Big Bear Time Trials and the Tour de France

Tour de France
Stage 1 of the 2015 Tour de France is a short 8.6 mile, individual Time Trial. Stage 9 is a 17 mile Team Time Trial. The climb heavy 2015 Tour favors Alberto Contador; and the early and short Time Trials do not favor Chris Froome. But the short Tour de France individual Time Trial matches up well with the Big Bear Amgen Tour of California Time Trial length. So there is a good possibility we will see some big name Euro Pros use Big Bear as a preparation for the short and early Tour de France Time Trial.
Winning a Stage 1 Tour de France Time Trial is very prestigious for the Time Trial specialists. Winning a Big Bear Time Trial will also rank high on a Time Trial specialist’s goal list. It will be interesting to see what the Giro d’ Italia does in the area of scheduling short and early Individual Time Trial stages in order to attract Tour de France Time Trial specialists. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Time Trial specialists who ride the Big Bear Time Trial, drop out and avoid the next day Baldy queen stage to recover and continue preparation for the July Tour.
The Pro Teams who target and use Amgen Tour of California as Tour de France prep and have Time Trial focus, will put Big Bear Time Trials in their sights. Any domestic pro continental team or riders that compete in the April National Race Calendar Redlands Classic, who also may get an Amgen Tour of California invite, will definitely want to do early high altitude training in both Big Bear Lake and on the North Shore.
Big Bear Lake welcomes the pro teams and riders. With the support of local road bicycling, we continue to position Big Bear Lake, CA as a high altitude training center great for anything, from recreational, to world class professional cycling teams.
- Ray Dicius, 2015 Amgen Tour of California Big Bear Time Trial Stage Local Organizing Committee Vice-Chair
Big Bear Cycling


Cycling Big Bear Lake
Amgen Tour of California Helps Boost Economy During Slow Shoulder Season

BIG BEAR LAKE, CA – Monday AEG, presenter of Amgen Tour of California announced Big Bear Lake as a host city for the 10th Anniversary Amgen Tour of California professional cycling race. On Friday, May 15, 2015 Big Bear Lake will be the site of Amgen Tour of California’s first ever high-altitude time trial for its Stage 6 ride.

This marks the third time in six years that Big Bear Lake is a host city for Amgen Tour of California, which reaffirms the mountain resort as a world-class road cycling destination. Officials of Big Bear Lake are excited with the opportunity to present Big Bear’s mountainous terrain and natural assets to recreational outdoor enthusiasts throughout the world. The visibility includes two hours of continuous TV coverage to a vast international audience. The cyclists start and finish the Stage 6 Time Trial in Big Bear Village, which means the two hours of continuous TV coverage is all based in Big Bear.

“This race will once again put Big Bear Lake on the international stage giving Big Bear an opportunity to shine in the spotlight to millions of viewers!” said City of Big Bear Lake Mayor Jay Obernolte. “We’ll also experience an influx of people on race day, which will help our economy.”

In addition to the great media coverage, the race is expected to draw thousands of spectators to Big Bear during the slowest time of year. The Big Bear Local Organizing Committee anticipates the race will help boost the economy like it did in 2010 and 2012. Big Bear Events Resource Office reported the 2010 and 2012 Amgen Tour of California races combined had a significant economic impact on Big Bear, which generated more than $1.2 million dollars toward the local economy.  The Big Bear Resource Office also found through its surveys that 36 percent of the spectators in 2010 were first-time visitors to Big Bear and 28 percent were first-time visitors in 2012.

Ever since Big Bear hosted Amgen Tour of California in years past, it has experienced a steady increase of visitors and locals alike who have shown a keen interest in cycling in and around Big Bear Valley. Amgen Tour of California has had a substantial influence on the local community including the birth of Big Bear Cycling Association. In the past several years many cycling related programs and activities have developed including community rides and major events such as Big Bear MTB Gran Fondo, Grizzly 100, Big Bear Cycling Festival, and Tour de Big Bear. These events have created opportunities for local businesses and great revenue sources for Big Bear.

“Hosting the Amgen Tour time trial is an incredible opportunity for Big Bear Valley,” said Linda Ricchiuti, owner of The Copper Q (in Big Bear Village). “Having an event of this magnitude, during what is traditionally a slower season, will create great start to our season and the worldwide publicity will have a long lasting economic impact on Big Bear Valley.”

For further information on the 10th Anniversary Amgen Tour of California, visit

Tour of California



Big Bear Continues its Quest as a Cycling Powerhouse in Southern California

Big Bear Lake, CA March 28, 2014 – In 2010 and 2012 Big Bear Lake was a host city for Amgen Tour of California, which is considered the largest and most prestigious road cycling race in the USA. Last year, Redlands Bicycle Classic, another premier-domestic race on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar, included Big Bear as one of its five stages. This year the Redlands Bicycle Classic returns to Big Bear for the second consecutive year for the Stage 2 Time Trials Thursday, April 3. These elite professional road cycling events held in Big Bear demonstrates that Big Bear is well-received by the industry as a premier cycling destination.

“The riders really enjoyed the mountain setting and high altitude challenge last year, and they’re even more inclined to race the course in 2014,” said Redlands Bicycle Classic Director Eric Reiser.

The Stage 2 Time Trials in Big Bear, referred to as the Race of Truth, is an out and back course on the north shore. The 7.8 miles course starts and ends west of Stanfield Cutoff near the East Launch Ramp. The course leads racers into the town of Fawnskin, which is the turnaround point for racers to sprint back to the finish line. The course is challenging for the riders because of the demanding high-altitude environment.

“This course will definitely get the racers hearts pounding and lungs scorching,” said Big Bear Cycling President Craig Smith.

One of the key reasons why the Redlands Bicycle Classic chose to return to Big Bear is it gives riders a change of scenery with a beautiful alpine lake and mountain vistas in the background. The community of Big Bear is thrilled to once again show the cycling world that the mountain resort is a premier cycling destination, and continues its quest as a cycling powerhouse for Southern California. For best viewing locations and other spectator information visit


Green Jersey Sprinter Peter Sagan Wins Los Angeles!

Photo Courtesy of Amgen Tour of California

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) demonstrated that he’s a dangerous sprinter, edging out Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) for the Los Angeles Stage 8 win. Omega Pharma-QuickStep led their rider into the last turn. But Peter Sagan, propelled by Liquigas-Cannondale, powered through the last 150 feet and barely hit the finish line before Tom Boonen.

The day began with a neutral city start in Beverly Hills, with a hazy 73 degrees and a two mph wind. The terrain was a mix of flat stretches and small hills, totaling just under 43 miles.

Michael Creed (Optum Presented By Kelly Benefit Strategies) led the first attack 30 minutes through the course. He was followed out by Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Barracuda), Timothy Roe (BMC Pro Cycling), Christopher Jones (United HealthCare), and Matt Cooke (Team Exergy).

Robert Gesink (Rabobank), yesterday’s stage winner, remained insulated within the peleton. His goal was the overall win. Risks were not necessary today.

A new break formed creating a 45 second gap. It was composed of Ben Jacques Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling), Rory Sutherland (United HealthCare), Nathan Haas (Garmin-Barracuda), Thomas Damuseau (Argos-Shimano), Scott Zwizanski (Optum Presented By Kelly Benefit Strategies), Morgan Schmitt (Team Exergy,) and Jasper Stuyven (Bontrager-Livestrong). Each team tried to keep someone out front while Rabobank set the pace at the front of the peloton.

The race leaders entered the finishing circuit, a five mile loop from Pico Blvd. to Temple Street. Riders had to complete 6 laps, each time studying the dangerous last turn for the final sprint. The average speed was 30 mph. The seven riders in the break were locked into a 30 second gap.

The second lap continued with Rabobank’s Luis Leon Sanchez and Robert Gesink working together. Haas and Sutherland traded the lead in the break. The fast 30 mph pace continued as the riders pushed over the line to begin lap three of six. The peleton showed discipline and remained in the shape of an arrowhead, narrowing the break to 17 seconds.

With three laps remaining, a rider from Orica GreenEDGE moved into the front of the peleton, Rabobank was happy to share the workload. Lap 5 saw the seven rider gap close to 15 seconds. Team Rabobank still controlled of the pace.

Rory Sutherland (United HealthCare), a superb time trialist, charged from the break with Nathan Haas (Garmin-Barracuda) off his back wheel. The racers still had five miles left to the finish. Stage 8 is considered a sprinters’ stage and expectations were high for a “sprint royale.” The announcers wondered if the rest of the peleton was aware of Nathan Haas’ prolific win record which includes the Japan Cup. This is his first chance riding for a big team.

The peleton started to pick up speed and brought the break back to ten seconds. Robert Gesink was sitting comfortably in third position with his “domestiques” taking first and second position. Liquigas-Cannondale formed to the right of center bringing up Peter Sagan. Garmin-Barracuda formed on the left with their man, Henrich Haussler. The 110 riders lifted the pace to 35 mph.

Rory Sutherland and Nathan Haas took turns attacking out of the break. Unfortunately, it seemed to slow the average speed of the break.

Tom Boonen’s Team, Omega Pharma-QuickStep moved to the front of the peleton, challenging Liquigas-Cannondale. They formed an impressive lead out train, flying past the last corner. But the pace of Boonen’s acceleration was not enough to beat out green jersey sprinter, Peter Sagan. He powered through the last 150 feet and swiped the finish from Boonen’s grasp.

Gesink finished with the peleton, taking the overall win of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. Sebastian Salas (Optum Presented By Kelly Benefit Strategies) won the King of the Mountain Jersey. The sprinter’s Green Rider Jersey was awarded to Peter Sagan. Jeremy Vennel (Bissell Pro Cycling) received the Most Aggressive Rider Jersey. The crowd roared in response to retiring Robbie McEwen (Orica GreenEDGE) as he received the Most Courageous Rider Jersey. Wilco Kelderman (Rabobank) received the Young Riders Jersey.

The cyclists rode a total of nearly 750 miles through Northern, Central and Southern California. They embraced heat, unending mountainous climbs and long hours on the course. It was an exciting and unpredictable race. Many of us will continue on to the Tour de France in July; followed by the Olympics. The Amgen Tour of California has set the bar!

Results of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California

2012 Overall Standings
Pos. No. UCI Code Rider Team Time Gap

1. 41 NED19860531 GESINK, Robert RAB 30:42:32 00:00:00
2. 18 USA19790112 ZABRISKIE, David GRM 30:43:18 00:00:46
3. 11 USA19780313 DANIELSON, Tom GRM 30:43:26 00:00:54
4. 31 USA19880812 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay BMC 30:43:49 00:01:17
5. 92 COL19860611 DUARTE AREVALO, Fabio Andres COL 30:44:08 00:01:36
6. 21 USA19731024 LEIPHEIMER, Levi OPQ 30:44:45 00:02:13
7. 43 NED19910325 KELDERMAN, Wilco* RAB 30:45:02 00:02:30
8. 1 USA19711023 HORNER, Christopher RNT 30:45:21 00:02:49
9. 6 POR19851018 MACHADO, Tiago RNT 30:45:26 00:02:54
10. 67 NED19810405 WEENING, Pieter OGE 30:45:37 00:03:05


Team Standings
1. RadioShack-Nissan (LUX) 92:12:41 00:00:00
2. Rabobank Cycling Team (NED) 92:15:46 00:03:05
3. Orica GreenEDGE (AUS) 92:18:53 00:06:12
4. BMC Racing Team (USA) 92:21:55 00:09:14
5. AG2R La mondiale (FRA) 92:22:49 00:10:08
6. Garmin-Barracuda (USA) 92:23:44 00:11:03
7. Unitedhealthcare p/b Maxxis (USA) 92:31:25 00:18:44
8. Colombia – Coldeportes (COL) 92:31:40 00:18:59
9. Omega Pharma-QuickStep (BEL) 92:37:30 00:24:49
10. Bontrager Livestrong Team (USA) 92:48:19 00:35:38
11. Liquigas-Cannondale (ITA) 92:51:51 00:39:10
12. Argos-Shimano (NED) 93:03:09 00:50:28
13. Team Exergy (USA) 93:07:03 00:54:22
14. Team Spidertech Powered by C10 (CAN) 93:10:18 00:57:37
15. Team Optum Presented By Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA) 93:33:57 01:21:16
16. Bissell Pro Cycling (USA) 93:34:32 01:21


Best Young Rider
1. 43 NED19910325 KELDERMAN, Wilco* RAB 30:45:02 00:00:00
2. 145 USA19910512 DOMBROWSKI, Joseph * TLS 30:46:10 00:01:08
3. 62 AUS19910409 DURBRIDGE, Luke* OGE 30:47:35 00:02:33
4. 105 NED19901111 DUMOULIN, Tom* ARG 30:50:01 00:04:59
5. 72 FRA19901109 BARDET, Romain* ALM 30:51:00 00:05:58


King of the Mountain
1. 132 CAN19871002 SALAS, Sébastian OPT 65
2. 113 CAN19900428 BOILY, David * SPI 48
3. 91 COL19880115 ATAPUMA, Jhon COL 27
4. 128 NZL19801006 VENNELL, Jeremy BPC 22
5. 1 USA19711023 HORNER, Christopher RNT 18


Overall Sprint Standings
1. 57 SVK19900126 SAGAN, Peter* LIQ 87
2. 13 AUS19840225 HAUSSLER, Heinrich GRM 54
3. 22 BEL19801015 BOONEN, Tom OPQ 29
4. 63 AUS19891018 HOWARD, Leigh OGE 24
5. 75 FRA19840501 GEORGES, Sylvain ALM 23

Leipheimer, with a recently broken leg, finish 6th over all!


Robert Gesink Edges Atapuma for the Win

Robert Gesink (NED) of Team Rabobank took one of the most difficult stages of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. The last few meters saw the lead switch between Jhon Atapuma (Columbia-Coldeportes) and Gesink. But Gesink managed to hold on, barely beating Atapuma to the finish.

The Queen Stage went from Ontario up to Mount Baldy. There were three rated climbs. The most difficult was called the “Hors Categorie.” The altitude at the finish line is 6,445 feet.

Today was a day of tactics and strength. Riders opted out of their rooms in Big Bear Lake and headed down to sea level, to help with their recovery. Since the riders informed the USADA officials, no violations were issued.

The race began with a 2.2 mile neutral zone. Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) made the first attack along with Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). They maintained a slight advantage over the main group.

Michael Matthews (Rabobank) and Nathan Brown (Bontrager Livestrong Team) moved up to replace Dries Devenyns. The breakaway group had a ten second lead over the peleton. The peleton picked up the pace and kept the leaders close.

At eight kilometers from the top, there was a large breakaway group of 14 riders representing seven teams. Team RadioShack-Nissan had four riders in the group. The break had a 1:10 advantage.

As the break crested the climb, the peleton was back 1:50. Team RadioShack-Nissan took the top three spots in the first King of the Mountain. The winner was George Bennett, followed by Jens Voight and Chris Horner.

The peleton tightened the gap on the descent. Meanwhile, T.J. Van Garderen (BMC Pro Cycling) punctured, but was quickly set back in the race. The top of the descent is technical and extremely fast. It’s followed by an open stretch along the reservoir to Glendora.

Rabobank did the work at the front of the peleton as the gap widened to two minutes. They were joined by Garmin-Barracuda. Garmin-Barracuda was interested in keeping Chris Horner manageable. Horner has three teammates in the group.

The men in the breakaway group included: Christopher Horner (USA), RadioShack-Nissan; George Bennett (NZl), RadioShack-Nissan; Grégory Rast (Swi), RadioShack-Nissan; Jens Voigt (Ger), RadioShack-Nissan; Timothy Duggan (USA), Liquigas-Cannondale; Maxime Bouet (Fra), Liquigas-Cannondale; Marc de Maar (Ned), United Healthcare; Bradley White (USA)United Healthcare; Darwin Atapuma (Col) Colombia-ColdePortes; Alexandre Geniez (Fra), Agros-Shimano; Lucas Euser (USA), SpiderTech; Christopher Baldwin (USA), Bissell.

Brad White (United Health Care) dropped from the breakaway group, along with Lucas Euser (Team Spidertech Powered by C10). Euser had mechanical troubles but quickly returned to the break. Chris Horner was the last Radioshack-Nissan man left in the break.

Horner stormed away from the front of the peleton with Darwin Atapuma (Colombia – Coldeportes) and powered past the break, creating a gap of 3:25 on the peleton.

BMC Pro Cycling took up the work at the front of the peleton keeping T.J. Van Gardener in the race.

Atapuma took the second KOM, with Chris Horner second. The gap of 3:45 caused a move out of the peleton. David Zabriskie (Garmin-Barracuda) was surrounded by his teammates and looks relaxed.

BMC Pro Cycling’s work started to pay off. The gap diminished to 2:55. There was still 13 miles to the summit which was mostly uphill. Jeff Louder (United Health Care) popped and abandoned the race.

Chris Horner has been a professional cyclist since 1994. He let Jhon Atapuma, a renowned climber, take the second KOM. The motto of the Columbia-Coldeportes team is “Inspired by Climbing.”

Jens Voight recovered and returned to the main group. He was responsible for propelling Chris Horner into the lead. Luke Durbride (Orica GreenEDGE – Stage 6 Young Rider’s Jersey) moved up to fifth place. Vicenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) was suffering and slipped away.

With six and three quarter miles left to go, the peleton was strung out along the mountain. Zabriskie still looked calm. The BMC Pro Cycling was still shouldering much of the work.

The peleton closed the gap to 1:20 at nine and a half kilometers. BMC Pro Cycling was putting the hammer down and forcing Garmin into a defensive response. BMC Pro Cycling was interested in setting up T.J. Van Garderen for the win.

David Zabriskie was down to one teammate, Tommy Danielson. The Spanish Rabobank rider, Luis Leon Sanchez, along with teammate Wilco Kelderman and Robert Gesink (a top sprinter) picked up the pace. The riders were into the steepest part of the climb.

Levi Leipheimer moved into sixth place. He was the overall winner of the Baldy stage last year.

With the last five kilometers to go, Atapuma broke from Chris Horner, but Horner soon caught him. Meanwhile George Hinncapie (BMC Racing Team) popped, along with yesterday’s stage winner, Sylvan Georges.

Jhon Atapuma launched another acceleration. Robert Gesink (Rabobank) powered out along with Joseph Dombrowski (Bontrager Livestrong Team). Zabriskie looked like he had nothing left.

Gesink continued driving hard. He had Van Garderen and Danielson on his wheel. They managed to close Atapuma’s gap to 35 seconds.

First Gesink bridged the gap and caught Horner. This is the same man who broke his leg in September of last year. He passed him, but it was momentary. Horner quickly caught back up. Dombrowski and Danielson were still in the chase group along with Duarte Arevelo (Columbia-Coldeportes).

With one kilometer to go, Dombrowski left the chase group, leaving Danielson on his own.

Gesink powered through the uphill and finally caught Atapuma’s back wheel. The two sprinted towards the finish. As Atapuma cut the angle, it looked like he was going to take the stage.

Gesink poured it on, barely remaining in control at the final curve. He powered past Atapuma to take the Queen’s Stage of the Tour of California.

Stage 7 Results

1. Robert GESINK, Rabobank at 3:37:08

2. Darwin ATAPUMA HURTADO, Colombia-Coldeportes at s.t.

3. Fabio Andres DUARTE AREVALO, Colombia-Coldeportes at :14

4. Joe DOMBROSKI, Bontrager-Livestrong at :18

5. Thomas DANIELSON, Garmin-Barracuda at :26

6. Christopher HORNER, RadioShack-Nissan at :38

7. Wilco KELDERMAN, Rabobank at 1:04

8. Tiago MACHADO, RadioShack-Nissan at 1:06

9. Levi LEIPHEIMER, Omega Pharma-Quick Step at 1:08

10. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC Racing at 1:22


General Classification

1. Robert GESINK, Rabobank in 29:14:52

2. David ZABRISKIE, Garmin-Barracuda at :46

3. Thomas DANIELSON, Garmin-Barracuda at :54

4. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC Racing at 1:17

5. Fabio Andres DUARTE AREVALO, Colombia-Coldeportes at 1:36

6. Levi LEIPHEIMER, Omega Pharma-Quick Step at 2:13

7. Wilco KELDERMAN, Rabobank at 2:30

8. Christopher HORNER, RadioShack-Nissan at 2:49

9. Tiago MACHADO, RadioShack-Nissan at 2:54

10. Pieter WEENING, Orica-GreenEdge at 3:05