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Archives for the day Saturday, May 14th, 2011

The Tour of California begins from South Lake Tahoe on Sunday, and will feature a field of legitimate ProTour and elite continental riders wanting to leave their mark on the race.

Event organizers hoped a mid-May event would give riders the chance to hit higher elevations with better weather, though it looks like riders will have to wear their cold weather gear.

The race starts tomorrow with a planned 118-mile trip around Tahoe that could include a few inches of fresh snow.

Warmer weather during the week has given way to colder weather and the growing likelihood of a snow-covered stage to kick off the biggest cycling race in the United States. TOC stage 2 — which travels through Donner Pass — may also need to be changed due to snowy weather.

Event organizers do have backup plans in case stages need to be altered due to snow, and will keep monitoring the situation late into the night.

The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and North Lake Tahoe Resort Association have been responsible for sponsorship efforts that will have major local impact:

“The Amgen Tour of California is expected to provide one of greatest financial impacts to the Tahoe basin in years. Based on previous races, the annual economic impact to the state of California is estimated to be $100 million with Lake Tahoe organizers anticipating a local impact of $5 – 10 million resulting from 10 days of events leading up to the race start on May 15. For Lake Tahoe, hosting the tour is about telling the world that the area is a remarkable cycling destination.”

Since defending champion Mick Rogers is sidelined with illness, this race will be wide open for a few select potential GC contenders. HTC-Columbia plans to keep fighting for GC glory, even though Rogers won’t be at the race as he recovers.

Even with the Giro heating up in Italy, it’s time to shift focus to the TOC as riders fly across the Golden State.

A couple of months ago, I was talking nutrition with my buddies from Clif.  They told me I could get my calories from my drinks and sent me a couple of containers of Clif Shot Electrolyte drink to prove their point.  My first taste left with the impression of “Just another sports drink”.

Upon drinking the whole bottle, I realized there was no fake sweetener taste.   As most of you know, I like to consume natural products as much as possible so a drinkable product with no sweeteners is great for me.

I took the Lemonade flavor Clif Shot to work where it worked well after my lunch time runs.  I rarely crashed in the afternoon and I always recovered enough for my next workout.  It does not taste like Kool-Aide but it is drinkable enough to sip after a workout.

I take the Cranberry Razz flavor out on bike rides and drink it 50% stronger than the label recommends.  It helps to give me enough calories to keep me fueled for a longer bike ride.  I suffer from no ill effects from drinking it concentrated and I stay fueled.

I took 3 weeks off from endurance training because of injury.  I went out for a 60-mile bike ride with my brother my first day back from injury.

I did not realize that I ran out of Clif Shot so I tried Hammer Nutrition Heed.  After our ride, I crashed hard and could not eat for about four hours after the ride.  He had no problems with the Hammer fluid and ate Mexican food as soon as we finished.

(Mike’s Note:  This is one of the reasons you should be careful experimenting with new products during longer training sessions.  It’s disappointing to miss tasty post-exercise dinner because your stomach feels iffy from the workout.)

Physiology has a lot to do with what products work for which individuals.  He has trouble keeping his weight down while I have trouble keeping my weight up. 

Clif has knocked the mighty Cytomax sports drink off the top of my list of preferred drinks.  That is saying a lot since I have been buying Cytomax for more than 10 years.  I like the drinkable taste of Clif.  Kool-Aide is good but not for a recovery drink.  I also like using the different flavors for different routines.  I am not a scientist or nutritionist.  I just know what I can drink and how painful life can be when I crash.