Bicycling Magazine

2009 Tour of California: Stage 8 

The Tour of California may reach its climax on the 4,000-foot climb up Mount Palomar, perhaps the final chance for the GC men to stake their claim on the golden jersey.

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Author: RaphaContinental
Date: 20 Jan 2009 5:04:26 PM
Activity: Bicycling
State: California (CA)
Distance: 100.4 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 21278 ft
Total Loss: 20857 ft
Net Change: 420 ft
Difficulty: 1 / 10
Tags: 2009 Tour of California, California, Rapha Continental, San Diego
Rating:   1 rating(s) Rate it

Photos courtesy of the Rapha Continental

The ToC was essentially decided after the Solvang TT the past two years, but the addition of Mount Palomar (5,123 feet) offers a new wrinkle. "This is the kind of stage where a few spots in the top 10 will be in jeopardy," says BMC Racing's Tony Cruz, a Long Beach resident who occasionally rides Palomar. "Once it gets whittled down to a select group and guys figure out, oh, so-and-so's not looking so good, that's when the fireworks start."

WATCH: Palomar is steepest toward the top. "The last 4 to 5 kilometers are where the action will happen," Cruz predicts; the 16.1km climb will offer many chances to thin the pack with attacks. Cole Grade, the last real climb, offers "an opportunity for the soloists to go for broke" if the team controlling the race lacks riders up front. Watch closely: There's a steep descent just 5 miles from the end, so a small move could stay away for a stage win.

RIDE: "If you're camping, do a loop around Palomar," says Cruz. One possibility--up the steep South Grade Road the racers will climb, down East Grade to Lake Henshaw and back on Route 76--nets 30 miles.

GEAR: Hidden Valley Bicycle, open since 1961, has just about anything you'll need.

EAT: Filippi's Pizza Grotto is a SoCal original.

SLEEP: Go camping on Palomar ( Some campgrounds close seasonally (others require reservations), so try Euro-style roadside campervans on South Grade Road.
Tour of California Stage Maps: Prologue | Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4 | Stage 5 | Stage 6 | Stage 7 | Stage 8

Position Format: Datum:

Tour of California: Stage 8

Distance: 96.83 mi Points: 1716
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
# Distance Instruction Distance to next
1 3.99 mi Turn left at Bandy Canyon Rd Then go 0.30 mi
2 4.29 mi Turn left to stay on Bandy Canyon Rd Then go 4.19 mi
3 8.48 mi Turn left at CA-78/San Pasqual Valley Rd Then go 6.39 mi
4 14.87 mi Turn right at Bear Valley Pkwy Then go 2.62 mi
5 17.49 mi Turn right at Bear Valley Pkwy/S6/E Valley Pkwy Then go 0.38 mi
6 17.87 mi Slight right to stay on Bear Valley Pkwy/S6/E Valley Pkwy Continue to follow E Valley Pkw Then go 0.83 mi
7 18.69 mi Turn right at Lake Wohlford Rd Then go 7.80 mi
8 26.49 mi Turn right at S6/Valley Center Rd Then go 5.00 mi
9 31.49 mi Turn right at CA-76/Pala Rd Continue to follow CA-7 Then go 4.96 mi
10 36.45 mi Slight left at S Grade Rd/S7 Then go 6.77 mi
11 43.22 mi Turn right at E Grade Rd/S7 Then go 11.27 mi
12 54.50 mi Turn right at CA-76/Pala Rd Then go 17.62 mi
13 72.12 mi Turn left at Cole Grade Rd Then go 7.87 mi
14 79.99 mi Turn left at S6/Valley Center Rd Then go 2.92 mi
15 82.91 mi Turn right at N Lake Wohlford Rd Then go 7.80 mi
16 90.71 mi Turn left at S6/E Valley Pkwy Then go 0.33 mi
17 91.04 mi Slight right to stay on S6/E Valley Pkwy Then go 0.43 mi
18 91.47 mi Turn right at E Washington Ave Then go 0.59 mi
19 92.06 mi Turn right at Stoneybrae Pl Then go 0.04 mi
20 92.10 mi Make a U-turn at Fieldbrook Way Then go 0.06 mi
21 92.16 mi Stoneybrae Way turns right and becomes El Norte Pkwy Then go 0.44 mi
22 92.60 mi Slight left at N Citrus Ave Then go 0.22 mi
23 92.82 mi Continue on E El Norte Pkwy/E Norte Pkwy Then go 2.40 mi
24 95.22 mi Turn left at N Escondido Blvd Then go 1.43 mi
25 96.65 mi Turn left at W Grand Ave Then go 0.18 mi
26 96.83 mi Turn left at N Broadway

Neutral Start

Distance: 3.57 mi Points: 44
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi

Points of Interest

Official Start

Location: 33.052864, -117.066879

First Climb of the Day

Location: 33.062917, -117.026196
© Rapha

By the Orange Groves

Location: 33.097467, -117.024814
© Rapha

Dusk View on Pala Road

Location: 33.299615, -116.916161
© Rapha

Descending Pala Road

Location: 33.302197, -116.913157
© Rapha

Heading up South Grade Road

Location: 33.294521, -116.895862
Turning off CA-76, the first stretch of the Palomar climb starts with a half-mile straightaway on South Grade Road. After this, it's all about the switchbacks. © Rapha

South Grade Switchbacks

Location: 33.299041, -116.889939
South Grade Road features Alpe d'Huez-style switchbacks; the kind that offer views of the road below from the road. © Rapha

Palomar Pines

Location: 33.305425, -116.872559
Unlike Alpe d'Huez, the top half of the Palomar climb is often lined by trees. © Rapha

Approaching the South Grade Summit

Location: 33.311164, -116.870885
© Rapha

Palomar Mountain Lodge

Location: 33.312186, -116.862495
© Rapha

Lake Henshaw Descent

Location: 33.255772, -116.760807
On the descent of East Grade Road, the route rounds a bend to offer wide-open views of Lake Henshaw. © Rapha

Cole Grade Road

Location: 33.309012, -117.011776


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