Roadbook: This is the End
Whether it’s the Tour de France or the Three Days of De Panne, bicycle racers inevitably count down the days before the race ends—and the AMGEN Tour of California is no different in that respect. There’s a lot of pain and suffering to be had between the start and the finish, and it’s only human nature to hope it stops at some point. Today it stops—in Pasadena.
Most Americans know Pasadena as the city that hosts the Rose Bowl and the Tournament of Roses parade on New Years Day. Today, the Rose Bowl city is hosting the final meters of America’s most prestigious bike race.
We assemble 200 meters or so past the finish line, perhaps subconsciously distancing ourselves from the end of the event. The crowd here is huge and ranges from kids perched on dads’ shoulders, to super fans that have traveled to each stage, to locals who stumbled upon a bike race on their way to buy groceries.
Announcers keep us up to speed as to what’s happening during the final kilometers, but we also watch the live TV feed on a Jumbotron hoisted high above the crowd.
The announcing becomes more frenzied, and we watch as Evan Huffman, a rider in the orange jersey of Rally Cycling crosses the line for the win—his second of the week.
What began with 23 hours of cars and lines and planes and trains will end exactly the same way for most of the competitors in California.
And then there’s the jetlag.