Today’s stage of the Tour of California is a 15 mile course with a steady climb to begin and a steady descent near the end, and as I write this, it is happening live. This is the first chance I’ve had to check out the live coverage on the ToC website, and I have to say it is very impressive. If you haven’t seen it, check it out here. There is updated standings, picture-in-picture of the riders on their bikes, and great commentary. Looks great as well. This is the future of following sporting events. Really great stuff.
Heading into today, the standings really haven’t changed much since I last wrote about the race a few days back. Levi Leipheimer is in first place, followed by Michael Rogers, with David Zabriskie in third. Lance Armstrong is holding down the fourth spot, while teammate Christopher Horner is in fifth. The other big name returning the sport, Floyd Landis, was in 38th place heading into today.
It has been a strong showing by the Astana team thus far, and Levi is expected, barring some strange accident, to take the win. The weather has improved in the last two days, with the sun, finally, showing up, so that makes it a bit easier for the riders, and keeps them from having to be overly cautious. And with so many Astana teammates close by, Levi will remain well protected to the end.
Lance will be riding his time trial bike that was stolen earlier in the week today. It was recovered a few days back and quickly re-configured for him. On a funny note however, a second TT bike was sent his way by Trek so that it would be ready for today’s event, and it was identical to the one that was recovered save for a tiny sticker that read: “Ride it like you stole it!” These cyclists have a sense of humor at least! 🙂