The Amgen Tour of California kicked off this week and we enjoyed the festivities at the first stage in Escondido. The first few days of the race will be remembered for the brutal heat with temperatures around 110 degrees at the finish of stage two in Palm Springs. Lieuwe Westra of the Vaconsoleil-DCM team shocked the field with a late attack on stage one to take the first yellow jersey of the race. Janier Acevedo of Jamis Hagens Berman took the second stage, pulling away from race favorite Tejay van Garderen in the last few kilometers on the searing slopes of the Tramway climb. Here are a few images we snapped of the first two days.
Philippe Gilbert and Dave Zabriskie shared a good laugh before the start of the race. One can only guess what these two were chatting about.
Lucas Euser of the United Healthcare Team poked his head out of his team bus and got some hoots and hollars from the female fans on hand.
The Neil Pryde bikes of the United Healthcare team looked pretty sweet lined up. The orange hubs on their ENVE wheels were a nice touch.
The Devinci bikes of team 5-Hour Engery presented by Kenda were also pretty cool to look at.
The boys of the Bontrager team don’t have a team bus so they had to sit outside in the heat before the start of the race. I felt bad for these kids not being able to hide out in the air conditioning of a comfy bus and instead had to deal with hoards of onlookers snapping pictures.
Lieuwe Westra used a perfectly timed attack to stun the field and steal the first stage. Francisco Mancebo came in second.
Alex Candelario of the Optum Kelley Benefit Strategies team dumps water on his head after a seventh place finish in the first stage.
Lieuwe Westra signs an autograph before the start of stage two.