Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tour of California Announces Silly 2009 Route

2009 Tour of California

The 2009 Tour of California route was officially announced yesterday, destroying my chances of breathing in Lance Armstrong's BO.

In 2006, the Tour magically ended steps from my front door, with a 76.5 mile circuit race around Redondo Beach allowing for hours of spectator fun. It was freakin' awesome. But you know what would've been more freakin' awesome? Some Lance Armstrong.

Don't get me wrong, the 2006 Tour had some drool-worthy riders. Landis, Evans, Leipheimer, Julich...

But when the Tour came around my back door in 2006, I had owned my first road bike for all of 12 days. I was still trying to figure out how to shift, and the only reason my friend pointed out Landis to me was because Landis had a "hot wife".


In 2007, the Tour of California ended with a circuit race in Long Beach, a stone's throw away from Redondo Beach. Also freakin' awesome.

Then came 2008. The Tour of California ended with a point-to-point race from Santa Clarita to Pasadena. Super not cool.

And to continue the rotten tradition of 2008, the 2009 finishing stage is even more super not cool.

Says Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports, presenter of the race in a press release, "Each year, we continue our commitment to upgrading and enhancing every element of the Amgen Tour of California, not only for the cyclists, but also for the spectators along the route, by creating an even more challenging and exciting race."

Pardon, Monsieur Messick, but ending the Tour with a point-to-point race from Rancho Bernardo to Escondido is not exactly spectator friendly. Ending it at the top of a mountain is downright spectator hostile.


Perhaps Palomar Mountain is gorgeous and virtuously difficult. But it's a mountain. Even Ironman has sacrificed beauty and course difficulty ratings to make courses more spectator friendly (ahem, Tempe Town Lake? Home of three-eyed monster fish?)

So, points against Tour of California race organizers: took race away from me and the rest of So Cal and stuck the finish on top of a mountain.

Points for Tour organizers: Lance, and a women's crit with $15,000 in prizes. I hope that means cash.

Lance Armstrong

(Yes, that's Lance. Don't ask, it's the first photo that came up in a Google search.)

The crit will be very spectator friendly. However, it is in Santa Rosa. Phoenix is closer to me than Santa Rosa.

Oh why, oh why have you made it so hard, Tour of California organizers, for me to get sweat on by Mr. Armstrong? I would've happily camped out on the median of Catalina Avenue for the chance to smell him, or get whacked by one of his dry water bottles!

Bring the Tour back to me! Or else you might find one more rider going up Palomar Mountain on February 22nd. Early. Waiting for Lance to throw a Powerbar wrapper at her or something.

Just kidding.

Not really...

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