Wednesday, May 25, 2011

2011 Amgen Tour - Stage 7 & Final Results

Teamwork as smooth as cream cheese. Epic!
Chris likes a little stubble to protect his face too
 As expected, the Mt Hamilton stage pretty much determined the pecking order for the rest of the tour. You never know until it's over, crashes and illness can take their toll, and change the outcome in an instant, but in this case, Mt Hamilton ranked the field for Mt Baldy, and the leading teams became even more dominant.

It was good to see Chris so happy, euphoric even. Finally the respect he deserves. I hope he kicks Contador's ass in the TDF this year. I look forward to seeing more of young riders like Matt Busche, from the great state of New Mexico, in future tours. He was amaing at the top of Mt Baldy.

Schleck's performance was a little surprising, but he is on a comeback, and prepping for the TDF, or that's his story, and he's sticking to it. The rider that was unexpectedly impressive for me was Ryder Heshedal. I was also surprised that Garmin did so little of the work at the front in the San Gabriel Mountains, but then RadioShack had the strength and depth to just go hammer it the whole stage, and Garmin just wasn't able to respond.

The oldest guy to finish the race won it. Big props for Chris Horner!!!
 I do hope we will see another Tahoe stage, weather not withstanding, and with the suggested team TT from Carson City, Nevada to Incline Village. Team TTs are getting really rare, and they are one of my favorites. Especially as a first stage, they give the team a great opportunity to work together and gel. It's snowing up in Tahoe as I'm typing this, so an alternate is definitely needed.

While RadioShack pretty much owned the race, I hope the Amgen Tour will continue to give new riders an opening into the sport. Like the US Open, those opportunities are absolutely necessary if the sport is to continue to flourish, and we love watching them grow up right here in the most beautiful country in the world,  the Golden State of California!

1 comment:

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

I agree completely with you... on all accounts. Your last paragraph sums it up perfectly. Lets taking the dirty doping out of the sport and open it up a bit!

USA Pro Cycling Championships in our city this weekend. I am SO EXCITED and will not miss a minute while I bake in the sun cheering and watching.