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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.