Impossible. Unbelievable.

Mystifying. Bad timing.

Blame El Nino.

When the Amgen Tour of California rolled around last year in Sonoma County, it rained.

The heavens opened up.

The race from Davis to Santa Rosa was arguably the worst stage in the history of bike racing.

This picture is in focus, but for a special effect, I put my 62mm water filter on a wide angle lens to give it that underwater look. By the way, that's Levi Leipheimer and Lance Armstrong in the second and third position. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2009

Four and one-half grueling hours photographing these gentlemen from the back of a motorcycle during that rainstorm makes me a pseudo authority on the matter.

I have never been so glad to see the end of a day when I finished editing my take. Don’t get me wrong, I love the adventure of it all. It’s another war story I can tell my grandchildren someday.

I’ve covered many floods. I’ve never been that soaked in my life. Even when I’m swimming, I don’t get that wet. I mean c’mon, 2009 was a drought year!

My face felt like half frozen pizza dough for most of the ride.

The Peloton rolls along Higway 128 near Spanish Flat in Napa County, during stage 1 of the Tour of California. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)2009

Imagine my joy when Tour officials pushed the race from February to May.

No Rain! Sunny! 80 degrees!

Imagine my dismay this week as rain has crept in to the forecast… for the Davis to Santa Rosa stage. Not Sunday, or Tuesday or Wednesday. Just Monday. Some of my co-workers are getting a big kick out of this.

I volunteered to shoot from the motorcycle again this year.


By the way, the PD photo team of Christopher Chung, John Burgess, Crista Jeremiason, Jeff Kan Lee and Chad Surmick will be out documenting and editing photos during the race and the activities that suround the tour.  Stay tuned.

-Kent Porter