Stage Four – Morro Bay to Monterey County
The Pacific Coast Highway from Morro Bay is nothing short of picture perfect.
We headed north along California’s most famous coastline, passing windswept beaches and a dynamic estuary. For this entire stretch there were no turns as we headed over Big Sur’s famous Bixby Bridge and through Carmel-By-The-Sea en route to Monterey County.
We stopped along the way for a quick peanut butter and jelly picnic for added energy and to enjoy the view.
Some of the athletes chose to call their day short and measure in hours in the saddle rather than miles, with two SAG vehicles, this wasn’t a problem.
After a quick change of clothes it was time for food and to head to the next stage. We thought we found an all you can eat buffet, but we had missed the buffet time by 30 minutes. Probably just as well, that would have been cruel!
Athletes ended up with a beautiful coastal century, 100 miles and 7,507ft of elevation gain.
Stage Five – Lodi to South Lake Tahoe
“Holy Elevation Batman!”
This long gradual ascent into South Lake Tahoe, reached a peak elevation of 8,600 feet – the highest in race history. The ride, essentially a 130-mile climb that gains in elevation from 50 feet to 6,650 at the finish.
Within the first 30 miles, our athletes had already over 6,000ft of gain, pushing through windy conditions, this was a day for mental toughness!
As we rolled into South Lake Tahoe, the scenery quickly changed to snow covered mountains and breathtakingly beautiful scenery (or maybe it was breathtaking from all the climbing)
Soon it was time to start descending, with the winds, this was proving to be a task that isn’t for the faint of heart. At 75 miles and an impressive 11,083 ft of elevation gain, the crew called it a day. We jumped in the vans, headed off the course as to let the race move by and headed towards the next stage.
All Endurance Nation camps are sponsored by Normatec Recovery. Athletes enjoy the new top of the line units to help them recover like the pros. Beer is not included, but since the new units are able to be charged, we can take recovery on the road, literally.
Everyone in the vans deserved a nice dinner for the hard work, and Sutter Street Steakhouse in Fulsom was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Stage Six – Folsom
The Time Trial Stage was going to be a much needed recovery day. The 12.6-mile and 705ft of elevation gain of an out and back course returns to Historic Downtown Folsom.
In a town made famous by musician Johnny Cash, cycling now takes center stage, with the course passing beneath the recently constructed Johnny Cash Bike Trail Bridge. The crew decided to shake out their legs with the closed TT course then it was VIP day!
This year the camp added VIP passes to Stage Six and Stage Eight. This was a chance to get exclusive behind the scenes looks at the finish line, the crew, the pits and even, some of the athletes.
There were many celebrity sightings, tons of food eaten, lots of pictures and cheering on the Time Trial.
Folsom town was like a mini bike carnival. The expo had everything you needed to represent the sport, and test out. Music, food, vendors and of course the athletes running around getting ready for the time trial.
After a quick “WIN” we packed the vans and headed to the next stage. The rolling party continues….
Stage Seven – Santa Rosa
We began and ended in Santa Rosa in the heart of Sonoma County wine county. The course covered some of the same territory as the popular annual Levi’s GranFondo event.
With four King of the Mountain points along King Ridge Road, Pacific Coast Highway and Coleman Valley Road. These country roads through redwoods, coastline and forests kept everyone attentive with the feeling of riding on the edge of a continent.
We stopped on the course in Occidental to watch the race go by and picked up some sandwiches from the local deli.
Athletes ended up with 70 miles and 6,959ft of elevation gain. Not a bad way to end the day. As usual, we packed up camp and headed to the final stage.
An ice-cream stop was needed along the way this trip, they earned it right?
Stage Eight – Sacramento
The capital city of California will bring its first Overall Finish as usually this city is where the tour starts.
The course will travel along the Sacramento River and cross Tower Bridge twice before returning downtown where fans will anxiously wait along the traditional finish circuits around the Capitol building.
On the last day of camp it was bitter sweet but athletes ended up with 50 miles and 300 ft of elevation gain. With one more set of VIP passes, the crew hit the expo to shop and watch the epic finish of the tour.
Special Thanks To:
Crazy Bear Bikes Without Xavier and his stellar work as a SAG operator, this camp would not be possible. Thank you for always being there to help our athletes, your smiling face and chipper attitude and of course, your unique car horn that always made us feel safe, knowing you had our back. You’re TOC family, can’t wait to see you next year!
Normatec You helped keep our legs fresh and ready for the next day of torture. Every single athlete should own a pair of these magic boots. Thank you for all you do to better the sporting community!
Compex A match made in athlete heaven. Your systems provided that extra amount of recovery that made the task of 8 days of riding as much of a breeze as it should be. Thank you for the buzz… get it?!
Aloe Gloe and Core Power Protein You were the first drinks every athlete grabbed after their long day of training. Quenching our thirsts and aiding in recovery. A perfect pairing to the camp and a must have for the fridge at home.
Total Camp Stats:
539 Miles and 47,654ft of elevation gain
4 canisters of Gatorade Endurance
72 Cliff Bars
200 Cliff Blocks
Hours of inside jokes and laughter
(Unlisted totals of beers, ice cream, recovery drinks and chips)