@SAPBayArea on “Tour”: Meeting SAP Customers & Partners at the Amgen Tour of California
Even when I’m not in the SAP Bay Area offices meeting with partners or working on partner programs during the work week, SAP still surrounds me. On Sunday I had the privilege of attending Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California in Escondido, California, USA (30 minutes northeast of San Diego). I was hired to photograph the day’s race that started and finished there, and am sharing some of the shots below (all photos by Christine Johnson, ©2013).
A rider signs in before the race
What is the Amgen Tour?
The AmgenTour of California is America’s most successful cycling race and one of the nation’s largest and most recognized annual sporting events. An eight-day event, the road race features elite professional teams and athletes from around the world. This tour’s field is strong, as it includes 2010 Tour de France champion Andy Schleck, 10 riders who have won stages in the Tour de France, seven world champions and 11 current national champions.
Omega Pharma riders heading to Sunday’s sign in
Of the 16 teams participating in the eight-day event this week, five are SAP customers and/or partners, including OmegaPharma (Cycling team: Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Liquigas (Cycling Team: Cannondale Pro), Orica (Cycling Team: Orica-GreenEDGE), Sharp (Cycling Team: Garmin-Sharp), and network storage, cloud computing and big data partner NetApp (Cycling Team: NetApp Endura).
Stage 1 of the race was presented by auto manufacturer Nissan, also an SAP customer, and, manufacturer of the LEAF electric vehicle, which seems to be very popular, gauging by the number of them in the employee parking lot at SAP in Palo Alto.
Team RadioShack-Leopard-Trek at the gala, City of Escondido Performing Arts Center
Friday night, the city hosted a gala awards dinner and each team presented their riders to the audience assembled in the city’s performing arts center. Pro cycling commentator Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen interviewed a few of the more famous riders. Both Phil and Paul are, of course, very well known for being the voice of the Tour de France.
At the starting line
The Winners of Stage 1
On Sunday, the riders faced temperatures of 100 degrees and over 11,000 feet of climbing during the 102.7 mile ride. A large crowd of over 15,000 people cheered the riders off at 11:15am in town and then welcomed them back just over four and a half hours later. Lieuwe Westra of the Netherlands came in first, followed by Spaniard Francisco Mancebo; with Slovakia’s Peter Sagan in third.
Lieuwe Westra of the Netherlands crosses the finish line first
On the podium: Francisco Mancebo (2nd), Lieuwe Westra (1st) and Peter Sagan (3rd)
The official website is AmgenTourOf California.com.
Did you attend? Share your experience!