Saturday, May 22nd was the day of time trial stage of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California. It would be a decisive stage for the overall contenders of the race. Top triathletes Chris Lieto, Chrissie Wellington, Chris McCormack, and Slowtwitch's publisher Dan Empfield were invited to race the course prior to the stage, to see how they would measure up against the pro peloton.
First onto the course was Chris Lieto, who tore up the course at a blistering pace aboard a brand new Trek Speed Concept. Previously, Lieto had ridden prototype versions of the bike, but this time he was on a full production model, finally available to the public. In fact, many of the amateur athletes who rode the course were also aboard the Speed Concept as part of a Trek test ride program for the event.
Chrissie Wellington showed up aboard her Cannondale Slice, but instead of her typical triathlon apparel, she came wearing a full-sleeved speed suit and an aero helmet. Wellington appeared to have a great run, reportedly catching her minute man (Dan Empfield) within the first lap of the 20-mile, two-lap course. Unfortunately, Empfield suffered a crash some time after his first lap, and was unable to finish.
Rounding out the bunch was World Champion Chris McCormack, who left his Specialized Shiv at home, presumably taking his Transition because it is easier to transport. As of this writing, no official results are available for the amateur athletes.
All images are © Nick Salazar of salazarphotography.com
Fabian Cancellara gets out of the aero position aboard his Specialized Shiv v3 to take a corner. Not a view you see very often.
It is not often that cyclists get to enjoy these LA roads without competing with cars.
Yaroslav Popovych of team Radio Shack leaving the start house.
Chris Lieto enjoys some laughs while warming up.
Getting down to business on the trainer.
Chris Lieto flying out of a corner, but the Danville, CA resident flatted at mile 17.
Several riders were aboard the new production Speed Concept bikes.
Dave Zabriskie warming up for what would be a great run.
Tom Danielson in a tight tuck, riding his new Felt DA.
Slowtwitch publisher Dan Empfield rounding out his first lap, before crashing out.
Chrissie Wellington sported a full team Liquigas kit as she represented her Cannondale sponsor
Wellington was riding hard, but careful.
Gear West owner Kevin O'Connor flew the shop colors and was aboard a new Speed Concept.
Chrissie Wellington seemingly took a cue from George Hincapie on how to go hard during her TT.
The course was quite a bit tougher than it looked on paper.
Wellington looking like a human bullet.
Don't let anyone tell you that Macca took it easy. He was clearly working it.
Cancellara didn't have a great ride, but made the incline look easy.
Popovych before his start.
The Garmin boys warm up.