Tour of California 2012: Robert Gesink Takes The Overall Victory In The 2012 Amgen Tour Of California

The 2012 Amgen Tour of California begins on Sunday. Here's a complete guide to the race and all the information you'll need.

  • Live
19 Total Updates since May 12, 2012
  • Updates 18
  • Articles 1
  • All Updates 19

Tour of California 2012 Results: Robert Gesink And Peter Sagan Show Dominance In 2012 Amgen Tour of California

Two men dominated the 2012 Amgen Tour of California, one from the start and one when it really counted. Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) won five of eight stages, taking every sprint finish in the race with relative ease. Robert Gesink (Rabobank) launched a well timed, perfectly executed attack on the slopes of Mt. Baldy that won him the tour in a single move.

There wasn't much distance between most of the general classification contenders as they entered stage seven, the race's queen stage, and Gesink took full advantage of that. Defending champion Chris Horner opened stage seven with a blistering pace in the breakaway, trying to crack the peloton and make up the 2:50 he had lost in the individual time trial. The peloton proved resiliant, though, and chased down Horner by the slopes of Mt. Baldy.

From there it was between the GC heavyweights, and with 4.5km to go on the stage Gesink motored away smooth and clean. No one could match his pace, and he won the stage and the race in that single effort. Gesink had an incredibly rough 2011: after showing good form in the early part of the year his father passed away and he broke his leg in a crash while training. Unlike many of the hairline fractures that characterize cyclist injuries, Gesink's leg was broken in four places and required major surgy to reset it. It's never clear if a cyclist can come back like an injury like that, but Gesink put all doubts to rest with his attack on stage seven. The Dutchman spent January learning to walk again, to stand atop the podium in America's biggest stage race only months later is a massive accomplishment.

Peter Sagan is a 22 year old sprinter, and though his talent wasn't a secret, his success at the Tour of California surprised many. It wasn't just success, Sagan was dominant. He won the first four stages with ease, beating Henrich Haussler (Garmin-Barracuda) each time. Haussler tried sticking to Sagan's wheel and coming around at the line, he tried jumping off early and beaing him with aggression. Nothing worked. As a sprinter, Sagan wasn't expected to do much but make it through the time trial and the mountain stages, and he was able to do just that and still have enough left to win the final sprint of the tour with the same ease he won the first four. Winning five of eight stages against the kind of competition he faced in the Tour of California is the kind of result that marks a rider's arrival, and people are excited to see how he'll stack up at the 2012 Tour de France.

Sagan won the race's points competition and takes the green jersey. The polka-dot jersey for the King of the Mountains went to Optum Pro Cycling's Sebastian Salas, who fought it out in breakaways to collect the points needed to claim the jersey. It wasn't the best tour for Southern California natives: Chris Barton (Bissel Pro Cycling) of Ojai had to abandon the race, but the young man is only 23 and experience in a race like this will go a long way in toughening him up. Ken Hanson (Optum) of Santa Barbar managed to finish the race, but he did so 7th from the bottom. Still, that's an accomplishment for Hanson, who excells in long, one-day races.

2012 saw another exciting Amgen Tour of California, with Robert Gesink and Peter Sagan doing their best to thrill fans and take home victories. You can expect a long line of men looking to do the same at next year's Tour.

SB Nation's cycling blog Podium Cafe is your source for full-time cycling news and analysis.

Continue

Tour of California Winner 2012: Robert Gesink Takes The Overall Victory In The 2012 Amgen Tour Of California, Peter Sagan Wins Stage 8

Robert Gesink of Team Rabobank took control of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California in Saturday's climb up Mt. Baldy, and he stayed out of crashes or any other trouble to take the overall victory after stage eight in Los Angeles. The Dutchman finished with a time of 29:14:52 and one stage victory.

David Zabriskie (Garmin-Barracuda) came in second, 46 seconds behind Gesink, and his teammate Tom Danielson took third at 54 seconds out. Zabriskie's second place finish is his fourth in Tour history. He's always a bit hamstrung by the fact that his strongest stage, the time trial, comes before the last climb. He's not a strong enough climber to hold on to any gains he makes in the time trial, hence his record number of second place finishes.

Peter Sagan of Team Liquigas-Cannondale, beating Tom Boonen (Omega-Quickstep). He also took the points jersey for the race as a whole, an award he earned with style, winning five of eight stages. He was dominant, winning any stage with a sprint finish, and he'll attract a lot of attention in July at the Tour de France. Sebastian Salas of Optum Pro Cycling takes the King of the Mountain Jersey.

Stick with this storystream for updates and a recap of the tour as a whole. Going forward, Podium Cafe has you covered for cycling news and analysis.

Continue

Tour of California, Stage 8 2012: Course Preview, Television Information, How To Watch Online And More

Stage eight of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California is a short ride from Beverly Hills to a finishing circuit in downtown Los Angeles. The riders will cover 44 miles in total, and while the fight for the sprint should be tightly contested, the GC standings are extremely unlikely to see any change. Robert Gesink (Rabobank) seized the race on Mt. Baldy and there's little chance of anyone taking it from him.

Stage8_medium
The sprint will be wide open, though if the first four stages of the tour are any indication it's going to be Peter Sagan (Liquigas) taking the win again. Henrich Haussler (Garmin-Barracuda), who has come in second on all of Sagan's four stage wins, will have one last chance at a stage win. A stage like this is usually a casual effort from the peloton, but the sprinters make an effort for every finish.

Start Time: 10:10am PDT

Television Coverage: NBC Sports Network starting at 3:30pm PDT

Streaming Coverage: Watch online via the Radioshack Tour Tracker.

Stay tuned to this storystream for results and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. As always, Podium Cafe is your best source for full time cycling news and analysis.

Continue

Tour of California 2012 Standings: Robert Gesink Takes Stage 7, Will Win The Overall Race

Robert Gesink took stage seven of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California, as Mt. Baldy provided the setting for a thrilling hilltop finish that will decide the race. Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Barracuda) will likely end the tour in second place, his fourth second place finish in the Tour of California. Garmin's Tom Danielson sits in third, with Team BMC's Tejay Van Garderen in fourth.

Defending champion Chris Horner opened the day with a lot of time to make up, having put in a poor showing in the individual time trial. He jumped into an early breakaway along with a dozen other men, including four teammates. They drove the race along at a blistering pace, and Horner and the rest of Team Radioshack-Nissan-Trek were relentless. One by one, men cracked and dropped out of the breakaway, until it was just Horner and Columbian Darwin Atapuma (Colombia-Coldeportes). They got a gap of as much as 3:50 over the peloton, but by the climb to Mt. Baldy the pelton had caught up and it was a wide open fight for the win.

Danielson faded first, and when Gesink attacked Van Garderen was unable to answer. Gesink motored up the road and overtook Atapuma, earning himself the stage win and the overall lead.

The provisional GC standings following stage 7:

1) Robert Gesink (RAB) - 29:14:52
2) Dave Zabriskie (GRM) - :46
3) Tom Danielson (GRM) - :54
4) Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) - 1:17

Stage eight is a short, flat drive into downtown Los Angeles that will have no impact on the GC standings. Gesink won the queen stage, and with it he takes the 2012 Amgen Tour of California.

Stay tuned to this storystream for previews, updates and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. SB Nation's cycling blog Podium Cafe is your full time source for cycling news and analysis.

Continue

Tour of California, Stage 7 2012: Preview Of Climb Up Mt. Baldy, Television Information, How To Watch Online And More

Stage seven of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California promises to be a decisive stage where whoever wants to win the yellow leader's jersey will have to take it from his rivals. Mt. Baldy saw stage seven in the 2011 Tour, and on that day Team Radioshack drove a relentless pace to deliver Chris Horner to the overall victory. Horner is more than two minutes back this year, and unlikely to be able to get that time back no matter how well he rides on Saturday.

Stage7_medium

It's Mt. Baldy or nothing for the riders in the 2012 Tour of California, so expects attacks, counter attacks, and desperate men making desperate moves.

Start Time: 12:00pm PDT

Television Coverage: Live Coverage on NBC Universal Starting at 4:00pm PDT

Online Coverage: Streaming via the Radioshack Tour Tracker

Stick with this storystream for updates, previews, and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. As always, Podium Cafe has you covered for cycling news and analysis.

Continue

Tour of California 2012 Standings: Sylvain Georges Wins Stage 6 On Solo Effort, Dave Zabriskie Leads Overall

Stage six of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California went to Sylvain Georges (AG2R La Mondiale), a young rider who spent nearly 175km of the 186km stage in the breakaway, driving a relentless pace with his fellow escapees. One by one they cracked and drifted back to the main peloton, but Georges put in a spectacular effort and got himself to the finish line a full 28 seconds ahead of the bunch. The peloton was driving tremendously hard to catch him, but Georges would not be denied.

The breakaway also featured current King of the Mountains leader Sebastian Salas and his teammate Andrew Bajadali (Optum Pro Cycling), who worked together to keep David Boily (Spidertech-C10) from getting his hands on Salas' Mountains jersey.

The GC didn't move after stage six, and Saturday's climb up Mt. Baldy is likely to decide the entire race. Current leader Dave Zabriskie isn't a phenomenal climber, but it's not out of the question that he could hang on. The other GC contenders will be relentless in their attack, though, as Tejay Van Garderen (BMC), Tom Danielson (Garmin-Barracuda), and Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) make thier move for the overall victory in the 2012 Tour of California. Mt. Baldy is the last shot for any man who wants that prize, so competition up that climb should be fierce.

The GC Standings following stage six:

1) David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin - Barracuda 25:37:05

2) Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:34

3) Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:39

4) Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:00:45

5) Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:48

6) Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:01:01

7) Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin - Barracuda 0:01:07

8) Rory Sutherland (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team 0:01:10

9) Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:01:26

10) Lawson Craddock (USA) Bontrager Livestrong Team

Stay tuned to this storystream for previews, updates, and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. As always, Podium Cafe is your source for quality cycling news and analysis.

Continue

Tour of California 2012, Stage 6: Stage 6 Preview, Television Information, How To Watch Online And More

Stage six of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California will likely see 2011 Champion Chris Horner make his move a bit earlier than he had planned. Horner was public that Saturday's mountaintop finish at Mt. Baldy was where he intended to win the race, the same place he was able to do so last year. But he hadn't counted on losing quite so much time in Thursday's individual time trial, where a poor performance put him around two minutes behind all of his GC rivals. If he wants a shot at back-to-back Tour of California victories, he'll need to go on the attack early and often in Friday's stage.

Stage6_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

It's a stage with a lot of opportunity for an attack, as the riders move through 115 miles with two massive climbs. Horner will be looking for his opportunity, but he'll have to fend off the other GC heavyweights. Tejay Van Garderen (BMC), Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Robert Gesink (Rabobank), and Andrew Talansky and Tom Danielson (Garmin) are all well placed near the top of the GC standings and will be on the lookout for any of Horner's attacks.

However it plays out, Friday's stage is the first of a 1-2 punch that will decide the race. Desperate men make for good bike racing, so don't miss it.

Start Time: 10:25am PDT

Television Coverage: Live coverage on NBC Sports Network starting at 2:00pm PDT

Streaming Online: Coverage provided via the Radioshack Tour Tracker

Stick with this storystream for previews, recaps, updates and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. As always, cycling news and quality analysis can be found at Podium Cafe.

Continue

Tour of California 2012 Standings: Stage 5 Time Trial And Overall Lead Go To Dave Zabriskie

Stage five of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California was won by Dave Zabriskie, an American Time Trial specialist who did what he does best. The American Time Trial Champion took the stage in 35:39, well ahead of race leader Peter Sagan's 39:26, so he'll assume the leader's jersey going for stage six. 40 year old Jens Voigt took second place for Radioshack-Nissan-Trek, and Team BMC's young rider Tejay Van Garderen took third place.

No one, not even Sagan himself, expected him to make it out of the stage with the overall lead. He's a strong sprinter, but not a tremendously well rounded rider. This was an opportunity for the GC heavyweights to set up for the mountain stages, which are coming over the next few days. Last year's champion Chris Horner didn't do so well in that regard, finishing 2:50 back from Zabriskie. If he wants to repeat as champion, he'll need to make some big attacks in the hills.

Provisional GC Standings after Stage 5:
1) Dave Zabriskie (GRM) - 20:29:31
2) Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) - -:34
3) Robert Gesink (RAB) - :39
4) Andrew Talansky (GRM) - :48
5) Peter Velits (OPQ) - :49
6) Luke Durbridge (OGE) - 1:01
7) Tom Danielson (GRM) - 1:07
8) Rory Sutherland (UHC) - 1:10
9) Cameron Meyer (OGE) - 1:26
10) Markel Irizar (RNT) - 1:29

Stage six of the race is a run from Palmdale to Big Bear Lake, and anyone with their eyes on the overall victory has to be thinking that it's almost time to make their move.

Stay tuned to SB Nation Los Angeles for recaps, previews, and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. As always, check out Podium Cafe for quality insight and analysis.

Continue

Tour of California 2012, Stage 5: Stage 5 Preview, Television Coverage, How To Watch Online And More

Stage five of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California is an individual time trial through Bakersfield, the site of some dramatic finishes in years past. Riders will be competing only against the clock on Thursday, but all of them know how important that competition is. The race won't be won in the TT, but any advantage gained here goes a long way over the next few days, as the race makes its way through the mountains. Stage5_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

The 18.4mi out-and-back route starts with a screaming descent that should see riders hit almost 55mph right out of the gate. Once they hit the rollers at the turnaround point, they'll have to work all the way back and make their way back up, tacking the 8% China Grade climb before a slightly uphill half mile run to the finish. Peter Sagan may hold the leader's jersey at the end of the day thanks to his 40 second cushion over the heavyweight GC contenders, but if he enters Friday in the lead it's likely to be by a much smaller margin.

Start Time: 1:00pm PDT

Television Coverage: Live coverage on NBC Sports Network starting at 1:30pm PDT

Streaming Online: Coverage provided via the Radioshack Tour Tracker

SB Nation Los Angeles will continue to bring you previews, updates, recaps and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. As always, SB Nation's cycling blog Podium Cafe has you covered for excellent insight and analysis.

Continue

2012 Tour of California Standings: Peter Sagan Stays Atop The Standings After Winning 4th Consecutive Stage

The stages of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California have begun to blur together, as stage four played out exactly as the previous three have: with Peter Sagan (Liquigas) putting the hammer down at the line, and Henrich Haussler (Garmin-Barracuda) trying in vain to find some way to beat him. Sagan won his fourth stage in a row, having one every stage of the tour so far, and Haussler finished second for the fourth stage in a row, now having failed four times to outmuscle or outfox Sagan. Rabobank's Michael Matthews came in third. Stage four was the longest of the tour, 130 miles in temperatures of up to 90 degrees, and the heat and the repeated climbing combined to cause eight riders to abandon the race.

While the peloton and the GC contenders kept a steady pace through the stage, they were content to let a breakaway of young riders tackle most of the climbs at full speed. Sebastian Salas (Optum Pro Cycling), the current leader in the King of the Mountain competition, picked up the first points of the day and the rest were split amongst the riders in the breakaway. The peloton chased the break down on the descent of the final climb, and from there it was a straight, flat shot into Clovis for the finish. Garmin-Barracuda worked to deliver Haussler to the line, Rabobank set up the leadout train for Michael Matthews, but in the end it was Liquigas and Sagan who took the victory.

The GC Standings after stage four:
1) Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 28:01:37
2) Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:16
3) Jeffry Louder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team 0:00:34
4) Alex Howes (USA) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:35
5) Fred Rodriguez (USA) Team Exergy 0:00:36
6) Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Cycling
7) Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan
8) Marc De Maar (AHo) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team 0:00:37
9) Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:38
10) Josh Atkins (NZl) Bontrager Livestrong Team 0:00:39

Stage five is the individual time trial, where the heavyweight GC contenders will inevitably get some time back from Sagan. He's picked up four ten second win bonuses with his victories, though, so there isn't much more he could have done to attempt to hold on to his lead.

SB Nation Los Angeles is your source for previews, recaps and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. SB Nation's cycling blog Podium Cafe has you covered for news and quality insight.

Continue

Tour of California 2012, Stage 4: Preview Of Stage Shows Climbs That Will Test Peloton

Stage four of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California is 130 miles from Sonora to Clovis, the longest stage of the race. It just may turn out to be the most difficult as well, as riders confront roughly 5000 total feet of climbing over the course of the stage. Race leader Peter Sagan has really imposed his will on the competition so far, but whether he has what it takes for the whole of a long stage race is an unanswered question. He just may find his answer on stage four.

Stage4_medium

With that many climbs and an equal number of descents, the peloton may be split into pieces and a strong breakaway has a good chance at stealing the stage win. But with the descent into a long, flat finish, any breakaway that wants the stage is going to have to earn it. This stage comes the day before the individual time trial, so many of the GC contenders may decide to take it easy and save their legs for Thursday. That leaves the door open for a young, aggressive rider to take advantage. However it plays out, any stage that long, that much climbing, and featuring six climbs with King of the Mountain points, it will be anything but boring.

The GC Standings after stage three:

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 14:34:54

2 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin - Barracuda -:12

3 Jeffry Louder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team -:24

4 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Team Exergy -:26

5 Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Cycling -:26

A good number of other riders, including all of the main GC threats, sit just past that at 30 seconds behind. An attack on a stage like this risks being burnt out for tomorrow, but a rider with a weak time trial may see today as their shot.

SB Nation Los Angeles will continue to be your source for previews, updates and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. SB Nation's cycling blog Podium Cafe is your source for quality insight and analysis.

Continue

2012 Tour of California Standings: Peter Sagan Wins 3rd Consecutive Stage

Peter Sagan won stage three of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California on Tuesday afternoon, which he added to his wins in stages one and two. It was a wide-open sprint finish, and this time Henrich Haussler tried to beat Sagan by jumping off early, going well before the finish line and trying to avoid being neck-and-neck with Sagan. It was of little use, however, as Sagan marked his accelleration, came around him at the line, and took the race by a wheel length. Like Sagan, Haussler adds his second place finish to his second place finishes from stages one and two.

Sagan is 12 seconds ahead of Haussler in the overall standings, but more importantly he's approaching 30 seconds ahead of the heavyweight contenders. It remains to be seen if he can keep up on the upcoming serious climbs, but if he's making a bid for a win he could do no better than to be collecting stage wins (and the accompanying time bonuses) when he's got the chance.

As in stage two, a breakway spent almost the entire day off the front. Jeremy Vennell (Bissel) was out there again, and it wasn't until about 105mi into the 115mi stage that the peloton caught them. From there Fabio Duarte jumped off the front, and the former under 23 division world champion showed why he's hailed as a future star as he hustled over the second of the day's climb. He collected King of the Mountain points, and the peloton showed him some respect by taking his attack seriously and quicky chasing him down. The sprinters' teams took over from there, each attempting to set up their man for the finish. Haussler and Sagan were both present without a ton of support from their teams, but being near the front was good enough for Haussler to make his bid for a win and Sagan to deny him the victory.

The provisional GC Standings after stage three:

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 14:34:54

2 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin - Barracuda -:12

3 Jeffry Louder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team -:24

4 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Team Exergy -:26

5 Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Cycling -:26

Wednesday features the longest stage of the race so far, with a series of steep but short climbs and a long downhill into a flat finish. GC contenders may try to push the pace over those climbs to see what Sagan really has, and if teams can bring their sprinters over the hills they'll be looking for another victory at the line.

SB Nation Los Angeles will continue to bring you previews, updates and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of Caliofornia. As always, SB Nation's cycling blog Podium Cafe is your source for news and analysis.

Continue

2012 Tour of California, Stage 3: Riders Confront Mt. Diablo In Tuesday's Stage

Stage three of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California begins in San Jose on Tuesday morning, and by the time it gets to Livermore the riders will have ridden 115 miles and climbed more than 3,750 vertical feet. The first of two climbs on the day is Mt. Diablo, a local cycling landmark and mountain that fans have been asking race organizers to include for years. It's nowhere near the finish of the stage, so it will be interesting to see what tactics teams deploy. It's unlikely to see a big attack from any of the GC contenders, leaving the climbing specialists to fight for the King of the Mountain points.

Stage3_medium

The second climb, over Patterson Pass, leads downhill direct to the finish, meaning any sprinter that can manage to stick with the pack over the mountains will have a good shot at a sprint victory. Liquigas has been riding their hearts out for Peter Sagan, they'll have their work cut out for them Tuesday if they want him to keep the leader's jersey on him.

Stage Information:
Start: San Jose, 11:35am PDT
Finish: Livermore

Television Coverage:
Live coverage on NBC Sports Network starting at 2:00pm PDT

Streaming Online:
Streaming live via the Radioshack Tour Tracker

SB Nation Los Angeles will continue to have updates, previews, results, and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. As always, Podium Cafe will have all the cycling news and analysis you need.

Continue

2012 Tour of California Standings: Peter Sagan Takes Stage 2, Retains Lead In Sprint Finish

Two sizeable climbs defined stage two of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California, and while a breakaway made it alone over the first one, by the top of the second one the peloton had reeled them in and it was all together to the sprint finish in downtown Aptos. The result was Team Liquigas leading things from the top of that second climb to the finish line, setting a blistering pace to discourage any other teams from getting ideas about attacks. It worked perfectly, as current race leader Peter Sagan put in a huge effort in the final 100 meters and tightened his hold on the yellow leader's jersey. Sagan was in a close contest entering the final turn, with Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge) and yesterday's runner up Henrich Haussler (Garmin-Barracuda) right with him. Once they came around that corner, though, Sagan put the hammer down and there was no doubt. He won by several bike lengths, with Haussler again taking second and Howard in third.

The stage was designed to break up the GC standings a bit, with the thinking that the stronger riders would make it over the climbs well in advance of others. It didn't quite work out that way, with the peloton largely intact going into the finish. The GC standings are still close, and it's anyone's race going forward.

Southern California's representatives in the race were quiet again, with Chris Barton of Ojai, CA (Bissel Pro Cycling) and Ken Hanson of Santa Barbara (Optum) both finishing in the main group.

SB Nation Los Angeles will be bringing you updates, previews, and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. SB Nation's cycling blog Podium Cafe is your source for quality insight and analysis.


Continue

2012 Tour of California, Stage 2: Ride Over Santa Cruz Mountains May Determine Stage Winner

Monday sees stage two of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California kick off, with the peloton starting in San Francisco, taking a long coastal trip along Highway One, then turning inland for two respectable climbs and a flat finish in Aptos. The 117mi stage features a loaded back end:

Stage2profile_medium

In past editions of the race that first climb has had a big impact on the outcome of the stage, so don't be surprised to see a battle for those King of the Mountain points. The standings are tightly packed after stage one, with no serious GC contender more than 10 seconds out. Chris Barton of Ojai, CA (Bissel Pro Cycling) and Ken Hanson of Santa Barbara (Optum) didn't make much of a splash for Southern California on day one, but stage two could easily see a determined breakaway attract big attention. The stage gets underway in San Francisco at 11:05am, and television coverage begins at 2:00pm on NBC Sports Network.

Stick with SB Nation Los Angeles for updates, previews and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. SB Nation's cycling blog Podium Cafe is your source for excellent insight and analysis.

Continue

2012 Tour of California Standings: Peter Sagan Wins Stage 1 With Tremendous Effort

The first stage of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California is complete, and the stage one victory went to 22-year-old Peter Sagan (Liquigas). The young man suffered a flat in the closing kilometers, but with the help of two teammates was able to storm his way back to the front of the peloton and easily jump out in the last hundred meters for the win.

Southern California's representatives in the race, Chris Barton of Ojai, CA (Bissel Pro Cycling) and Ken Hanson of Santa Barbara (Optum) both finished in the main bunch.

Stage one played out like a typical grand tour stage, with a breakaway of young riders motoring away from the peloton and putting a serious gap between themselves and the main bunch. Eventually the main bunch says enough is enough, and they turn the speed up and chase down the breakaway. That's exactly what happened on Saturday, and once the bunch was all together again things began setting up for a sprint finish. Team Rabobank looked to be in a good position to deliver sprinter Michael Matthews to the finish, but an unfortunate crash in the final kilometers took him out of things. That left Oricagreenedge in good position, but Peter Sagan's effort made their position irrelevant. With only a few hundred meters to go he put the hammer down and there was no catching him.

The stage one results and defacto overall standings:

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 4:42:35

2 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin - Barracuda

3 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Team Exergy

4 Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team

5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team

6 George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team

7 Ryan Anderson (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10

8 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep

9 Lawson Craddock (USA) Bontrager Livestrong Team

10 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team

Stage two is on Monday, and we can expect more young riders trying to make a mark, as well as the veterans in the race asserting their tactics through experience.

Continue

2012 Tour of California, Stage 1: The Tour Kicks Off In Santa Rosa

The 2012 Tour of California is finally here. On Sunday, the prestigious cycling race will get underway with Stage 1 in Santa Rosa.

Whereas most big tours -- like the current Giro d'Italia -- like to begin with a time trial to begin the race and give centralized fans a chance to cheer, the Tour of California's Stage 1 will feature sprints and hill climbs as part of a circuitous trip around the scenic Northern California town. You can see the course route below.

Stage1_medium

It should be a lot of fun to watch, as it usually is.

Sunday's Stage 1 kicks off at 2:00 p.m. PT and will be televised on NBC Sports Network (formerly Vs.). You can also watch the live streaming coverage and find lots more information on the race on the official Amgen Tour of California website.

For more news and analysis on the Tour of California, head over to SB Nation's cycling blog, Podium Cafe.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

Continue

2012 Tour of California, How To Watch: NBC Sports Network Has You Covered

The 2012 Amgen Tour of California will begin on Sunday. The race across our great state of California is the most prestigious annual cycling event in the United States and although it will take place at the same time as the Giro d'Italia, there will be no shortage of talent involved.

Sunday's Stage 1 kicks off in Santa Rosa and will be televised on NBC Sports Network (formerly Vs.). The coverage last year was outstanding and this year will likely be no different. Stage 1 coverage begins at 2:00 p.m. PT.

If you are more "new media"-minded, you can also watch the live streaming coverage on the official Amgen Tour of California website. If that's not enough for you, there is also a free tracking app you can download for iOS and Android smartphones.

For more news and analysis on the Tour of California, head over to SB Nation's cycling blog, Podium Cafe.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

Continue

Tour of California 2012: Chris Barton And Ken Hanson Prepare For Stage One

Tour of California 2012 begins on Sunday. Here's a guide to local riders and teams competing in the most important American-based cycling race of the year.

Continue
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SB Nation Los Angeles

You must be a member of SB Nation Los Angeles to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Los Angeles. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Los Angeles

You must be a member of SB Nation Los Angeles to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Los Angeles. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.