Today was a much needed recovery for all of us. We got to sleep in until 7:00 am and only rode for 2:06 hrs (53.7 kilometers or 33.3 miles). Why do I say much needed recovery? A few statistics will convince you. This is what the first four stages looked like in terms of effort:

Stage 1:

  • 5:35 hrs
  • 3,302 kJ
  • 158.4 km (98.2 miles)
  • 1,872 meters climbed (6,140 feet)

Stage 2:

  • 5:50 hrs
  • 3,766 kJ
  • 163 km (101 miles)
  • 2,415 meters climbed (7,921 feet)

Stage 3:

  • 6:30 hrs
  • 4,063 kJ
  • 189 km (117.2 miles)
  • 2,368 meters climbed (7,767 feet)

Stage 4:

  • 5:39 hrs
  • 3,476 kj
  • 165 km (102.3 miles)
  • 2,257 meters climbed (7,402 feet)

Total of first four stages:

  • 23:34 hrs
  • 14,607 kJ (equals 14,607 calories burned)
  • 675.4 km (418.7 miles)
  • 8,912 meters climbed (29,231 feet)

Let’s put things in perspective:

  • Mount Everest peaks at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level
  • You need to eat 26 Big Macs to take in 14,850 calories
  • There is 456 miles between the capital of Canada and the capital of the United States
  • There is 24 hours in one day

Since cyclists don’t eat Big Macs, this is what a typical breakfast looks like: large glass of orange juice, one bowl of oatmeal, scrambled eggs, one bagel with peanut butter, a bowl of fruit, a bowl of cereal and a large cup of coffee. Dinners are always the same: large salad to start, bread, pasta, rice, chicken and beef. More fruit with pastries or cake.

On the bike drink water and sports drinks, gels, bananas, nutella/banana panninis, peanut butter/jelly panninis and brownies.

There are three stages left. The next two stages are what we call mountain stages. In order words, we will be climbing a lot over the next two days. So stay tuned for some interesting reports and some spectacular pictures.


Here are links to more pictures of the last few days, thanks to our friend Quentin Broad:

Stage 5 Description

The finishing circuit at the end of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California’s Stage 5 in Bakersfield was a gut-wrenching fan favorite, so it was only natural to return to the scene and turn that circuit into an 18.4 mile Individual Time Trial course. Right from the start, the riders will go from zero to nearly 60 mph in a matter of seconds. The start ramp will launch them onto an immediate descent to Alfred Harrel Highway. From there, it will be a straight – but not exactly flat – route to the turnaround point at Lake Ming.

In May, it’s likely going to be hot and windy, and there will not be much in the way of flat roadway to catch your breath. The route is full of 100-foot rollers, and as the riders approach the finish, they’ll be able to see it… up on a 300-foot bluff. The prepared rider will have saved a little for the China Grade, which presents an eight percent climb to the top and then a hard left, and it won’t be over there. The riders will still face a slightly uphill, .44-mile run to the finish.

For those who think Stage 5 of the Amgen Tour of California sounds like a fun 40 minutes on the bike, come out and be part of a select group of amateurs that will get to race the course just before the pros start.