As you know from my many blog postings here, I’m quite a huge fan of my hometown of Rancho Mirage, which sits squarely in the heart of the Palm Springs Valley. So naturally, I was just bursting with pride when I learned that the Amgen Tour of California—the fourth biggest bike race in the world—was coming through my home town. Talk about being over the moon! Since our desert communities had months to prepare and promote the event, it was hardly surprising to see the thousands upon thousands who showed up to cheer on the 100+ riders who almost literally flew by.
It all happened on Monday, May 13th, 2013, in the heat of a near record-breaking 108 degree spring afternoon! The second day of the eight-day race started coolly in Murietta, CA, where the bikers psyched themselves up for the 126 miles ahead that would culminate in one of the most grueling finishes to be imagined—the 3.8 mile trek up Tramway Road in Palm Springs, with an elevation 2500 feet above the valley floor.
Although a few cyclist actually had to be briefly hospitalized after their finish due to heat exhaustion and dehydration, every highly trained athlete fought to the finish. And while Ireland’s Philip Deignan was securely in the lead going into the final Tramway climb, Columbian Janier Acevedo surged forward on the last incline, taking the first place prize.
Not only was this a spectacle to behold in person, but millions of television viewers were watching every pedal rotation while rooting for their favorite teams. All this press and TV coverage has once again shone a spotlight on truly one of the most beautiful vacation spots in the world. And I couldn’t be more honored to live right in the heart of the valley in Rancho Mirage.
To get all the final news on the race, check out www.amgentourofcalifornia.com