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02.11.09

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Where to Watch

By Gretchen Giles


THE TOUR OF California takes a different route this year, descending down from Davis as Stage 1 begins on Sunday, Feb. 15, and cycling around Lake Berryessa and through Angwin, taking the Silverado Trail exactly away from winetasting tourists and streaming right down the center of Calistoga's Lincoln Avenue before thundering over Calistoga Road to Brush Creek Road and then coming down to Fourth Street at Farmer's Lane in Santa Rosa.

The fastest riders are expected to hit the Silverado Trail in Napa at Deer Park Road at 2:38pm; they should swing onto Lincoln Avenue from Brannon Street at 2:56pm. Once leaving Lincoln onto Highway 128, there is a short sprint, with the speediest riders turning onto Petrified Forest Road just three minutes later. They enter the circuit in Santa Rosa at Brookwood Avenue at 3:32pm and then lap the downtown three times, with the first riders expected to cross the finish line at 3:56pm. In other words, don't go out to Coleman Valley Road this year; it's all downtown Santa Rosa.

Early risers can vie to get a brunch seat at the Big Bike Tent that will dominate downtown Sausalito the next morning when the peloton starts off right in front of the Spinnaker restaurant at 8:30am sharp on Monday, Feb.16, then bounds nearly 116 miles south to Santa Cruz. Caledonia Street will be blocked to traffic as will Alexander from Bridgeway, allowing viewers to see the riders huff up the first hill of the day. The Golden Gate Bridge has never before hosted a bike race, and riders will be in southbound traffic lanes, with the east sidewalk of the Bridge open to viewers; no other bikes will be allowed on the bridge.


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