Monday, May 4, 2015

Amgen Tour of California

Some of the Tour of California racing will take place along the Pacific Ocean
The 2015 Amgen Tour of California will begin on Sunday, May 10. The race format is similar to the Tour de France, but it only has eight stages instead of 21. Many of the same teams and riders that will race in the Tour de France in July will participate. Here are a few of the better known teams that will be attending and their best known riders:

  • BMC has American Tejay van Garderen, Tejay finished fifth overall in last year's Tour de France and won the 2013 Tour of California.
  • Etixx-Quickstep has British rider  Mark Cavendish, the best pure sprinter in the world, along with his lead-out man, Mark Renshaw of Australia. Cavendish, who is also known as the Manx Missile since he comes from the Isle of Man, was named the all-time best sprinter in the Tour de France by a French newspaper. He has 25 stage wins in the Tour de France, trailing only the greats Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault.
  • Team Sky features Chris Froome of Great Britain, the 2013 Tour de France winner, and runner-up to teammate Bradley Wiggins in 2012. He crashed out of last year's Tour de France.
  • Tinkoff-Saxo has a couple heavyweights: Alberto Contador of Spain, who has won the Tour de France twice, and Peter Sagan of Slovakia, who has won the Green Jersey at the past three Tour de France races. The Green Jersey is awarded to the top sprinter. Although Cavendish is the best pure sprinter, Sagan is a sprinter who can climb. This has allowed him to win points on moderately hilly stages where Cavendish cannot.
There will be live coverage starting at 5:00 PM each day from the first Sunday to Friday on the NBC Sports channel, which will cover the last couple hours of each stage. The stage on Saturday is the one which will probably decide the overall winner. It finishes on Mt. Baldy at an elevation of 6,500 feet. Coverage of the Mt. Baldy stage will start at 4:30 PM. Stage 8, the final one, will finish at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, with coverage on NBC (Not NBC Sports) starting at 3:00 PM.

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