So I’m usually not very excited for this race, because there is so much potential here that they don’t use. California could easily host its own Grand Tour (though they’d have to really work to find enough towns that could accommodate everyone). They never attract BIG GC names (I’m surprised Majka is even here this year), and worst of all I never like the profiles for the stages:
Why did I watch the whole last 40k of Stage 1? All I needed was the last 2.
I am glad this year it actually served up a big GC battle, but all the real battle was over 50k from the line: why not do the summit finish or end the stage where that last sprint point is. There was nothing special about the San Jose finish line, in fact there weren’t many people there.
Stage 3 was actually good. There was a very good crowd in one of the towns along the way, and the finish line crowd was pretty legit. And it’s always fun to see a Peter Sagan win. The problem with ToC is they have like 4 of these stages in what is usually an 8 stage race (this year it’s only 7!). This is a race that should be modeled off Paris-Nice or the Dauphine or even Tour de Suisse: it should be 9 stages and we need at least 3 BIG mountain GC days. Let’s see what’s to come:
Sprint, but Kittel might not even be able to last. That means another Sagan day, I’m glad to see him get stage wins, but one of these years he’s gotta skip Cali and go to the Giro: he has to be a winner of stages in all three Grand Tours. In fact, instead of paying Sagan to come (which he probably still would anyways) they should try to get Froome, what’s he doing right now? His 4th training camp of the year on Tenerife?
Ok, I want more mountains in this race so I can’t really complain about this stage. That said: there’s no real tactics in this one: you widdle down the field until the last 10k and then attack each other.
Ok, completely flat TT, but at altitude. Ummmm, I don’t really like that you’re wasting one of your 7 stages on this (wouldn’t mind at all if there were 9 days of racing) and most people won’t even have their TT bikes here in America.
This whole profile goes the wrong way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do Pasadena to Mountain High Ski Area.
I’ll give more thoughts about the race tomorrow. Also I started writing this before stage 4 and I currently do not know what happens on that one, just as an FYI.