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February 21-27, 2007

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last year's stage 3 of the Amgen Tour of California

Photograph by Felipe Buitrago
San Jose's Other Mass Transit Program: The head of the peloton sprints to the finish line down Almaden Boulevard in last year's stage 3 of the Amgen Tour of California.

Mountain Kings

By Felipe Buitrago


AROUND this time last year, a bunch of guys riding some pretty fancy bicycles, dressed in funky-colored, tight-fitting shorts and jerseys, came flying down the streets of San Jose to cross the finish line at Park and Almaden next to the Adobe building after starting 94.9 miles earlier from the city of Martinez. This year, stage 2 of the Tour of California will be passing through San Jose on Wednesday, Feb. 21, and will bring a few changes. The now 94.6-mile ride starts from Stockton and travels through California farmland and on through Tracy. Soon after will be Patterson's Pass, one of the new additions to this year's tour. But the excitement will really kick in when the peloton reconnects with the roads of last year's stage and takes the riders to a hearty category 1 (ranked highest in difficulty) climb on Sierra Road. That's where the King of the Mountain competition will take place, and the fastest riders will show their true mettle and be rewarded with the sunshine commemorative jersey at the finish line, which is also changing places this year. The third stage of the 2007 Tour of California will have its sprint finale in front of the new City Hall. Overall the changes to the San Jose stage of the tour will not only be a bigger challenge to the riders but also offer more viewpoints and sheer excitement for the fans. Go to www.amgentourofcalifornia.com for more details.


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