ToCal St6: Seeing The Future
Yeah, the race was great, but nothing, and I mean nothing, could compare to the absolutely amazing family presence at this Thousand Oaks finish. Let me get the facts out of the way so I can focus on the real story – proof that cycling is growing in popularity in this country.
– By Tom McManners of Discover Adventures
• Olaf Pollack (T-Mobile) won Stage 6 of the Amgen Tour of California in a furious sprint to the line. Floyd Landis (Phonak) retained the overall race leader’s gold jersey, and should become the eventual champion tomorrow. Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner), former race leader, won the coveted King of the Mountain competition today and secured the jersey for the race.
Fast Freddie Rodriguez (Davitamon-Lotto) placed third today, but more importantly embraced the family vibe that radiated from the crowd.
Accolades should first go out to Amgen for holding a charity ride that allowed 500 cyclists, and maybe non-cyclists from the looks of it, to ride and raise money for the Breakaway from Cancer and The Wellness Community. These fun-loving folks had the opportunity to ride 25 miles and finish under the actual race finish line banner. Later, they proudly wore their Amgen jerseys and hailed their Breakaway from Cancer/The Wellness Community signs in support of their cause.
The Lifestyle Festival was very well attended in Thousand Oaks.
From a numbers perspective, the crowds were astonishing – large, very large. It was mentioned in the press conference that this is the largest crowd gathered during a sporting event in California since the Olympics in 1984. Shawn Hunter, AEG Sports President, gleamed when stating that attendance to the race thus far has toppled one million people. This makes it the single largest cycling event in American history, and clearly catapults the Amgen Tour of California into America’s premier cycling event over the Ford Tour de Georgia.
500 cyclists and more supporters waved Breakaway from Cancer signs proudly.
As a father of two wonderful kids (Madison & Ian), nothing touched me more this week than seeing family after family enjoying today’s cycling event. This is how cycling stars are born. This is how our sport of cycling will grow. We need events like this to expose our children to this incredible sport early and often. My favorite was watching Mia and Hannah toss their Amgen balloons together in an Amgen ‘A’. Great spirit.
Mia and Hannah find a much less annoying use for those clacker whackers.
Kudo’s to Maxxis for bringing the crowd alive. A BMX ramp for stunts was set up and attracted crowds with teenagers, toddlers, moms, dads and even grandparents as they watched the stunt specialists defy gravity.
Vivien and Emma were pretty much indicative of the spirit of the day.
With their huge presence at this race, Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team showed how important and inspiring their team mission is. In the midst of all the playful mayhem associated with the Lifestyle Festival, fans were welcomed into their booth and by the thousands, yes-thousands, joined their team membership. They are bringing a unique and fresh approach to the sport. While getting cyclists and non-cyclists involved in the sport, they plan to retain them overtime by keeping them in-the-know about cycling and their team. No other team had people parading up and down the corridors handing out GO TEAM signs like Toyota-United.
This little girl dropped a Jelly Belly jelly bean (no kidding)…then invoked the 5 second rule and ate the Jelly Belly jewel.
Families, pure cyclists, and everyone else that came to today’s Stage 6 finish in Thousand Oaks should be proud to have been a part of one of the best attended stages I have ever seen. And on a final note, thank you to the sponsors of cycling, all of them, for supporting what will hopefully become larger than life, like Nascar, very soon! And based on what we saw today… it will.
Results Tour of California Stage6
1 Olaf Pollack (Ger) T-Mobile 3.26.39
2 Riccardo Ricco (Ita) Prodir-Saunier Duval
3 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Davitamon Lotto
4 Gordon Fraser (Can) Health Net Maxxis
5 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner
6 David Kopp (Ger) Gerolsteiner
7 Renй Haselbacher (Aut) Gerolsteiner
8 Andrй Greipel (Ger) T-Mobile
9 Stuart O’grady (Aus) CSC
10 Alexandre Moos (Sui) Phonak
GC After Stage 6
1 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak 19.56.19
2 David Zabriskie (USA) CSC 0.29
3 Bobby Julich (USA) CSC 0.34
4 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery 0.45
5 Nathan O’neill (Aus) Health Net Maxxis 1.08
6 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner 1.10
7 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon Lotto 1.29
8 Thomas Danielson (USA) Discovery 1.49
9 Christian Vandevelde (USA) CSC 1.55
10 Jason McCartney (USA) Discovery
PezCycling’s Tour of California reports are filed in partnership with Discover Adventures Cycling Tours: Check their website to enter to win a trip to the Tour de Georgia.