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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks to hotel recommendations by roadbikereview member JSR, our ToC trip turned out excellent.

We arrived Thursday in Lake Arrowhead so we could watch Stage 6 on Friday. We camped at about the 101 mile mark with a view of a more than a mile downhill, a great view on a steep section, and a good view uphill for a quarter mile or so past us. Big George was attempting his breakaway when the riders started coming by.

We left there and went to one of the hotel recommendations JSR mentioned. We picked the Renaissance on Agoura Rd for Friday and Saturday nights. Our room was at the end of the 3rd floor (Expedia rate room). We took a look out the room window and there was a HTC-Columbia van outside with bikes and mechanics in a roped off area. We learned that some teams were staying there Sunday night, and since we had already decided to stay thru to Monday, we called the front desk and was able to keep our room an extra night.

Went to the Time Trial on Saturday and had a pretty good location. We saw the lead cars almost crash on the first lap at the turn by us and one of the motorcycle riders did crash on the same turn.

We woke up Sunday morning and looked out the window of our room to find the parking lot was marked off for Team 1, 2, 3, etc, etc. For Sunday, we had decided to do the finish line in hopes of a sprint finish. We had a great time and met some good people from Canada. At the end of the day, we went by some team buses after the race, and then rode our bikes back to the hotel. As we hoped off the bikes at the hotel entrance, Big George pulled up in a team car beside us and got out. At the same time, Cancellera walked up and spoke to George. We put the bikes on the elevator and rode up to the 3rd floor. As the elevator opened, we saw Cavendish waiting for the elevator. My wife said to him “We love you, Mark Cavendish” which brought a big smile to his face. It turned out that he was in the room adjoining ours, sharing the same balcony. After dropping the bikes in the room (where my wife informed me I had earned big brownie points for staying in this hotel), we went down to the bar to drink and people watch. The doctor riding in the peleton was next to us in the bar. Cancellera walked out of the hotel and then came back a little later wearing a floppy brim straw hat, carrying some clothes, and whistling quite loudly. It was interesting to see a pro relaxing. Big George came down and talked to the doc sitting next to us at the bar for a bit, then moved to the couches with his wife to enjoy some wine. We were having a hard time not to stare at these big names, but somehow managed. Of course we saw several other pro riders (including the yellow jersey arrive). There were riders we new by name, some we recognized the face but didn’t know their name, and those we just didn’t know at all. There were also team owners (Garmin and HTC we recognized). Zabriskie was in the bar area awhile holding a small child. All in all a great time people watching as SaxoBank, RaboBank, LiquiGas, Cervelo, HTC-Columbia, Garmin, BMC, were all in the hotel. Also staying at the hotel were quite a few of the motorcycle and tour crew, including the pace car, and manufacturers Cannondale, Giant, and Sram. We were amazed at all the bikes Cervelo kept putting in one of the hotel meeting rooms. Sunday night we heard Cavendish or his room mate come in about 2:30am. As luck would have it, we rode down the elevator with him and his room mate (whom I can’t place) as we were loading our car Monday morning. The SaxoBank and HTC teams were on the same floor as us. Here are a few pictures. Oh, and one more thing, Jens Voigt has to be the nicest pro out there, taking time to give autographs and photos for everyone who was interested -- even going so far as to ask if everyone was happy before going back into the team bus.
 

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Several of the Euro-teams visit that hotel (or the one down the street) each January for early season training in the Thousand Oaks/Conejo Valley area. I had your same experience in Modena during the 2008 Giro and was a real highlight of the trip.
 

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I'm glad it worked out! It sounds like you had a good time.

My wife and I stationed ourselves on the Rock Store climb, near the top. I couldn't negotiate a rally time earlier than 11am, but we were still able to get onto Mulholland very easily and find a nice spot in the shade.

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I had recommended that the overlook on the climb was "Position A". Apparently AEG figured this out, too, because they sold the whole thing to Herbalife for a VIP area.:mad:
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There were a lot of people on the climb, but fewer than I anticipated. I think it was partially due to the fact that the KOM was actually a bit farther along the road at a winery. To say there was a festive mood among the crowd would be an understatement. The pic of the guy on the standard bike happened to also catch the guy in the Borat tank suit (look in the background).
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A few more pics to follow.

JSR
 

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There was racing, too!

It looks like Jens is about to take a bite out of Levi as the peloton climbs on the first lap.

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The Stars and Stripes Jersey on the last lap.

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I'm going to try to remember this vista the next time i do this climb. Somehow whenever I ride there it's hot and dry and I'm outta gas....

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Good thread!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Looked like he just caught his footpeg in the fence and then went down. Still not sure how the front wheel wound up going into the fence unless the bike swung around after the peg hooked. He hopped right up and appeared to be physically fine, but it took several minutes for two people to get the bike untangled and out of the way. We thought for sure the next rider was going to come around that corner and into problems, but luckily it was out of the way in the nick of time.

One of the last racers came so close to that fence that I saw it wiggle. The guy next to me and my wife both said they heard a click, like his pedal just touched it. Since the fence wiggled, I will believe it. We glad no one got hurt on that corner as it was treacherous.
 

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This is one of the reasons this board is so great. There are many great members here. I think half of what I know about cycling has come from RBR.
 

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nate said:
Someone drove a hearse to the race. LOL!

Thanks to both of you for the pictures.
The world's ultimate SAG wagon.
 

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yater said:
Most guys set up their climbing bikes that way.
Don't know how, that's got to be uncomfortable as all hell on the wrists.
 

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Great story and pic's Thanks for sharing
 
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