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Tour of California Stage 7 - One to go!

The profile today was a long way up and then a long way down. Upon completing the down bit, we went about racing over 5 laps of a 7km circuit called the Rose Bowl. This place is famous but I have no idea why. What it impressed me with was the sheer magnitude of people out to watch the race.

It really was incredible. I have heard some big figures being bandied around, but I haven’t heard an accurate one. All I know is that on the 7km circuit, the crowd lined from 3 people deep to 10 deep! Incredible! I actually felt alright today, great considering yesterday I was throwing up. My legs felt better than they had all week and I was quite comfortable in a bunch that was doing 45km/h up a slight grade. A break of 10 riders went and that was enough for the majority of the teams in the race. Fly V Australia, down to only 2 riders, didn’t have a lot of say in the matter. Smoking Gunn had a tough ride to stay within contact of the bunch and make it to the finish inside the time limit as he has a fair bit of tendonitis going on with his knee. But enough about today’s racing.

Tomorrow is the final throw of the dice for all the Tour of California winner hopefuls and I think we are going to see a lot of fireworks. Normally, you might think that there might be some kind of parade race to entertain the crowd but one of which doesn’t pose any threat for the overall classification, just like the Champs Elysees stage of the Tour de France. But not here ladies and gentlemen. Tomorrow will be one of the hardest days on the tour with the climb up to Palomar, a famed climb in southern California. Leipheimer is looking the goods for the moment and he has a great team backing him up but Mick Rogers and the Columbia boys could play a few cards, and Dave Z and Garmin are in the same boat, and the Saxo team is never one to underestimate. It’s going to make for great, but bloody hard racing. I need to hit the sack!

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