The first stage of the Amgen Tour of California is now in the history books. The crowds at the start in Sausalito were magnificent, with thousands of fans enthusiastically cheering on their favorites cyclists. Hundreds lined up outside the team van of High Road waiting for George Hincapie, then shouted encouragement when he stepped from the RV. Other obvious favorites include Santa Rosa native Levi Leipheimer (Astana) and Mario "Cipo" Cipollini
The fans were fabulous as the peloton paraded three times through Sausalito. Freddy Rodgriguez suffered some sort of mechanical problem in the first lap and fell behind (apropos of his name FRED), but he was able to catch up by the time the race started in earnest.
The crew from Bicycle.net caught a ride in the media van; their report is not available as of this writing but look for some good stuff from them soon.
Ken "KWC" Conley traveled up to Santa Rosa to cover the women's criterium, which started at noon (sorry about my earlier misinformation!). He should also have some good shots of the start and finish -- again, his photos are not yet downloaded but watch his Spare Cycles site for his fantastic cycling photography.
Finally, be sure to listen to The FredCast cycling podcast for interviews from the field.
My photoset from the Stage 2 start can be found here at Flickr -- please feel free to comment on the photos. You might see some recognizable faces. A shout out to all the kind bike nerds I met today!