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Friday, February 15, 2008

2008 Amgen Tour of California

Will Levi Leipheimer defend his Amgen Tour of California title? We'll find out next week as the event kicks off Sunday with the Prologue in Palo Alto, Calif.

Although I will leave the expert commentary to the sources listed on the right column of this blog and to California-based blogs such as Fritz's Cycle-Licious, I may talk about aspects of the Tour from time to time.

For those of us stuck in the Midwest, the Versus cable TV channel will be providing same-day coverage of the race, beginning at 4 p.m. CST Sunday. If that's not good enough for you, you can watch each day's stages live, "as live" and highlights at Cycling TV. You can see a lower-resolution version (up to 400 kbs) of the race for free, or you can pay to see a higher-resolution version (up to 1,200 kbs).

It will be odd to see Leipheimer and George Hincapie racing for a team other than the now-disbanded Discovery Cycling Team. Leipheimer will be racing for Astana, while Hincapie will be racing for High Road.

Other top racers entered in the Tour of California include Bobby Julich (Team CSC), Paolo Bettini and Tom Boonan (Quick Step), and David Millar and David Zabriskie (Slipstream Chipotle Presented By H30).

Jana IretonSadly, too, this will be the first Tour of California without Jana Ireton as the Specialized Angel. As reported here last month, a woman from Spain will be the new Specialized Angel. Jana said Specialized wanted an Angel who spoke multiple languages.

Jana said she still be along the sidelines watching the races. While I'm sure the new Specialized Angel will be lovely as she blows kisses to the cyclists as they pass, it won't be the same. Jana really impressed me as a class act; she always sent me and other bloggers who featured her thank-you notes for writing about her.

Although the race is only three years old, it is the gem of Medalist Sports' stable of multiday American stage races. Medalist Sports also plays a key role in the Tour of Georgia and Tour of Missouri.

Let the racing begin!

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Roger 2 comments links to this post 11:24 AM

Comments:
Prolouge Start Times

Pousuivants prediction today is that Thomas Voeckler
will win the prolougue.

Notice the shift in start times from the organizers after Robert Gesink. Looks like the two minute gap goes into place. Are they afraid that George Hincapie will catch Cancellara?

Poursuivants.com

http://www.bicycle.net/2008/amgen-tour-of-california-prologue-starting-order
 
Let Levi Ride Campaign

Well, prediction was slightly off. I guess that is why Cancellara is the World Champion.

Cancellara was impressive with his 3'51" prologue result. Fast and flat, Levi Leipheimer's fourth place finish may not have seeded him on the first day's podium, however, the placing was perfect for heading into Stage 2.

Levi needs your support. To help out, follow my link to http://www.poursuivants.com and click on the banner at the top. You will have the chance to join his campaign and sign the online petition to undo the unjust exclusion of Levi and his team from this year's Tour de France.
 
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