Tour de Sonoma

Levi LeipheimerOccupation: Professional cyclistHome: Santa RosaActivities: Cycling, cycling, and cyclingFavorite destinations: Coleman Valley Road, Tour de France podium…

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Levi Leipheimer
Occupation: Professional cyclist
Home: Santa Rosa
Activities: Cycling, cycling, and cycling
Favorite destinations: Coleman Valley Road, Tour de France podium

During the penultimate stage of last month’s Tour de France, Levi Leipheimer pedaled to first place in one of the fastest individual time trials ever recorded in the race, earning him a place in the company of American cycling greats Greg Lemond and Lance Armstrong. The trial also solidified his third-place finish in the overall competition, landing him on the podium. The Santa Rosa resident’s off-season training consists of wife, Odessa, pacing him around Sonoma County by way of moped. “I love riding along the Sonoma coast,” Leipheimer says. His favorite ride? “Highway 1 between Bodega and Jenner, especially Coleman Valley Road.” (See Levi’s Loop below.) You’ll encounter grueling climbs and fast descents on this road—which was also featured in stage 1 of this year’s Amgen Tour of California professional cycling road race—but the ridgeline riding provides spectacular views of both the wine country and the Sonoma coast, making the hard work well worth your while. And you might spot Levi and Odessa, who will be working hard to parlay his ’07 success into an overall win at the 2008 Tour de France.

LEVI’S LOOP: Want to pedal like a champion? From the town of Graton off Highway 116, follow these directions: take Green Valley Road west, turn left onto Harrison Grade, go through the town of Occidental. Then take Coleman Valley Road to Highway 1 and go south on Highway 1. In Bodega Bay take Bay Hill Road, which goes back to Highway 1. Turn left on Bodega Highway, left on Joy Road, right on Bitner Road, back through Occidental. Head back to Graton on Occidental Road. Click here for a map of the vicinity.

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