Amgen Tour of California Day 2 Kicks Off in Modesto

MODESTO -- It's day two of the Amgen Tour of California, and the men started in Modesto and went all the way to San Jose.

After a relatively easy course in Sacramento on Sunday, 135 riders from 17 teams are battling in Stage 2 -- which boasts one of the biggest hurdles in cycling.

"Our climbs are categorized from Category 3, which is the easiest, to Category 1, which is the hardest. Then we have another category called HC, but that means it's beyond category. It is so tough, we can't even categorize it. And that's what they're facing in Mt. Hamilton," Amgen Tour of California Course Director Eric Smith said.

By the end of Stage 1 in Sacramento, all cyclists finished within 2 to 3 seconds of each other.

Not after Mt. Hamilton.

"You'll have five or six riders who are now in contention for the race lead all the way through to Pasadena. So now you're going to have more aggressive racing through the rest of the week. This is it ... On Stage 2, the cream rises to the top," Smith said.

But you can't end strong, if you don't start strong. Modesto was chosen as a host city for the fifth time this year.... this time at the starting line.

Amy Vickery - Public Information Officer, City of Modesto
"We have a great climate. Like, a Mediterranean culture, where you can do outdoor sports like 11 months out of the year. So it is a great fit for sporting events to come here. The community really loves cycling stuff. And outdoor lifestyle events in general," said Amy Vickery with the city of Modesto.

That's where you'll meet people like Brian Swander.

"I'm not a hoarder. I'm a collector. There's a difference, you know?" said Swander, a vintage bike collector.

He brought five of his 20 vintage bikes for the Amgen crowd to see. And once you start asking questions about bikes... the 65-year-old knows everything.

"This one's a little old and crotchety. This one's a little longer."

Seriously, everything.

"This is invented and designed for the British army in 1913."

He hopes his passion for old bikes in the presence of the newest, most state-of-the-art race bikes gets people interested in the world of cycling.

"It provides context for pedal power transportation," he said.