By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Modesto, California
Despite the riders and fans wishing 'rain, rain, go away!' the skies over the fourth Tour of California have been mostly gloomy, with cold temperatures and lots of rain. The result has been frequent crashes and riders wearing just about every piece of clothing they were issued and some improvising beyond that! With three stages done the riders are at least used to riding in the weather, if not enjoying it.
"The first day seemed to be the coldest because we didn't know how to dress," said OUCH-Maxxis' Brad White, who spent stage three in a four rider breakaway. "After three days of it you learn how to dress up for the warm and the wet. I think it is easier to put layers on and then take stuff off later."
White's choice for gloves was a little unorthodox in the early miles of stage three, opting for the bright yellow dish washing gloves available in any local supermarket.
Aussie Mark Renshaw (Columbia-Highroad) is of the contingent having the most troubles with the weather, having come directly from the Tour Down Under in Australia, right in the middle of summer. "Coming from Australia to ride in the rain it's been a huge shock to the system! You have to make sure you eat and drink because the body is using more calories."
Stage three's winner Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) jokingly agreed with Renshaw about the California weather. "For me coming from Norway it is so different, to come to this cold place!"