The race has departed Auburn for what promises to be a rainy but rapid trip down to Modesto. Stage Three will sweep along the edge of the Sierra foothills and pass through Folsom and Rancho Murieta, cross the hills between the East Bay Municipal Utility District’s Camanche and Pardee reservoirs, past the hamlet of Milton and nearby poultry megafarms, and across table-flat San Joaquin Valley farmland through Oakdale (former home of a Hershey’s chocolate plant) to Modesto. Distance: 122 miles. Lots and lots of little hills in the first two-thirds of the route that would test the legs of mere mortals but will be brushed aside by the pros–or at least they’ll make it look that way.
Dan Brekke (Twitter: @danbrekke) has worked in media ever since Nixon's first term, when newspapers were still using hot type. He had moved on to online news by the time Bill Clinton met Monica Lewinsky. He's been at KQED since 2007, is an enthusiastic practitioner of radio and online journalism and will talk to you about absolutely anything. Reach Dan Brekke at firstname.lastname@example.org.