Update 5:45 p.m. Tuesday.
A crowd of several hundred gathered at the intersection of Oak Grove and Ygnacio Valley roads in Walnut Creek Tuesday afternoon to watch the biggest bicycle race in the U.S. take a hard right turn.
Four racers were out front as the curbside audience went "whooo" and snapped cellphone photos. The peloton of hundreds of racers came five minutes later, pursuing the leaders up the hill on Lime Ridge toward Concord, Clayton and eventually Livermore, the finish line for Stage 3 of the AMGEN Tour of California.
For the third time in three days, Peter Sagan of Slovakia won Tuesday's Stage 3 of the race, reported Cycling News. The pecking order is established. Also for the third stage in a row, it was Heinrich Haussler in second place.
"They come whizzing by so fast," said Walnut Creek spectator Dorothy Leven. "Don't blink ... It's just the excitement of seeing professional bike racers doing their thing."
Leven, with a good vantage point from an office building at the Citrus plaza on Oak Grove, chanced to meet two other cancer survivors, Carol Sievers of Brentwood and Dorothy Tregea of Rossmoor. All three were thankful for race sponsor AMGEN's support for cancer survivor groups, including the one Leven and her husband Andy volunteer for, the Cancer Support Community, whose East Bay office is in Walnut Creek.
Leven, who lives in the Woodlands section of Walnut Creek, is a race volunteer with her husband Andy, a prostate cancer survivor who was manning the Cancer Support Community at the finish line in Livermore.
On Monday, Leven rode in a VIP car for cancer survivors that accompanied the peleton in Stage 2 from San Francisco to Santa Cruz.
She has volunteered for the AMGEN tour for four years. Last year, she needed an operation for uterine cancer and purposely scheduled it two days after the bike race to get her volunteering in.
Tregea is a bike race enthusiast going back to stories told by her dad, Victor Anderson. When he was a 20-year-old New Yorker, he was bike-racing in the Olympic trials and took a spill when a photographer suddenly dashed in his way, costing him a chance to go to the Olympics in St. Louis.
As the 115-mile stage neared its conclusion late Tuesday afternoon, some 5,000 people lined the streets of Livermore, police said, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News.
Send us your pics
It was Stage 3 of the AMGEN Tour of California Tuesday, starting in San Jose and going through Livermore, circumnavigating Mount Diablo via Danville, Walnut Creek, Concord, Clayton and back to Livermore.
On the Danville side, the tour flowed along Camino Tassajara, Blackhawk Road, and up Mt. Diablo Scenic Drive, climbing the mountain and exiting out of the north gate and down the hill onto North Gate Road. In Walnut Creek, it goes North Gate to Oak Grove Road, and right (east) on Ygnacio Valley Road. Watch for lane closures there.
You can upload them right into this page by clicking the button "Upload Photos & Videos." Or you can email them to the Walnut Creek Patch editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Patch reader "lmm" contributed a photo of the four front-runners spinning along Oak Grove Road.
C'mon! Let's share!
The race continues through Southern California during five more stages, ending May 20 in Los Angeles. The 2012 Amgen Tour of California is the largest cycling event in the U.S., according to race organizers.