2015 Tour of California: Stage 01

2015 Tour of California: Stage 01

Sunday - May 10, 2015 - Sacramento

The whole course. Because it was flat and bright and mostly hidden. And ugly. And supernaturally boring

Walnut Grove (53.2km), Isleton (69.5km), West Sacramento (187.9km)
 questionably bright
Hilton Garden Inn
WiFi Strength
Complimentary Level, Speed = Tepid
Number of Starbucks Visited
Today's Race Bible Race Jargon

“Big Ringing It” – A “big” gear.

MFS Team

Emiliano Granado, Kyle Von Hoetzendorff, Ian “An Unfair Advantange” Marshall, Daniel Wakefield Pasley

Stage Description

Fast and flat, with water and bridges galore… Stage 1 is destined to be a sprinter’s delight. Each year, the Amgen Tour of California endeavors to highlight areas of the Golden State that it has never been to before*, and this year’s Stage 1 definitely accomplishes this. After an initial crossing of the Sacramento River via the iconic Tower Bridge, the race will pass quickly through West Sacramento to River Road. From here, the race will follow the winding Sacramento River through the small towns of Clarksburg, Courtland and Walnut Grove. The stage’s fourth bridge crossing will take the race back over the river into Isleton. A few miles later, the route again crosses the river into Rio Vista and the heart of the California Delta region.


The riders will then head north through Solano County into one of the most popular alumni race cities, Davis. Continuing north through Woodland, the route turns east and heads back to West Sacramento, across Tower Bridge and the Sacramento River for the fourth and final time. Heading straight toward the State Capitol building, the riders will enter onto the same finishing circuits that have delivered huge crowds and have showcased some of the most exciting sprint finishes in the history of the Amgen Tour of California. In 2014, the sprint between legendary fast men Mark Cavendish and John Degenkolb resulted in the closest margin of victory in race history – a mere 3 millimeters!

MFS Course Notes

Manual for Speed feels like race organizers should consider stepping outside their comfort zone when exploring never before seen parts of the Golden State. Like maybe leaving Sacramento. Sure there might be a few alleyways and cul-de-sacs in and around Sacramento that haven’t seen the TOC but that doesn’t mean next year’s sprinters need to do battle on them.

Today's Quote of the Day
“It pops in your mouth!”PinkBerry Girl regarding Strawberry flavored Popping Boba topping
IToday's High Points & Low Points
  • Getting cuties at the Starbucks adjacent to the Hyatt Regency, and at the start.

  • Taqueria El Burrito in Davis, California. MFS recommends ordering tacos because it’s taco-worthy. Which taco-worthy distinction, it should be noted, is the highest praise and distinction a Mexican Eating Establishment, be it a taqueria or a restaurant or a cart in a Sears parking lot in Salt Lake City or whatever, can receive. We didn’t know Taqueria El Burrito was taco-worthy so we ordered burritos (carnitas), California Style. California Style burritos at Taqueria Burrito come with your choice of meat, rice, beans, cheese, potatoes, avocado (not guacamole) and tomatoes. And they’re stunning, truly. That, or maybe Kyle and I have been in Portland, Oregon for too long and therefore woefully mis-calibrated. Sidenote: Dear Readers, if any of you have first hand experience with Taqueria El Burrito in Davis, California and you think it’s as good as we think it is, or nowhere near as good as we think it is, please contact us and share your thoughts.

  • Pinkberry (Emiliano is practiced at Pinkberry so Kyle and I watched him go first. As many of you will know, the first decision is choosing the foundation flavor. Emiliano recommended original because it’s both “sweet and tart.” The woman helping us also recommended the original, suggesting that “if you like greek yogurt, you will love the taste of original.” All three of us chose cups over cones. Regarding toppings; Emiliano chose strawberries and mochi, Kyle chose pineapple and strawberry, and Daniel chose strawberries and dark chocolate crisps).

  • When Ted King threw trash at me from inside the bike race. Maybe it was bottle. Who knows. It was something for sure. It doesn’t matter, just getting recognized when you’re standing on the side of the road, especially a hot/boring/overly-bright/nonconsensual section of road, by a professional racer in the middle of a race, even if as a “target” is truly a pleasure. In fact, up to a point, what that means in terms of what’s “too gnarly” or “too gross” is yet to be determined, and therefore Manual for Speed hereby encourages everyone racing the 2015 Tour of California to throw something at us out there on the course if and when it’s possible.

  • Visiting with, talking to, witnessing, high-fiving, hugging, shouting at, getting shouted at by Joe Dombrowski, Ted King (thanks for the trash!), Ben King, Kiel Reijnen (thanks for the thumbs up!), Alex Howes (thanks for the hug!), Danny Summerville (thanks for the peace fingers!), Phil Gaimon, Lachlan Morton, Gavin Mannion, Joe Lewis, Mike Creed, Kristoffer Skjerping, Freddy Rodriquez as well as many others that we can’t think of at 1:49 AM.

  • Capital Park because Capital Park is DELIGHTFUL.

  • Selfie requests of us, not by us.

  • The line at the Starbucks.

  • The Tour of California no longer provides Media with a proper Media/Prensa/Stampa sticker. Which lack of sticker compromises and complicates navigating the rolling enclosure as well as entering and exiting the course ahead of the race.

  • Learning that access to a photo moto costs $250.00 dollars per stage.

  • Witnessing several photo moto motorcycles on the course pass by empty and unburdened, and thoroughly pointless.

  • Being forced off the course by CHP. Typically the advantage of driving the course well ahead of the Peloton is the opportunity to choose a spot on the course from which to photograph the race. Today, however, the spot was chosen for Manual for Speed. It wasn’t a particularly good spot and we had about two hours of a four hour bike race invested in this section of the race.

  • When Ted King threw trash at me from inside the bike race.

  • The Burger King (and Taco Bell) section of the course where we stopped to photograph the race.

  • The whole course. Because it was flat and bright and mostly hidden. And ugly. And supernaturally boring.

IITold by Towle: TOC Stage 01

I’m Dave Towle and I would like to thank you for joining me for the first edition of Told By Towle.


“When the world’s most talented cyclists are literally tearing each other apart in the gladiator pit that is professional cycling, Manual for Speed is there to capture the Speed, Humanity and Spectacle of California’s Greatest Race.”


Stage 01: “Manual for Speed blasted through Sac Town on a two burrito binger fueled by cup after cup of high octane java! Strategically split into two teams, one group blazed along the back roads in their custom labeled mid-sized rental eventually catching up with the World Class peloton next to a Burger King. The other half stalked the chillers of Capitol Park while waiting to pounce on the thrilling sprint finish. After the race they retired to the sanctuary of the Hilton Garden Inn for a supersonic night of high-energy blogging.”

IIIThe Top Dogs of the Double Tree

Manual for Speed was between acts and idling at the hotel bar when we were cruised by a septuagenarian in a flowing teal and magenta ren fair meets pajama ensemble. After a few cracks about her overweight husband she invited us to the Keeshond Nationals that were just wrapping up in another wing of the Double Tree. We went but in the end we didn’t hook up.


2015 KCA National
Scroll right to learn eleven things you need to know about Keeshonds.
01 Pronounced KAYZ - HOND.
02 Their tails curl up so they don’t freeze off.
03 The hair on their tail should be profuse, forming a rich plume.
04 According to the American Kennel Club breed standard, the legs and feet are to be cream; feet that are totally black or white are severe faults.
05 Ears should be small, dark, triangular, and erect.
06 They have been referred to as owner’s shadow or 'velcro dogs' because they develop an intense attachment to their owners.
07 Throughout the centuries, the Keeshond has been very popular as a watch dog on barges on canals in the Netherlands and middle Europe.
08 The Keeshond was named after the 18th-century Dutch Patriot, Cornelis (Kees) de Gyselaer (spelled 'Gijzelaar' in Modern Dutch), leader of the rebellion against the House of Orange.
09 The word 'keeshond' is a compound word: 'Kees' is a nickname for Cornelius (de Gyselaer), and 'hond' is the Dutch word for dog.
10 They have a double dense coat.
IVTakin' the Temperature
“After being out of America for five months, it was nice to walk into a US grocery store and be able to talk to anyone in the place, you know like ‘hey nice shoes.’”Ben King “In retirement I want to be more than just the maple syrup guy.”Ted King “Yeah these shoes are good mate, but they are a little tight, so I had to melt the inside out a bit, but now they are all good.”Lachlan Morton “This course was annoying.”Anonymous Professional Rider, according to a third party source. “I want to do Scoops by Joe Lewis on Manual for Speed.”Kasual Klub Prospective Member Joe Lewis
VCapitol Park Start
Erica Allar, @erica_allar, rides for Team Colavita, is blonde, and shaves her legs.
KVH: “Do you know about Manual for Speed?” EA: “I follow you on Instagram but I don’t actually know the details of it soooo, I know you are pretty fun, there’s actually a photo of me from last year at Bosie that you took that I look pretty pissed off in, and it’s AMAZING.” DWP: “I might have taken that.” EA: “It’s pretty good.” DWP: “Why are you angry?” EA: “I’m not, I think it was just like in the moment where you caught me at a funky time.” DWP: “Is that resting bitch face (RBF)?” EA: “I have resting bitch face.” DWP: “Hey, we all do.”
VICapitol Park: Women's Race
VIINon-Consensual River Road Race Coverage
VIIIUC Davis feat. Taqueria El Burrito
IXBurger King Intersection
XCapitol Park Finish
A Brief Study of Capitol Park
Perfect for strolls, picnics, and illicit solicitations, Sacramento’s Capitol Park has something for everyone.
01 "It gets crowded during the weekday at noon. Nearby workers take their daily stroll around the park." - Lillian H.
02 “Shade can be found under the many trees.” - Melissa S.
03 “If you have the time, stop into the Capitol Rotunda and look up into the "false dome," an interesting bit of architectural deception. Back outside, watch out for the dog poop.” - John H.
04 “I'm blessed to live so close to this park.” - Dan M.
05 “This place is gorgeous. Total Photo Op.” - Laura S.
06 “The only reason for the -2 stars is that at some part around the park, more along the sides of L St and N St, smell like fresh manure.” - Arnold A .
07 “One thing you want to avoid here is that restroom area. That restroom is filthy, has a lot of graffiti, and STINKS. “ - Antonio A.
08 "Just beautiful!!!!" - MFS.
Terry Hughes is one of the few at race day who have well developed skills in and management of inflatable finish arch technology. KVH: "Terry what qualifies you to hold up the inflatable arch? TH: I'm on the routing and signs team" KVH: "How much inflatable arch experience do you have? TH - Ten years KVH: "Do you remember the first inflatable arch that you put up?" TH: "Yes." KVH: "What was it for? TH: For Tour of California." KVH: "REALLY! Was it Lexus sponsored?" TH: "Eeeeeye, don’t remember, I don’t believe it was?" KVH: "Where is your favorite location to put up an inflatable arch?" TH: Today was great." KVH: "Are you always in Sacramento? TH: "Tomorrow we will be up near Cool City." KVH: "Do you aspire to do Macy’s day parade inflatables?" TH: "Oh no, I see what happen when the wind picks up with those." KVH: "It's like they just drag you around right?" TH: "Heh, yeah."
Happy Mother's Day!
XIKalifornia Facts by Klaus
  1. California’s population is 38.8 million. That’s more than both Canada and Poland. One out of every eight Americans lives in California.
  2. If California were a country, it would be the eighth largest economy in the world.
  3. California has 11 seaplane bases.
  4. California’s flag depicts a grizzly bear named Monarch, which was captured by William Randolph Hearst in 1899. The last reported sighting of a wild California grizzly bear was in 1924.
  5. Official state motto: Eureka (sans exclamation point).
  6. California has the largest Armenian population outside Armenia.
  7. The Country Store in Baker, CA has sold more winning California State Lottery tickets than any outlet in the state.
  8. California inventions include: Barbie dolls, blue jeans, the square tomato, wetsuits, cobb salad, squeegees, The Wave, Pet Rocks, and lasers.
  9. Wilsons Leather, purveyors of quality leather goods, has twenty-five locations in California.
  10. Town names in California include: Cool, Raisin, Likely and Weed. Weed’s town motto is “Weed like to welcome you”.
  11. In 2007 The Red Hot Chili Peppers filed a lawsuit against Showtime over the name of the series “Californication”, which was also the name of the band’s 1999 album and hit single. The term first appeared in print in Time magazine in 1972, in an article called “The Great Wild Californicated West”. The lawsuit was settled out of court.
  12. Fresno is the raisin capital of the world.
  13. The California Raisins were created for a 1986 commercial for the California Raisin Advisory Board by the advertising agency Foote, Cone & Belding. The California Raisins released four studio albums between 1987 and 1988. Their biggest hit was “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” which made it into Billboard’s “Hot 100” list. A video game for the Nintendo game console was created but never released, due to the “dwindling commercial success of the California Raisins”.
  14. The only club dedicated to Daewoo cars (the South Korean company whose vehicles were sold in North America from 1997 to 2002) in the United States is in Riverside, California. It has 15 members. The club’s only restriction: anyone who applies must be the owner or lessee of a Daewoo vehicle.
  15. California has 17 LARP clubs, including Pawns Gambit, E’EDION, Dreams of Deirdre, and Badlands of Torkerst.
  16. The oldest living cat in the world, Tiffany, is 28 years old and lives in San Diego.
  17. At its peak, 90% of legally distributed pornographic films made in the United States were either filmed in or produced in California’s San Fernando Valley. That number has dropped recently due to the popularity and accessibility of Internet pornography.
  18. California is ranked #1 in the United States in the following: gonorrhea, roller coasters, Sam’s Clubs, shopping malls, railroad accident fatalities.
  19. California is ranked last in the United States in the following: advanced 8th grade students, refugees from the United Kingdom, winners of the McDonald’s Classic Basketball Tournament.
Custom MFS Photo Moto Helmets by Death Spray Custom.
2015 Tour of California: Stage 01 SHARE Facebook Twitter

A just-often-enough subscription to Digital Correspondence.

We email you all the stuff you need to know, and nothing you don't. Call it insider info, but, really, it's just a newsletter.

Submit your address and your local postperson will deliver something nice to you once in a while.