May 29, 2015
Category: Stage 3  Stage 5  Stage 6  Stage 7  Stage 8 

It was a flat out drag race to the finish line atop Metcalf Road in San Jose during Stage 3 of the tenth Amgen Tour of California and it was neck and neck. Fan favorite Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) and upstart Julian Alaphilippe (Ettix-Quick-Step) clashed for the runner-up spot after Hincapie Racing’s Toms Skujins rode off with the day’s top prize. Trading a series of jabs and body blows, Sagan, who has the record for stage wins at America’s Greatest Race, barely edged out the 22-year-old Frenchman riding for the first time in California. That mad dash to the finish presaged the ultimate result in the GC battle that would unfold in the shadow of the iconic Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Stage 8. One could argue that Sagan won the Amgen Tour that sunny Tuesday afternoon. Standing 50 meters past the line, I watched Alaphilippe take his left hand off his bars to pat the speedy Slovak on the back in an offer of congratulations. It was a classy sporting gesture of respect from the second-year pro who in his breakout season was the breakthrough rider of this year’s Amgen Tour of California.

May 13, 2015
Category: Stage 3  Stage 4 

There’s a reason why Toms Skujins, the new leader of the Amgen Tour of California after a spectacular solo assault on Mt. Hamilton propelled him to victory on Tuesday’s Stage 3 in San Jose, was cracking jokes and deftly delivering perfectly-timed one-liners to the media during the post-race press conference. The 23-year-old Latvian riding for Hincapie Racing learned to speak English watching the Cartoon Network. Skujins audacious attack on the above category mountain was no joke.

May 12, 2015
Category: Stage 2  Stage 3 

What a difference a day makes. Stage 2 of America’s Greatest Race, a 120.4-mile pedal from Nevada City to Lodi, culminated in another group gallop that saw the Amgen Tour of California yellow jersey leader Mark Cavendish (Ettix-Quick-Step) win in a photo finish over rival Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Drapac’s Wouter Wippert. Unfortunately there were some casualties out on course.

Apr 2, 2015
Category: Host Cities  Stage 3 

I recently spent a fun-filled weekend in San Jose, the only city to host a stage in each edition of the Amgen Tour of California. The purpose of the trip was to attend something other than a bike race: a hockey game played outdoors in nearby Santa Clara in the new stadium built for the San Francisco 49ers. The game was between San Jose’s Sharks and the Los Angeles Kings. From the moment I got off the airplane, I was immediately taken by what a voracious sports town San Jose is. It makes perfect sense that the largest city in Northern California and the tenth largest city in the U.S. would be such a fabulous host for America’s Greatest Race. Kudos to the San Jose Sports Authority for hosting both the start and finish of Stage 3 during the upcoming tenth anniversary Amgen Tour of California.

Aug 1, 2014
Category: Stage 2  Stage 3  Transfer News 

When I took this photo of Rohan Dennis and Taylor Phinney hanging out in the green room before the Amgen Tour of California Stage 2 podium ceremony last May, I don’t think either athlete could have imagined that they would become teammates on BMC Racing this season, but that’s what happened today (August 1) after a rare mid-season transfer arrangement. Dennis, a 24-year-old Australian in his second pro season, makes the swamp from one American WorldTour team, Garmin-Sharp, to another enabling the 24-year-old Australian to join BMC Racing beginning Monday (August 4).

May 14, 2014
Category: General  Stage 3 

Warriors. The riders competing in the Amgen Tour of California are nothing less than warriors. And they are giving everything they have into their daily jousts. Standing at the finishing area after the riders summited Mt. Diablo, you could see the tremendous suffering they endured in the battle to the top written all over their faces and bodies. Most arrived hardly able to stand; huffing and puffing; sweat, spit and snot pouring freely. You think you push yourself hard in training; well it’s nothing compared to the effort these athletes make in competition. And you can tell how important this race and each stage are to the riders by their supreme efforts. No one is just going through the motions. The Amgen Tour of California is an important race on the international racing calendar and it shows.

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