The seventh edition of the eight-day Amgen Tour of California kicks off on Sunday in Santa Rosa and finishes a week later in Los Angeles. The only UCI 2.HC race in the US, the Tour of Cali brings world-class riders and teams to American fans.
What kind of race is it?
A healthy balance of sprints and climbs – often within the same stage – the Tour of California is popular with riders who want to test their climbing legs in anticipation for their summer in the Alps and Pyrenees. This is also one of the few opportunities for American-sponsored teams like Garmin-Barracuda, RadioShack-Nissan and BMC to show off their best riders to their US fanbase. Continue reading →
Stage profile: The first uphill finish of this year’s race at the top of the 1,392m Rocca di Cambio, a 19.15km climb with a steady gradient of around 5%. A lengthy downhill section precedes the final 1.5km uphill drag, a likely target for punchy Classics-style climbers.
Top three: 1. Paolo Tiralongo (Astana), 2. Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD), 3. Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) +0:03.
He started young (image courtesy of Joaquim Rodriguez)
Happy 33rd birthday: Feliç 33 aniversari.
The linguists among you will have worked out that Joaquim is a Catalan. He was born in Barcelona into a cycling mad family. His father was a keen amateur rider who ran a local cycling team. So, you could say that Joaquim’s a chip off the old block. But, given his petite size, that should probably be a splinter!
He started riding at an early age, as you can see from the photograph and, inspired by his elder brother Victor, soon started racing. His younger brother Alberto was also a professional rider, but neither Victor nor Alberto have enjoyed the same level of success on two wheels as their brother. Continue reading →