I knew I had arrived at the right location when I ran into Thor Hushovd and Tommy Danielson in the hotel lobby. After the six-hour drive to Sacramento, I rushed into the lobby to check-in, dropped my bags in the room, ran through the shower, put on a suit and headed over to the extravagant Amgen Tour of California Opening Gala. The plush red carpet in front of the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium greeted over 500 government and city dignitaries, race officials, sponsors and all 128 riders scheduled to start America’s Greatest Race on Sunday.
Man, is it close! We are just over a week away from the start of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California. So much to do before I pack up the car for the drive to Sacramento ahead of the Stage 1 start on Sunday, May 11.
When the ninth edition of the Amgen Tour of California rolls off the start line May 11 with a stage that begins and finishes in Sacramento, it will be my third visit to the state capital as well as my third time trekking throughout the Golden State covering America’s Greatest Race. But I have never before been invited to put on a suit and tie to attend the opening ceremonies and gala dinner that includes a formal team presentation. And you are invited, too.