If you're smart, you can station yourself at Green and Battery streets to see the Giro di San Francisco riders take their first corner. Unlike the Tour of California, though, this race is a "criterium," meaning the fierce-looking athletes ride multiple laps on a shorter course for the spectator, this is key. After the peloton passes you at Battery, you can scurry down Green to Sansome to catch the riders whizzing past there, too. No corner this time, but after they pass, you're on your way back to your pole position to see the next lap: The pros take 55. If you like, you can pull a similar set of maneuvers at Union Street, or take Battery to Vallejo and back. The course is mostly flat, which seemed like hooey to us until we contemplated how much of it we might be walking. The long-standing Giro was won several times in the 1970s by Greg LeMond, but not too many major pros are expected today. Local superstar Levi Leipheimer is in China winning medals, for example, but maybe Rock Racing's recently crowned U.S. criterium champion Rahsaan Bahati will show up.
Mon., Sept. 1, 8 a.m., 2008