There are very few bicycle helmets big enough to fit on S.J. Sharkie’s head, but that didn’t stop the Sharks loveable mascot from joining the racers of Amgen’s Tour of California on May 19. The annual Tour, which started in Nevada City on May 16 and ends on May 23 in Thousand Oaks, showcases some of the world’s most talented cyclists, including seven-time Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong, in what is now the largest cycling event in America.
This year the Tour began its fourth stage in San Jose, en route to Modesto and S.J. Sharkie was in attendance to help cheer on the racers during their 121.5 mile ride. Sharkie arrived at the top of Sierra Road bright and early to welcome the racers as they rode through their first King of the Mountain (KOM) climb of the stage.
Prior to the racers arriving at Sierra Road, local cyclists pedaled through the same 3.8 miles of steep terrain in a time trial challenge. The local participation helped highlight the city of San Jose's purpose in hosting the Tour. Sharkie proudly stood on stage as city representatives told of their plan to make San Jose a "clean commute" location and promoted the more than 150 miles of bike trails in San Jose that make bicyling to work more realistic.
After the presentation, as the main group approached the top of Sierra Road, S.J. Sharkie took off running and waving the Sharks flag, in the spirit of the European cycling fans. The cyclists flew by as S.J. Sharkie’s trusty ice skates got him up the beginning hill but he let the professional racers take it from there, because even for the adventurous S.J. Sharkie, 121.5 miles is too far from HP Pavilion.Click here
for photos of Sharkie's day at the Tour.
by Emily Wirt