2008 Tour of California
Stage 6: Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita
Photos from Balcom Canyon

By Chuck Bramwell, California Triple Crown Guy

The break comes around the corner
The 6 man break of Steven Cozza (Slipstream-Chipotle), David Canada Gracia (Saunier Duval-Scott), Rory Sutherland (Health Net-Maxxis),
Alexandre Pichot (Bouygues Telecom), Christophe Le Mevel (Credit Agricole) and Karsten Kroon (Team CSC)
are greeted by the Grim Reaper and some very steep road!!

These photos were taken on February 23, 2008 on the steep Balcom Canyon climb on Stage 6 of the 2008 Amgen Tour of California

Checkout 197 of Chuck Bramwell's favorite photos from his Nikon D70 Camera
Click on any of the small thumbnails to bring up the medium size version.
Click on the medium size version to bring up the large size version.
Photos on this page were taken by Chuck Bramwell unless otherwise noted.

Checkout Greg Mill's and Livia Peraza's favorite photos from their Kodak P850 Camera

Checkout this photo of the Grim Reaper running with Tyler Hamilton and the Rock Racing boys ahead of the peloton on Balcom Canyon
From the Ventura County Star newspaper web site

Checkout 8 of Chuck Bramwell's favorite photos from his Casio Exlim Camera and a little training ride we rode on Balcom and Grimes Canyons

Checkout 52 of John Renowden's favorite photos from his Nikon D200 Camera showing the peloton cresting the summit

Checkout Bruce Campbell's Video of the 6 man break summiting the Balcom Canyon Climb

Checkout this Video of the Grim Reapers and all of the action on the Balcom Canyon climb

Checkout this photo of the Peloton with the Pope and Grim Reaper on CyclingNews.com

The Balcom Canyon climb is brutally steep with 18-24% pitches.
It's a true work of art as shown by the Elevation Profile and Gradient chart HERE.
Climbing 434 feet in .65 miles for an Average of 13.2%, this climb is one of many beauties showcased on the Mulholland Double Century
at mile 120 where it's a real killer that certainly takes your breath away!!
The Mulholland Double has over 16,400 Feet of Climbing in 200 Miles!!

The break see two Grim Reapers
Christophe Le Mevel (Credit Agricole) is lead by the Grim Reaper 1 while Rory Sutherland (Health Net-Maxxis) climbs up Balcom Canyon Road.
Alexandre Pichot (Bouygues Telecom) looks at Grim Reaper 2 who is just ahead of me as we try to keep up with them.

Some seriously steep road
The 6 man break works their way up the steep pitches of Balcom Canyon Road while the Grim Reaper watches
and the TV Moto takes video for the TV Coverage on the Versus channel.

Team Astana leads
Team Astana leads the peloton around the bend into the steep piece of road!!
There is a 7 minute gap between the 6 man break and the peloton at this point based on the time from my camera.

Team Astana coming right for me!!
Team Astana is about to ride right over me!! :)
Note Levi Leipheimer tucked in right behind his team mates on this steep climb.

Levi is looking great in Red, White, and Blue
Levi is focused on climbing this steep road with Team Astana in front of him
David Millar rides in his Red, White, and Blue Slipstream Chipotle kit next to Levi

Peloton needs the full width of the road
The peloton takes over the entire width of pavement here
Mark Cavendish on the High Road Team is Number 032 here
Jason McCartney on Team CSC is Number 044 on the far right

Bettini being chased by Grim Reaper
Paolo Bettini is being chased down by the Grim Reaper
while Tony Rodriguez and Doug Patterson, sporting his California Triple Crown Jersey, look up the road

Bettini being reaped by Grim Reaper
Paolo Bettini is being reaped by the Grim Reaper

I said, "Paolo, thank you for coming to America and riding the Tour of California!!"
The next thing I know, he looks over to me as if to say, "You bet!!"
Or was he just trying to not look at the Grim Reaper over his shoulder?
Paolo was actually enjoying the climb from the back of the peloton, staying out of the traffic jam ahead.

Some seriously steep road
The Pro Peloton being chased by the Grim Reaper up the 22% sections of pavement

Broom Wagon looking for customers
The Broom Wagon sweeps the end of the course

Checkout this photo of Paolo Bettini with the Podium Girls at the finish line from CyclingNews.com

Long live the Amgen Tour of California showing how great cycling is in California!!