Two words....Mount Palomar
YIKES! This climb is the real deal! 12 miles to the very top starting at the taco stand!
The course starts with a one mile climb ( 5 minutes to the top) Then a 2.5 mile -15 minute climb followed by a descent to the base of Palomar. Palaomar is a tricky climb. The first 5 miles up is mountain hwy at around 5 to 6% followed by a false flat of .5 to 1 mile. Then, turn left and start the real climb for 7 miles of 7 to 9% love. The last 7 miles are switch back and will crush the peloton. We will find out who the true strong climbers are. The key, in my opinion, is not to go solo here because it is way to far to the line to stay away. I would put together a small group of the top guys and crest together. Then work together to the last 15 minute climb up cole grade and battle for the win up Coles 9% hard climb. Yep, Cole grade is NOT easy. The stage winner will attack on Cole and ride away to the line. Maybe the overall winner will also be the stage 8 winner. The race will be won or lost on stage 8. If you want to see all the athletes suffer up a big climb, go to Palomar. If you want to see the GC winner in all their glory and talent, watch him attack andlight the fireworks on Cole Grade. Cole grade, only 2.5 miles long, will be awesome!