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Nor Cal TOC stages
Last Post 05/17/2013 02:13 PM by Kevin Burnet. 2 Replies.
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05/17/2013 12:21 PM
It looks like a great day for a TT in San Jose. It is cloudy and cool this AM and there is a strong SW wind. that means good conditions for this TT. They will have a strong head wind the first half and then they do a u-Turn and so will have a strong tailwind to the base of the Metcalf Road climb. The cool weather will make the climb seem easy compared to what they did in Palm Springs! For the Mt Diablo stage the forcast is for low 80's and strong West wind. They will head north out of Livermore on flat roads to Morgan Territory road. There they will have a 4 mile climb, most of it 9 to 10 % but a couple extended stretches of 18 to 20%. The descent of this road is known locally as "the Plunge" because it seems to just drop off the ridge into the valley. Fantastic scenery up there as they top out on the ridge. On this section the road is excellent, though narrow one-lane. The Road on the descent off this ridge is one of the worst in the area. It was built a hundred years ago when some ranchers got together and hacked away at the hillside, mixed oil with dirts, smashed it down a bit and said "we'll call this a road." It hasn't been improved much since. it is a steep, very technical descent on extremely rough, narrow road. In fact, at some points the support car wheels will be off the pavement on both sides. I hope no on crashes on this thing. After that it is a gentle descent to the Central Valley town of Byron. Then a flat, very windy section going south to Patterson Pass where they will cross back over the same ridge they climbed previously. Patterson Pass is a totally exposed climb, so in hot weather it is tough. It seems it will be mild on this stage, however. The pass stair-steps up with short, steep risers and longer, gentler steps. The risers get longer and steeper towards the top. The final has a quarter mile of 20% grade. Then they drop back down through Livermore and pass through the start area a second time. The route then retraces the opening miles but goes by the Morgan Territory turnoff and heads to the base of Mt Diablo on rolling country roads. The climb of Diablo is 11 miles, and the average is 6%. But there are a couple of flat and even downhill sections, so the actual climbs are steeper. Most of it is 8 to 9% with some 15% curves. It is a great climb since the view expands as you ascend. From the top of Mt Diablo you can see more land area than anyplace on earth, except Mt Killmanjaro. On a clear day you can see Mt Shasta, 250 miles away. While the temperatures will be in the low 80's in the valley it is always hotter on the slopes of Diablo. The last 4 miles, mostly 9% grades, is south facing and exposed. In the afternoon the sun heats the mountain and hot air rides along the slopes making it 5 to 10 degrees hotter than the surrounding area. It can feel pretty desolate when the temps rise. The last 2 tenths mile is 16 to 20% grade, so the last sprint is going to be gut wrenching. They have an annual race up the mountain and the fastest time for that is around 43 minutes. I expect these guys will go under 40. It is going to be crazy up there. It has been in the papers daily, and they are expecting hordes on the mountain. People will have to walk or ride up as it will be closed to cars. Should be fun!


05/17/2013 02:04 PM
Thanks for the local insight. Sounds like a course designers dream and a racer's nightmare.


05/17/2013 02:13 PM
That's going to be one great stage tomorrow. I've done all those climbs dozens of times, but never all three in one day.
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