The Santa Rosa Press Democrat leaked this months ago, but it became official Thursday. The new stages suck, with the possible exception of Stage 2: Sausalito to Santa Cruz. Gone are the beautiful coastal portions of Marin and southern Sonoma Counties. The great climb from the coast up Coleman Valley Road into Occidental (almost my backyard) is history, and sadly gone is the Big Sur coast where my parents and I had enjoyed what was becoming a family tradition of setting up a picnic hours early to await the peleton’s arrival. Merced to Clovis? Visalia to Paso Robles? Please. Have the Amgen Organizers been to these places? I expect fan numbers to be way down this year.
..but I also want to say hey to my friends in Merced, Clovis, Visalia and Paso.
What’s up?. ..homies?