Well, another Amgen Tour of California (ATOC) is in the books. And, truth be told, I tried to like it, I really, really did. Yes, there were the big stars of cycling, the awesome scenery, break-away mayhem, rabid fans, and the thrill-in-the-air of competition, but the race for the overall was as boring as studying the mating habits of a Clam. Unless that kind of thing puts steam in your boiler, of course.
After what was one of the most amazing, and certainly mysterious, individual time trial (ITT) efforts in modern cycling history, the Amgen Tour of California was nothing but a gentlemen’s procession. I mean, how else can you describe Team Sky’s creepy Bradley Wiggins nabbing a huge GC lead in the ITT, only to have all of the competition basically stare at him for seven-days, not even trying to make a race of it? There really was just no race at all this year.
In addition to a lack of an actual race, toss in the bloody Poms doing the announcing and it was even more of a bore-fest. If you took the announcers’ word for it, Wiggins could teach Jesus Christ how to ride a bicycle, while simultaneously healing the planet and curing cancer. Yeah, that’s how bad the on-air, verbal blowing of Wiggins became. I was actually wondering when all of them were going to get a room. But, then again, as General George S. Patton once pointed out, the British will take credit for anything & everything.
Finally, a giant “Thumbs-Down” to the organizers for the abandonment of the Glendora Mountain Road and Mount Baldy stage. I mean, c’mon! That was one of the most grueling, most popular stages they have ever run, and now it is off the schedule. Epic fail on that one, ATOC.
So, here’s to next year actually being something worth watching, and I leave off with an interesting quote from Sir Bradley himself (which probably had eyes rolling all over the world, except in Britain): “It’s always an honor to wear a yellow jersey. At 34 … it’s nice to still be winning at this age.”