With dozens of motorcycle CHP out ahead, dozens of team cars behind and over 100 pro cyclists in between, the Tour of California bicycle race working its way from the Bay Area to Los Angeles this week has all the elements of a traveling circus. We checked it out today as the race made its way up Mt. Hamilton, the most difficult climb the race will encounter all week. Seeing the race was great, but getting to ride up and down incredibly scenic Mt. Hamilton with the road closed to most motor vehicles was even better.
Prevented from entering the race due to being implicated in a European drug scandal, Tyler Hamilton, Santiago Botero and Oscar Sevilla are out for a “training ride” about 10 minutes ahead of the race. We’d like to see the sport cleaned up too, but barring riders from racing who haven’t actually been found guilty of anything or sanctioned doesn’t seem like a very good plan. If race organizers think they can “restore credibility” to the sport by making up the rules on an ad hoc basis, then the sport’s in worse trouble than we thought.