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February 14-20, 2007

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George Hincapie

Photograph by Felipe Buitrago
I bike, therefore I Amgen: World-Class rider George Hincapie, winner of last year's Stockton-San Jose stage of the Amgen Tour, at the time trial in Morgan Hill.

The Big Spin

By Felipe Buitrago

WHEN I WAS a little kid, playing King of the Mountain was always a ton of fun. Years later, I've found that the game is still being played, but with a different spin to it. And when I say "spin" I mean just that. This Saturday, Feb. 17, hundreds of skilled cyclists will assemble at City Hall at 8:30am to go on a showcase ride that will preview the San Jose stage—possibly the hardest leg—of the Amgen Tour of California, which kicks off in San Francisco the very next day. This is the second year the Tour of California has been rolling and looks like it has a promising future. Top world-class teams like BMC (based in Santa Rosa), Crédit Agricole (France) and Lance Armstrong's old team the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team (USA) will be riding through our backyards. The 650-mile course will start in San Francisco on Feb. 18 with a small prologue and make its way north and then back south all the way to Long Beach with a final circuit race on Feb. 25. Saturday's approximately 25-mile ride will provide cyclists with a chance to pair up their skills against the pros and among clubs and avid riders in the Bay Area. There will be a pre-ride breakfast, which you will definitely need to make that Sierra Road 10 percent grade—that's biker talk for a 3.7-mile stretch of road that spikes to 1,830 feet of elevation. So eat your Wheaties and I'll see you at the top. For registration and more info visit

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