There is a new King of the Mountain tonight. His name is Alexandre Lambert. Alexandre is my thirteen year old son. I already had a feeling Alex was a pretty good climber. When we attended the CTS El Tour of Tucson Endurance camp together last November, Alex got to climb the first 5.5 miles of Mount Lemmon and he put on an impressive performance. I spoke with him tonight and he was excited to tell me that at training with his racing team on Monday night they went out to climb our local hill. Him and only one other of his teammates were able to do the climb four times in the time it took the rest of the group to do it three times. Bravo Alex, that is some serious KOM!!!

Back here in California we had another spectacular day on the road. Based on the conversation I had with my teammates at dinner today’s ride was very satisfying for most. A lot of riders seem to have a bit of a new perspective on their fitness level. I wrote on Sunday that I thought one of the key lessons people would learn this week is that the human body is capable of performing at a much higher level than anyone thinks. The way the whole group rolled into town in a huge team sprint for about three miles after having ridden 112 miles in 6:15 hours  and climbed 8,934 feet (and after having completed Stage 1 on Sunday and Stage 2 yesterday) will leave no doubt about that. As I sit here writing this post I am actually asking myself: “Was it truly me on the road today?”

Once we were done with Stage 3 you could feel the emotion in the air. Everyone knew they had accomplished something huge. The whole CTS team did great and managed not only to survive the day but to finish super strong as one group. We actually averaged 41.3 kilometers/hour on a flat road for the last 4 km of the stage.  

We all shared the work in front taking big pulls, we all battled it out on the hard climbs and Quentin proved he is a badass rouleur by taking off in front of our peleton with five kilometers (we did reign him in, thanks to CC).

Today was also special for me. On the first big climb of the day my twenty year old Emmanuelle was waiting for me on top and she had an opportunity to see dad make it to the top in first place. My kids (and of course my wife) are very understanding and supportive of my passion for the sport and the least I can do is to make an ultra hard effort when it matters so as to say “thank you guys, I love you.”

Good night

This is what we have to look for tomorrow:

STAGE 4

Sonora-Clovis (130mi-209km) 

  • CTS Breakfast Time:  5:00-5:45 am
  • CTS Depart Hotel:  5:45 am
  • AM Transfer:  2 hours
  • CTS Ride Start Time:  8:00 am
  • Pro Riders Start:  10:35 am
  • CTS Finish Time: 2:00-3:00 pm
  • Pro Finish Time:  3:30-4:00 pm
  • PM Transfer:  2 hours
  • CTS Dinner:  7:30-10:00 pm

Pictures taken today:

Amgen Tour of California Stage 3 Description

Stage 3 will begin in San Jose, the only city to have played host to the Amgen Tour of California all seven years of the race. This year, the typical downtown start has been moved to north San Jose, just a few miles from the infamous Sierra Road climb. While the riders won’t be expected to tackle a Category 1 climb just two miles from the start as they have been in the past, the route into Livermore is one that the race has taken before: Calaveras Road and Highway 84. While Livermore will be hosting their first stage finish in 2012, riders have raced thru the town during previous editions including the Stage 4 start in 2011. Home of the renowned Lawrence Livermore Labs, the City of Livermore (established in 1869) played a prominent role in California’s Gold Rush history and is home today to a thriving wine industry.

Just 28 miles into the race, the riders will contest a challenging Sprint to the finish but the race will just be getting started. Heading out north on Livermore Avenue, the riders will likely face a stiff headwind coming down the valley. After passing through the town of Danville, the Amgen Tour of California will grant a wish that has been made for the past six years by riders and fans, “Please climb Mt. Diablo.” For the first time in the history of the race, the riders will climb Mt. Diablo. One of the most revered climbs in California, race organizers, cyclists and fans alike are excited to have this climb as part of Stage 3 of the 2012 race.

 After a fast and technical descent into Walnut Creek, the race will then head east into the Town of Clayton where the second Sprint of the stage will take place. From Clayton, the race will connect back to a familiar route into Livermore. Just nine miles from the finish, the riders will likely tackle blustery winds as they battle the final KOM of the stage up Patterson Pass Road followed by a quick descent that will take the race onto Cross and Tesla roads. On Livermore Avenue once again, it will be just a few miles to what is sure to be a sprint finish in historic downtown Livermore.

Click here to see the map for Stage 3.

Click here to see the profile of Stage 3.

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