Michael Rogers Wins 2010 Tour of California
Team Garmin-Transitions' Ryder Hesjedal wins a very exciting and animated stage 8.
at the climb, which was swept by the Garmin-Transitions team with Hesjedal first, Tom Danielson (USA) second and Zabriskie third. As a new Los Angeles resident, Zabriskie utilizes the Rock Store climb as part of his standard training rides. Lined with fans, some of which had camped out to secure their spot to watch the cyclists compete in the final day of the race, "Rock Store" made the final stage of the race an extremely challenging course. As the riders passed the Malibu Family Winery, they began a twisting and technical descent on Westlake Blvd. headed back into Thousand Oaks.
Split at the end of the first lap, there were 28 riders in the front with 15 chasing behind, but as they neared the second pass at "Rock Store" the group joined together to form a pack about 45 riders strong. The next big break occurred on the climb and included Rabou, who took the KOM, Carlos Barredo (ESP) of QuickStep, Yaroslav Popovych (UKR) of Team RadioShack, Sebastian Langeveld (NED) of Rabobank, George Hincapie (USA) of BMC Racing Team, Oscar Pujol (ESP) of Cervélo TestTeam, Jeremy Vennell (NZL) of Team BISSELL and Bradley White (USA) of Team UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis. With each circuit taking approximately 40 minutes, the break held for the next lap, and Rabou once again took the KOM heading into the final circuit of the race.
After some unsuccessful attempts to pull away from the lead group, Hincapie, Barredo and Pujol were able to get off the front and create a gap of about a minute. At the same time, pulling away from the chase group were Leipheimer, Rogers, Horner and Zabriskie, who were soon joined by Hesjedal. The remaining riders from the original break began to fall back to the main group, while Horner and Hesjedal went forward to join the break. Langeveld, the Rabobank rider who was in the original break, fell back to give race leader Rogers a bit of shelter as the attacks came and went. In an all out sprint to the finish, Hesjedal took the win to the cheers of enthusiastic fans lining the streets of Thousand Oaks.
"Once I made it up to the remainder of the break, I knew I had a shot to win, so I focused and the team was awesome," said Hesjedal. "To win on the last day against a field like this is a big highlight for me."
"Today I think was the best stage for me, short and explosive with hard climbs," Cervelo TestTeam's Oscar Pujol said after the stage. "From the beginning the teams wanted to make it a hard race and that was better for me. Then at the final I was tired and made it to the finish line with just a few riders. But in the last downhill two riders got to us and in the sprint I was not strong enough. I tried it and I am happy with today."
"This stage was brutal," US Champion George Hincapie of Team BMC Racing told Roadcycling.com and added "I knew the race