Veterans return, tested in Cali opener

Updated: February 14, 2009, 11:56 PM ET
By Bonnie D. Ford | ESPN.com

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- As some of the fastest cyclists in the world negotiated the streets around the state capitol Saturday afternoon, legislators prepared to vote on a $41 billion budget designed to slap wet cement on California's crumbling economy. The budget crisis is so grave that state employees have been ordered to take two unpaid days off a month.

The Tour of California peloton, by contrast, featured several prominent riders who were going back to work after long furloughs, ...

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