Since the California wine industry surpassed the French ;) it was only a matter of time before we took on the other great French passion. No, not food; we already won that particular battle. And not economics, either, although France and California vie for 5th place for world’s largest economy. I’m talking, of course, about cycling.
Lance Armstrong has as of this writing won the Tour de France 6 times in a row which, for those who hadn’t heard yet, is exactly one more in a row than anybody else has. And while he’s a Texan, he does train part of the year in Southern California. In fact, his new Discovery Channel team’s first official camp was in Solvang.
And of course there is a huge cycling culture here in California. Heck, the sport of mountain biking and the mountain bike itself was invented in the state (albeit up in NoCal). There are a number of professional series events all over.
So what’s been missing? That’s right, an official Tour of California. And guess what? That little detail will be taken of in 2006. It will be an 8-day stage race to start with and will likely be entirely, crazily cool.