Archive for February 18th, 2009

Amgen Tour of California – Modesto

The Amgen Tour of California just came through Modesto this afternoon.

My company is one of the local sponsors of the race. We are a carwash and we sponsored a bike wash where all the team buses were located. There the grimy bikes could be environmentally washed safely. A friend of ours offered me the opportunity to get one VIP area viewing pass. I don’t know why we didn’t get setup in the first place since we were a sponsor. And since I love cycling it was very exciting and thrilling to watch a pro event close up. This year was much better than last since last year Modesto had a start not a finish. A finish draws more people. All the local TV stations and satellite trucks were there and gave Modesto a great opportunity to shine.

VIP Tent viewing area

Since my office is about one block away from the race finish line, I waited till the rain which at the time was pouring to stop. As soon as the rain let up walked over to the VIP tent where food and drink was available in very liberal amounts. There were more than a few inebriated cycling fans in the tent. The tent is about 50 meters from the finish line perfect for this afternoons exciting sprint finish. It was drizzling very lightly for awhile as the riders came into town, and then it stopped on the lap around town.

The finish was amazing, I could see the pack coming down the long straightaway with one guy braking away right at the last minute at incredible speed. This happened right in front of me and the crowds went crazy.

And just as if it was scripted, the sky’s opened up and it started to rain again maybe five minutes after the winners were announced.

I’m hoping Modesto again for 2010 gets the AToC. It’s been well supported here and there was a big crowd even in the poor weather conditions.

I shot some video and will post it once I get it downloaded.