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The Amgen Tour of California is hands down the biggest cycling race in the United States. The top riders from around the world come to California to test their skills against the worlds best. This year the race started in Long Beach and made it’s way North to finish in Sacramento. We were there for the first two stages and covered all the action before during and after each stage. We were granted access to get up close and personal with the top riders of the sport.
• The start and finish of Stage 1 was in Long Beach that was home to a flat circuit race. It is meant to be great for spectators but not establishing the main GC standings. This stage is the backdrop to see the worlds best sprinters go against each other in one of the most anticipated lineups to date. Colombian Fernando Gaviria narrowly took the win against Australian sprint Phenom Caleb Ewan.
• We spoke with some of the riders about their expectations of the race and most were rested and ready to go. We even got to talk with some of them about their favorite foods as well as what they ate for breakfast. Some of their answers were very interesting.
• Stage 2 went from Ventura to Santa Barbara and finished up the grueling Gibraltar climb. For many riders it was a case of survival and for only a few they were hoping for an overall result. While Egan Bernal showed his real strength, other riders like Peter Stetina and Brent Bookwalter really struggled to stay at the front and got into the red.
The atmosphere at the races was a bit of controlled chaos. Once the riders finished a stage, it becomes a mad scramble for media to see if riders could give their thoughts. It was a traveling circus of sorts and one that we were happy to be a part of. We talked with some of the best riders in the world and some future stars as well. If you follow professional level racing or want to, this is the episode for you!