Velorooms - Cycling Forum

Professional Cycling => Road Races => Topic started by: Leadbelly on May 08, 2017, 20:39

Title: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 08, 2017, 20:39
Amgen Tour of California

(http://i67.tinypic.com/wwhk6v.png)
The Amgen Tour of California is a cycling road race that challenges the world's top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course that traverses hundreds of miles of California's iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring. The teams chosen to participate have included Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and World Champions. The first-ever U.S. UCI WorldTour course will cover more than 575 miles through 12 Host Cities May 14-20, including Sacramento, Modesto, San Jose, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Ontario, Mt. Baldy, Big Bear Lake, Mountain High and Pasadena.

Since its inception in 2006, the Amgen Tour of California has become one of the most important races on the international cycling calendar, showcasing the most accomplished cyclists from around the world. In addition, the event provides cyclists the opportunity to preview prospective competition leading to summer’s Tour de France.

Amgen Tour of California veteran Mark Cavendish (GBR) will return with Team Dimension Data. Cavendish turned in his tenth Amgen Tour of California career stage win last year before going on to win his first Olympic medal (silver in Omnium) and the opening stage plus three others in the 2016 Tour de France.

“I've been racing in the Amgen Tour of California for years now, and it's an event I look forward to. Not only are their courses challenging, they are incredibly scenic and attract one of the best groups of fans we see every year. From a team and riders’ perspective, it’s one of the best organized events anywhere and an event that always takes great care of the riders,” said Cavendish, who is nearing the all-time Tour de France stage win record with 30 (the record is 34). “It's become an important part of my preparation for the Tour de France because the race attracts the best, and the competition is intense. It's always a battle but I am hoping to add some more California victories this year."

The Amgen Tour of California has become known for epic sprinter showdowns, and Cavendish will face off with Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’s star sprinter Alexander Kristoff (NOR), BORA-hansgrohe’s all-time Amgen Tour of California stage win record holder Peter Sagan (SVK), Trek-Segafredo’s lauded John Degenkolb (GER) and Cofidis’ Nacer Bouhanni (FRA), who holds multiple stage wins at the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España.

“Racing in California is a challenge and a joy every time. I hope to continue building on the success I've had at the Amgen Tour of California, and know all the riders will do our best to give the incredible fans another good show this year,” said Sagan, who holds the record for the most Amgen Tour of California stage wins (15) and capped off last season by wearing the yellow jersey for the first time at the Tour de France then winning his second World Championship title.

The Amgen Tour of California has also become a race where young riders can make their mark. Last year at age 23, France’s Julian Alaphilippe became the youngest rider in race history to claim overall victory. This year could hold more of the same… Following his breakthrough 2016 season, 23-year-old Columbian rider Miguel Ángel López will make his California debut with Astana Pro Team, and Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team will bring 25-year-old phenom Lawson Craddock (Austin, Texas), who has racked up strong California results in recent years (3rd overall in 2014; 5th in 2016), and was one of only five U.S. riders to start in the Tour de France last season.

Teammates joining Craddock will include reigning U.S. National Time Trial Champion Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo.) and part-time Napa, Calif. resident Andrew Talansky, who held that same national title in 2015 and placed fourth overall at last year’s Amgen Tour of California.

Source (http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/news/114/90/STRONGEST-FIELD-IN-RACE-HISTORY-ANNOUNCED-FOR-2017-AMGEN-TOUR-OF-CALIFORNIA)

Stage 1  »  Sacramento  ›  Sacramento   (167km)

(http://i64.tinypic.com/2u6i535.png)

The last three times they have finished in Sacremento Cavendish has won, this year I think it's very unlikely that he will ride as he recovers from mononucleosis.

Stage 2  »  Modesto  ›  San Jose   (144.5km)

(http://i65.tinypic.com/acs6eq.png)

Skujins won from the break when they finished here last time. Not tough enough to create any (significant) gaps.

Stage 3  »  Pismo Beach  ›  Morro Bay   (192.5km)

(http://i68.tinypic.com/2d0z0xt.png)

The blurb talks about a "nasty little .5 km climb to the finish", but I don't see anything. Will have a closer look another day.

Stage 4  »  Santa Barbara  ›  Santa Clarita   (159.5km)

(http://i63.tinypic.com/282v14.png)

Sprint.

Stage 5  »  Ontario  ›  Mt. Baldy   (125.5km)

(http://i65.tinypic.com/2ykzvv7.png)

Stage 6  »  Big Bear Lake TT   (24km)

(http://i64.tinypic.com/30rmeyr.png)

Pan flat, but at over 2000m altitiude.

Stage 7  »  Mountain High  ›  Pasadena   (125km)

(http://i64.tinypic.com/33m1pfs.png)

Just what we needed......another sprint.


Previous Winners
2007 Levi Leipheimer USA Discovery Channel
2008 Levi Leipheimer USA Astana
2009 Levi Leipheimer USA Astana
2010 Michael Rogers AUS Team HTC-Columbia
2011 Chris Horner USA Team RadioShack
2012 Robert Gesink NED Rabobank   
2013 Tejay van Garderen USA BMC Racing Team
2014 Bradley Wiggins GBR Team Sky
2015 Peter Sagan SVK Tinkoff - Saxo
2016 Julian Alaphilippe FRA Etixx - Quick Step

Official Website (http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/home)
Official Twitter (https://twitter.com/AmgenTOC/with_replies)
Startlist (http://www.procyclingstats.com/race/Amgen_Tour_of_California_2017_Startlist)
#amgentoc (https://twitter.com/hashtag/amgentoc?f=tweets&vertical=default&src=hash)
Tour Tracker (http://microsofttourtracker.amgentourofcalifornia.com/)
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 08, 2017, 20:49
Competing teams:

(https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/17103289_10154500003332428_7773891509472862997_n.jpg?oh=3b100c5af1828e1179d91bbfefab0405&oe=59793170)

UCI WorldTour Teams (MEN):

Astana Pro Team (KAZ)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
BORA-hansgrohe (GER)
Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Quick-Step Floors (BEL)
Team Dimension Data (RSA)
Team Sunweb (GER)
Team KATUSHA ALPECIN (SUI)
Team LottoNL-Jumbo (NED)
Team Sky (GBR)
Trek-Segafredo (USA)
UAE Team Emirates

UCI Professional Continental Teams (MEN):

Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (FRA)
Team Novo Nordisk (USA)
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)

UCI Continental Teams (MEN):

Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis (USA)
Rally Cycling (USA)

With all the brouhaha over the CT teams who got invited, the pressure is on Rally and Jelly Belly to show they are worthy.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 08, 2017, 21:08
https://twitter.com/TeamSky/status/861626782956478464

Can't see a genuine GC threat from TGH, so hopefully Boswell and Lopez etc can have free reign on the two non-sprinter days.

https://twitter.com/katushacycling/status/861583336887791618

No GC threats either, and Machado needs to sort himself out. :D
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 08, 2017, 21:22
https://twitter.com/UHCprocycling/status/859831368330731521

Mannion is the guy in form for them from a TT-ing and climbing point of view. McCabe has settled well with the team, but the sprint field here should be way too hot for him. Stage two is probably their best shot at a win with Daniel J.

https://twitter.com/pedalmagazine/status/860693501729812480

They won the KoM in 2016, 2014 and 2012. Logic suggests next year may prove more fruitful, but I'm sure it's a target here.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: t-72 on May 08, 2017, 22:23
If I was a gambler I would have put some money on #sunweb Sam Oomen. Stage win, young rider and overall? I don't really know how good he is but he's definetly got more under the hood than what shows when he is riding support for Dumoulin.  I think he should qualify as an outsider pick and in contrast to #astana Superman he is well prepared.

EDIT: Whereas the banker would be a #bora win with Majka or Sagan. This after Pöstlbergers coup on Sardinia! Unless an in-form GvA shows up.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 09, 2017, 08:50
If I was a gambler I would have put some money on #sunweb Sam Oomen. Stage win, young rider and overall?

He could have a chance. The GC names confirmed so far wouldn't have me quaking in my boots.

Craddansky is probably the favourite unless Alaphilippe shows up for Quick Step. Bookwalter for BMC and Majka could be up there. Will Meintjes ride for UAE? After that it's much of a muchness, some guys that can climb well, but can't TT etc etc.

Once we have a full start list it might become clearer.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 09, 2017, 08:58
https://twitter.com/Cyclingnewsfeed/status/861689442649747456

Bit strange at such short notice.

https://twitter.com/TrekSegafredo/status/861579445198565377

Another sprint focused team.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: LukasCPH on May 09, 2017, 09:58
https://twitter.com/Cyclingnewsfeed/status/861689442649747456

Bit strange at such short notice.
Very strange. Especially if they're not replacing another team, but coming on top. :slow
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 10, 2017, 18:13
https://twitter.com/AstanaTeam/status/862203312757755905

Still no racing for Lopez.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: t-72 on May 10, 2017, 20:53
Looking forward to see #astana Truls Korsæth in a time trial at this level (except I can't watch it...). I hope he goes full gas!
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 11, 2017, 05:20
https://twitter.com/Cyclingnewsfeed/status/862441990297989120
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 12, 2017, 05:35
https://twitter.com/Cyclingnewsfeed/status/862875266535874560

Wippert needs to start getting some results (or grow a moustache) if he wants a new contract with Cannondale.

https://twitter.com/LottoJumbo_road/status/862653642628886530

Olivier's second race back with the team. Bennett's probably a better bet for the GC than Gesink.

Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: LukasCPH on May 12, 2017, 09:34
Wippert needs to start getting some results (or grow a moustache) if he wants a new contract with Cannondale.
:lol
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 12, 2017, 18:25
https://twitter.com/quickstepteam/status/863044146507993088

No De La Cruz now as he has pulmonitis. This opens the door for Mas to show us what he can do.

https://twitter.com/BMCProTeam/status/863013609936441349

They say Sammy is the leader for the GC, but for me it's Bookwalter.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 12, 2017, 18:26
https://twitter.com/nealrogers/status/863035596008194050
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Flo on May 12, 2017, 22:47
I'm excited that Enric can now ride for himself :cool he is of no use in Kittel's leadout train.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Armchair Cyclist on May 14, 2017, 10:28
I am a teacher, I believe in motivating young people.

But honestly:(http://i66.tinypic.com/2efsxlu.png)
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 15, 2017, 05:39
https://twitter.com/BadulaqueDptvo/status/863908598384140288

Very easy (well he made it look easy) for the big German. Kristoff can't be happy with 13th.

Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: just some guy on May 15, 2017, 07:03
I am a teacher, I believe in motivating young people.

But honestly:(http://i66.tinypic.com/2efsxlu.png)

I like it

But I wear ankle length sock when I ride and no gloves  :D
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 16, 2017, 05:45
https://twitter.com/AmgenTOC/status/864258736453435392

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/tour-of-california-lottonl-jumbo-incites-gc-battle-on-stage-2/



PCS result is currently not correct as Gesink (5th) to VSL (12th) finished 37 seconds down on the stage.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 16, 2017, 19:28
Stage 3  »  Pismo Beach  ›  Morro Bay   (192.5km)

(http://i68.tinypic.com/2d0z0xt.png)

The blurb talks about a "nasty little .5 km climb to the finish", but I don't see anything. Will have a closer look another day.



450 metres at 3.5%

However on Street View the first block after the turn east looks steeper.

Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 17, 2017, 08:19
https://twitter.com/CiclismoaTope12/status/864737322528649218

Zabel so strong! :o

Kristoff (e-mail on the way) so weak! :o

Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: hiero on May 18, 2017, 03:47
You know, I have devoted very little attention to the AToC this year. I see the headlines, and I go "meh, who cares?"  I really like to watch Sagan, but I'm still "AToC, meh, who cares?"

They made a mistake moving to later in the year. I would be willing to bet they see that decision biting them in the ass right now.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: search on May 18, 2017, 07:16
UCI Continental Teams (MEN):

Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis (USA)
Rally Cycling (USA)

With all the brouhaha over the CT teams who got invited, the pressure is on Rally and Jelly Belly to show they are worthy.

well, Rally did deliver, I would say :D

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DAEO-y3UAAAvdfr.jpg)

Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 18, 2017, 09:13
They made a mistake moving to later in the year. I would be willing to bet they see that decision biting them in the ass right now.

I went and checked and it was 2009 (!) the last time they raced in February. Not exactly yesterday, so I don't think that can really be blamed for any recent ennui. It would be difficult to move back anyway as that time of year seems a lot more busy with races than mid-May.

To be fair though it hasn't really grabbed my attention either for a few reasons.

• P + P on commentary duties (nothing new there)
• Bland parcour on paper, but it's actually been better so far that I thought
• A lot of sprint focused teams
• Most importantly, I'm far too tired to stay up late and watch
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 18, 2017, 09:28
well, Rally did deliver, I would say :D

They sure got lucky, but if you don't buy a lottery ticket etc

Jelly Belly had been in a much better position up until yesterday's stage. Two Courageous Rider jerseys for Wolfe and Tvetcov in a decent GC shape. Looking at the GC though I think it's going to be difficult for him to improve too much. He has done well at altitude before, but there aren't many poor TTers ahead of him. He's going to have to climb out of his skin today to have a chance of moving on up.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: hiero on May 18, 2017, 13:46
I went and checked and it was 2009 (!) the last time they raced in February. Not exactly yesterday, so I don't think that can really be blamed for any recent ennui. It would be difficult to move back anyway as that time of year seems a lot more busy with races than mid-May.

To be fair though it hasn't really grabbed my attention either for a few reasons.

• P + P on commentary duties (nothing new there)
• Bland parcour on paper, but it's actually been better so far that I thought
• A lot of sprint focused teams
• Most importantly, I'm far too tired to stay up late and watch

Ennui - perfect word for the occasion.

2009! Wuh! It was that long ago? It feels like only a couple of years. I've felt the dissatisfaction rising over the years. A couple of years I've tuned in briefly, just because it IS, after all, on US soil.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 18, 2017, 15:32
I reckon it's time for a Gesink attack tonight. LottoNL were the team that lit it up on Mt. Hamilton on stage two and it makes sense to me that they are the aggressors again. On the other hand I'd fancy Bennett to beat Majka in the TT, so Gesink could just be used to keep a good pace all the way up.

Sky and Quick Step are the other teams with two GC contenders, but I don't think Schach-attack is a good enough climber (yet) to stick around today, so it could be just TGH trying to force a reaction.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Flo on May 18, 2017, 19:45
Enric domination coming up later today :s
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 19, 2017, 05:25
https://twitter.com/AmgenTOC/status/865348968368152576

http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/tour-of-california-2017/stage-5/results/

Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Flo on May 19, 2017, 06:48
A little disappointed by Enric's performance, 13th isn't at all bad but after his Pais Vasco performance against a much better field, I was hopeful
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 19, 2017, 18:23
https://twitter.com/Cyclingnewsfeed/status/865599877564293120
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: search on May 20, 2017, 00:00
Jonathan Who?
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 20, 2017, 05:26
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DAOdP4GXgAEcoDq.jpg)



Bennett obviously and VSL with the biggest jump.

Majka, Boswell, Gesink and Morton.

https://twitter.com/BrainOnWheels/status/865691521466683396
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 21, 2017, 07:36
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DAUoJ_4VoAI0Cm9.jpg)

Huffman takes win #2 for himself and Rally. Lopez sat on all stage, so I think most people would be glad that he didn't manage to snaffle the win.



(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DAUAMBLXoAEGVn7.jpg)



The only jersey change was Morton overtaking Oomen and TGH for the young rider's one. Huffman managed to equal Daniel J's KoM total, but the UHC rider won by virtue of something or other.....pity maybe.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 21, 2017, 20:45
https://twitter.com/todaycyclingfr/status/866247111808925696

Whoops.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: LukasCPH on May 21, 2017, 22:30
Whoops.
Vee no have envirronment in Russia.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: DJW on May 21, 2017, 23:37
Extraordinary result for Dibben (who has, arguably, already achieved more than TGH in terms of biggest result of past few years).

#cannondale won a stage, which is surely sign enough that this should have remained a non World Tour race
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Leadbelly on May 22, 2017, 08:51
It turned out to be a much better race than I pessimistically previewed.

My stage analysis of 4 sprints, 1 uphill sprint, 1 GC climbing day and the TT was a bit off. Only stage 1 from the sprint days really went off as planned and stage two was the decisive GC day.

If it has been a full blown WT race it probably would have gone as I had initially thought. :lol

We'll have to see if the CT teams are allowed to continue in 2018. I can't remember if it was reported as temporary or not. Anyway there are rumours of Rally going PCT. Could others feel the need to as well - I'm looking at you Holowesko.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Capt_Cavman on May 22, 2017, 10:07
I know I'm in a minority of one in that as a non American I really like this event and think that California is the perfect playground for a baby grand tour or even a proper one. It's just crying out for a new Greg Lemond or, dare I say it, a new Lance to generate the local interest
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: LukasCPH on May 22, 2017, 10:36
#cannondale won a stage, which is surely sign enough that this should have remained a non World Tour race
:lol Harsh. But probably true.

I know I'm in a minority of one in that as a non American I really like this event and think that California is the perfect playground for a baby grand tour or even a proper one. It's just crying out for a new Greg Lemond or, dare I say it, a new Lance to generate the local interest
It's true that California (and the surrounding states) have some great terrain.

But, a long stage race in the US just won't have the same feeling to me as the three original GTs. Not so much because it'd be brand-new, but because the racing is so different.
I watched the sprint preparation on one of the stages - they were on five-lane roads! This is something that all North American riders going to Europe say you have to adapt to. Another thing is that the climbs are just different: long maybe, but often just not as steep. 20 km at 3-4% (though this is Colorado more than California) just doesn't do that much to a top-level peloton of climbers.
Title: Re: [WT] Tour of California
Post by: Capt_Cavman on May 22, 2017, 12:44
It doesn't have to be the same, just long with many and varied challenges. Innovation would be a good thing.

California does have the steep climbs and big changes in altitude, just that the roads don't necessarily go anywhere.

I'm aware this is very very hypothetical, more chance of a GT of the British Isles.