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Photos by Julie Krasniak
In temperatures that should simply be described as hot, the 2013 Amgen Tour of California rolled out of Escondido, California. The first start for the quaint Californian town, but the seventh year for America's cycling fans to come out in their droves to cheer on one of the biggest races on the calendar. As well as the racing action to satisfy any cycling fan's appetite, the Tour of California, as one of the world's more 'intimate' stage races, provides a few stories that surround the riders.
A lot of Bottle
Chris Jones (United Healthcare) continues to solidify his application for domestique of the year with his oftentimes unseen (such is the way of the gregario) heroics. The heat had all but consumed some of the riders on the first day, but that didn't stop Jones from making trips back to the team car. He estimated that he transported something close to 50 bottles throughout the four-hour stage. "I can carry about 10 bottles each trip back from the car and I probably made about five trips. And I had a teammate that was doing about the same."
Andy Schleck seems to be coming (back) into form and surprised more than a few with his attack late in the race. Something that we have rarely seen from the younger Schleck brother. Apparently, he did all of this while only drinking a minimum number of bottles of water and was overheard getting a talking to from teammate Jens Voigt at the team dinner. Jens supposedly advised "…tomorrow, drink more, Andrew."
Ted Eats Like a King
The word on the street is that Ted King (Liquigas-Cannondale) likes his hot sauce. In the early morning hours while taking his breakfast the New Hampshire native likes to use a dab or two of hot sauce to spice up his meals. Something that surprises and delights his Italian teammates who are used to blander fare, such as cold damp noodles with no sauce. However, it could have been just this spice that put the pep in the King's step. His work on the front in the final Kms was something like a phenomenon that caused the crowds gathered around the televisions near the finish line to whoop.
And what of King's preferred food mid-race? The Skratch Labs rice bars with a piece of bacon and drizzled with a spot of real maple syrup. Go figure.
California c'est super cool
In his first time racing in California, Sylvain Chavanel (Omega-Pharma Quick Step) had a different approach to the race. When asked what he thought of the terrain and temperatures the French superstar responded with "oh, it's cool, it's cool." We can only think that he meant it as more of a comment on the California lifestyle than the weather. He did go on to say that this was going to be a good "preparation" race for another stage race in July…
Will Sagan be able to take as many stage wins as he did last year? He easily came away with five in the 2012 version, with a variety of competitors breathing down his neck. He is back in California while his teammates attack the Giro d'Italia. He was almost there to feature in Sunday's sprint finish, but the work of Ted King couldn't deliver him. However, later that night it was revealed that he would receive an "illegal assistance" fine from the UCI for the ol' sticky bottle trick. The bottle was nowhere to be seen after he was dropped on Cole grade, but the team car spent a good amount of time adjusting his cleats as they simultaneously delivered him back into the peloton.
We stepped in to provide some off the bike wear for Skratch Labs and their crew headed out to the Tour of California this year. You may spot their founder Allen Lim and head chef Biju Thomas on course in Merino Polos.
Biju the Chef, as he is known, is overseeing all of the Team Meals throughout the week as well as packing all the on-bike food for anyone that wants some. Biju has been going over and over the proposed menus with each of the hotels to make sure they are making exactly what the riders need. Which basically means hold all the heavy creams and sauces and make extra pasta… They are some of the closest advisors to the athletes and oftentimes a direct link to how they perform.
Stick with us as we continue to send updates throughout the week. The final stage of the race starts in San Francisco, just blocks from the SF Cycle Club.
Follow along on twitter and instagram – @Rapha_N_America
- @TheRaceRadio A man experienced in sheep aerodynamics, perhaps. → http://t.co/4ysrDy5bie
- The most recent Rapha Gentlemen’s Race took place in Adelaide with 18 teams lining up for the rolling 160km route. → http://t.co/ZQ3Dzz0NEX
- @andersmagnus Hi Anders, there’s been a delay unfortunately, but thanks for being patient. It will be out as soon as possible.
- We're proud to present one of our favourite films this year, so put some headphones on and enjoy. View the film → http://t.co/B2BXnE3JuY
- Congratulations to yesterday’s Alpe d'Quiz winner Khamarul Rejab who receives a Team Sky bundle. Today's prize draw → http://t.co/h4frOXDYma
- RT @chrishoy: Ok, I'm going to make the call now, and it's a big call, but I reckon @Ed_Clancy will break the World kilo record at the end …
- @Barry8012 @RaphaCycleClub You’re most welcome Simon, thanks for your feedback.
- @antmccrossan Thanks Anthony.
- @brettrothmeyer nice cap drawing by the way!
- @Jack_Sadler @raphacondor We’re honoured to have you riding for us Jack.