If you have ever been to an Amgen Tour of California cycling race, you've heard the voice — lots of volume, lots of energy and lots of drama at every Amgen Tour race...ever.
Dave Towle started announcing cycling races two decades ago in Colorado when the Coors Classic was America's premier cycling race. Since then, he has become the voice of the Amgen Tour of California.
He describes his job as half cheerleader, half educator.
"Give them a feel for how much racing remains here, what kind of a chance does that breakaway have," Towle says. "This guy's from Germany — this guy's a former Olympian. Try to tell the back story of the athletes. It depends. I announce local races in front of 20 people all the way up to world championships in front of 25,000. So it's a big spectrum of ... I look at who I'm talking to."
He says he's always looking for ways to describe what the riders are facing. In the past, calls have included references to riding various slow-footed animals. This year, the call included a reference to a wagon train trek west in 1846-47. The journey stalled in the Sierra in the dead of winter and cost half of the pioneers their lives. Some of their fellow travelers resorted to cannabilism to survive.
"Riders are coming fast and furious inside the final kayyyyyyyyy (kilometer). It's more pleasant to be part of the Donner Party than what's going on out there on the road!"
Towle says there's a job to do and he's the man to do it.
"Everyone has their own style and you can't please everybody. I look at it from a positive angle," Towle says. "I create excitement. The racers love it. There's energy. It's certainly not the world chess league, but it's also not world wrestling federation or whatever they're called either."
This is Towle's 12th year with the Tour of California.