Here is your chance to watch the best cyclists in the world race on some of the most scenic and challenging roads in the United States. Also, you will be able to enjoy the same roads and vacation in the world renowned Northern California wine country of Napa and Sonoma. You start and finish in San Francisco. In between you will circumnavigate the Bay Area, following the race. As the race makes the long transfer south we turn back to the north and enter Napa and Sonoma for wine tasting and riding. Come join us for the Tour of California and taste some of the best wines in the world! See Levi Leipheimer, Chris Horner, maybe a Schleck or two, plus many others battle it out this May!
Day 1: May 12th – Arrive in San Francisco
We pick you up at San Francisco International and take you to our hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf. If you get there early enough, go for a warmup spin across the Golden Gate Bridge and through the Marin Headlands. Dinner is on your own in Fisherman’s Wharf.
Day 2: May 13th – Stage 1 in Santa Rosa
It will be an early morning as we ride north across the Golden Gate Bridge and to the site of the Tour of California’s first stage, Santa Rosa. You have a shorter 65 mile route or a more scenic and hillier coastal route of approximately 75 miles. Or we can help you ride a shorter route. Enjoy the stage any way you would like – at the start and finish line in Santa Rosa or out on the course. We will meet up in Santa Rosa after the stage for a welcoming dinner then van back to San Francisco.
Day 3: May 14th – Stage 2 from San Francisco to Santa Cruz
Today is a BIG day! The tour follows the coast down to Santa Cruz and we will be there. The total distance from San Francisco to Santa Cruz is 80 miles, but the good news is that you will probably have a tail wind for the flat and rolling ride down. You have many options to enjoy the day: Follow course and watch along route/climbs, watch start then hitch a ride in the van to Santa Cruz for the finish, or ride like mad and get to Santa Cruz in time for the finish. Regardless of what you do the riding will be magnificent, and along the Pacific coast the entire way. Dinner is included tonight at or near our hotel in Santa Cruz.
Day 4: May 15th – Stage 3 in San Jose to Livermore
The Santa Cruz mountains are some of the best and least known roads to ride in the world! We believe it and most who come to ride these roads end up agreeing. Ride on these beautiful roads, over the coastal ridge and down to San Jose for the stage start – 40 miles away, but with a sustained climb. We will give you a chance to either clean up and van to the finish, watch the riders on one of the climbs, ride to Livermore (another 40 miles away), or go straight to our hotel in Napa Valley. Today you say goodbye to the Tour of California and hello to your relaxing vacation. Dinner is included and will be in Napa when we get to our hotel.
Day 5: May 16th – Napa Valley
You have arrived in wine country. Time for a real vacation – no long transfers, van rides, or rushing. This is a day to relax and enjoy some wine or attack more outstanding roads or BOTH! We visit our favorite watering hole in St. Helena – Velo Vino. Owned by the same people as Clif Bar, this is a cycling destination in the heart of wine country! We can even watch the stage from there as we sip some Zinfandel. Dinner is on your own tonight. And if you buy some wine on your ride let us know where it is and we will go pick it up for you.
Day 6: May 17th – Napa Valley to Sonoma County
We ride over the ridge towards the west and Sonoma Country. Stop at some wineries along the way. We will have some recommend wineries and suggested rides of several lengths and difficulties to satisfy your needs. Today’s stage is the time trial, so we’ll find a good place to watch the potentially decisive stage. Dinner is included tonight at or near our hotel in Sonoma County tonight. Again, if you buy some wine on your ride let us know where it is and we will go pick it up for you.
Day 7: May 18th – Sonoma County
Sonoma County is home to several professional riders including Levi Leipheimer, and today you will find out why. Today’s priority will be to ride out to the coast and enjoy the magnificent views. Again several ride and winery options will be mapped out to suit your desires. We will find a good spot to watch today’s stage on TV. Dinner is on your own tonight.
Day 8: May 19th – Sonoma County to San Francisco
There is no better way to end a tour of Northern California than to ride down through Marin country and across the Golden Gate Bridge. The 60 miles from Sonoma will take you through the area where Gary Fisher and others invented mountain biking. A triumphant crossing of Golden Gate Bridge and into the city will end your tour. Back in Fishermans Wharf, we will watch today’s stage and have our farewell dinner near our hotel.
Day 9: May 20th – San Francisco and back home
We will take you to San Francisco International for your flight home or assist you with extending your stay!