Johnny Hoogerland: attacker, escape artist, hard man. How hard? So hard that when he was thrown into that barbed wire fence on stage nine of the 2011 Tour de France, he rode to the finish line with blood-soaked bandages swathing his legs – injuries that would result in 33 stitches when he finally made it to the hospital later that evening. Oh, and despite the pain, he carried on all the way to Paris. Now that is a hard man – and we all know a hard man is good to find. Happy birthday, Johnny – 29 today!
A lovely little film about Mr Hoogerland:
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 7 – Recanati to Rocca di Cambio, 205km
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.