The Tour Takes Off from San Jose

A huge crowd turns out to watch Lance Armstrong and the start of Stage 4 in San Jose.

17 photos
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Gabrielle Coleman
Lance Armstrong makes his way to the start line of Stage 4 in San Jose.
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Gabrielle Coleman
An hour before the start of Stage 4 of the Tour of California in downtown San Jose, the crowd swarms the RadioShack team bus waiting for Lance Armstrong to emerge.
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AP
This was just about the only way to see what was going on near the RadioShack team bus.
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Andrew Lipovsky/NBC
Lance Armstrong and his teammates wait inside the bus until a few minutes before the race, then make a quick dash for the start line.
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NBC News
Lance Armstrong fans photograph the team car and spare bikes.
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Gabrielle Coleman
This is only the fifth time the Tour of California has been held. Lance Armstrong's teammate and Santa Rosa native, Levi Leipheimer, has won it three times. He is a favorite again this year.
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Gabrielle Coleman
A few reporters and staffers hang out in the small, protected space around the Team RadioShack bus....
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Gabrielle Coleman
... and occasionally hand out tee shirts to a delighted crowd!
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Gabrielle Coleman
A young Lance fan. Team RadioShack handed out support signs to the crowd.
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Gabrielle Coleman
Lance Armstrong says "hi" to a fan on his way to the start line. The man in a black shirt and tan shorts running on the right side of the picture is Armstrong's security.
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Gabrielle Coleman
George Hincapie (center) warms up before the race.
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Family Photo
Levi Leipheimer takes a couple of laps through the crowd. Leipheimer starts Stage 4 in third place overall.
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Gabrielle Coleman
The riders wait in a holding area before the start.
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Alex Lott
With minutes to go, the crowd jostles to get a better view.
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Gabrielle Coleman
A Liquigas rider leads the pack as they roll out of the start for a group warm-up lap. Although this area is called the starting line, the racing actually begins about a mile away in Japantown.
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Gabrielle Coleman
The crowd cheers as the riders take their group warm-up lap.
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Gabrielle Coleman
Stage 4 will finish four to five hours later in Modesto.
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