Athlete Reactions to 2011 Amgen Tour of California Race Experience

We had a blast putting on the Amgen Tour of California Race Experience, and we’re already looking forward to 2012! Think this is a challenge you want to step up to? You will once you peruse the testimonials, blogs, photos, and videos below!


"It was, without a doubt, one of the tougher challenges I have faced and completed – best part of all was meeting great people supporting and participating. Awesome! Thank you."

Vincent B.

"Many thanks for making this tour a memorable event. The challenge was great, but you and the coaches were always encouraging. The staff made for seamless coordination of all the complex scheduling. Chris showed us he can still ride. Still recovering, but with a smile remembering Jeff's jokes."

Sy K.

"I can't quit talking and thinking about the last 10 days. Did they really happen? I had my doubts about whether I could do this when Chris first proposed it to me and there's no question it wouldn't have happened without every one of you. Thanks for helping me live the dream for the last 10 days. Honorable mention goes to CTS coach Patrick Valentine for being up to the task of getting me prepared."

Rick O.

"Thanks to ALL at CTS for a great week! Also my appreciation and admiration goes to everybody who rode the Tour. It was not only a great checkmark for the bucket list but it was a true pleasure to work together, learn from each other and, without a doubt, to share many laughs. We had a great group and I hope to see as many of you as possible again in the near future. There are a few riders of our team of 22 who have inspired me to be a young, active guy for many, many years to come."

J-F C.

Photos and Videos

CTS Pro Coach and ATOC Race Experience Manager Renee Eastman's Gallery:

Alain’s Animoto:


Rider Blogs

Alain Lambert

Excerpt: Interesting facts learned on this trip

  • Use a big gear and lower cadence while riding with a group.
  • Power recorded is somewhat lower than actual when climbing a steep hill at a low cadence
  • Energy expended to do six stages of a pro race: 16,997 kilojoules (or the equivalent of burning 4.85 pounds of fat)
  • Distance covered: 751.2 kilometres (or the equivalent of riding home from the office 28 times in six days or about 5 times each day)
  • Elevation gain on the climbs: 30,419 feet (or the equivalent of climbing my local training hill in Montreal 65 times in six days)
  • You can be 71 years old and still do this type of event
  • The bigger guys pull more than the skinny guys
  • The human body can take a bigger beating than most people can ever imagine

Read more of Alain’s ATOC Blog >>

J-F Courville

Excerpt: We end our stage and Tour of California as a bunch. As we finally cross the finish line, it is all smiles and high fives for an amazing group of guys (sadly no ladies signed up for this Tour, which definitely needs to change going forward). The stories are impressive and, to summarize it quite simply, they are those of individuals who are fit and accomplished at once. These are individuals who truly commit to being young in body and spirit and who, by nature, either love or need to push themselves at or beyond their limits. We had world-record-setting 40 year old athletes to busy and highly committed executives, brain and cardiac surgeons, 3 people in their 60s and an inspiring 71 year old retired MD. How young do YOU want to be?… These individuals working together is what makes or breaks this sort of challenge and, with everybody finishing the Tour together, it made it.

It is rather humorous that, all week, so many of the pro riders and staff from the competing teams said they could not believe we were doing this. At the Spidertech team party last night, the riders celebrating their team KOM victory (King of the Mountain, the award given to the best climber of the Tour), could not believe we had actually done it.

We also had a tremendous crew, led by coach Chris Carmichael, to help us through this, giving us all the knowledge-sharing and support a professional cycling team enjoys: an event manager, accomplished and generous coaches, attentive and supportive soigneurs, hard-working and experienced mechanics, tireless drivers and support staff. Thanks to all!

Read more of J-F’s ATOC Blog >>