshals,coms and medical staff on the @anpostras today. Great work despite the numerous demands on their services today.
- Just to let all his girl fans know @AaronBuggle is ok. He's in hospital and will need some surgery on a cut to his chin. Will update later.
- We've just added 13 new rides since the weekend to our Rapha #womens100 Find a Ride list. → http://t.co/ux8c1JCuQc
- The team also racing the Ras in Ireland this week. Currently Aaron Buggle is the team's top placed rider in 15th overall.
- Tour Series resumes tonight in Stoke on Trent. RCJ line up is House, Clancy, McCallum, English and Mellor.
- Arboretum → http://t.co/cJXOyDWnK0 #raphasurvey #sanfrancisco #sf #cycling
- There are still a few of these sweet Rapha + Raeburn jackets at the SF @raphacycleclub. http://t.co/C2d98yCRL0