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2017 Amgen Tour of California, May 14-20, WT

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2017 Amgen Tour of California, May 14-20, WT

12 May 2017 18:40

While all the road cycling fans are focused mainly on the Giro, another stage race (newly promoted to the WT level) begins on Sunday on the other side of the pond. Ladies and gentlemen, here it comes : Amgen Tour of California.

This year, the organizers propose three flat (or flattish) stages, two medium mountain stages, one MTF and one ITT.

Stage 1: Sacramento – Sacramento, 167 km

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Flat stage ending with a several short laps in the city centre. Narrow turns and short straights should not prevent a bunch sprint.

Stage 2 : Modesto – San Jose, 143 km

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Medium mountain stage, involving a couple of short sharp climbs and one « real » mountain in the mid-section of the race. Uphill finale should add some entertainment for the spectators. Good opportunity for the puncheurs and strong sprinters which would survive all the climbing earlier during the day.

Stage 3 : Pismo Beach – Morro Beach, 186 km

Flat stage, bunch sprint.

Stage 4 : Santa Barbara – Santa Clarita, 159 km

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A 40 kilometres long gentle uphill drag to the finish line following a couple of short and rather easy climbs. Sprinters should have another opportunity.

Stage 5 : Ontario – Mount Baldy, 125 km

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The only proper mountain stage and the only MTF of the race. Not too hard, though : two first climbs are either not very long or not very steep, so the battle should take place on the final difficulty of the day. The only opportunity to gain some time for these GC contenders which does not feel very well in the TT (coming on the next day).

Stage 6 : Big Bear Lake, 24 km ITT

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Something you will never see in the Europe : a pancake flat ITT at the altitude of 2000+ metres. Not too short and not too long, should be a stage win opportunity for a pure TT specialist.

Stage 7 : Mountain High Ski Area – Pasadena, 124 km

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Looking on the profile, the final stage looks like a classic MTF stage – just ridden in an opposite direction. It begins with a 25 kilometres long descent, then traverses a couple of medium-sized mountains and hills, and finally descends again to the finish location. Bunch sprint most likely.

Participating teams : 12 WT teams, 3 PCT teams, 2 CT teams.
NOT participating : Ag2R, Bahrain, FDJ, Lotto-Soudal, Movistar, Orica.

Astana (Breschel)
BMC (Sanchez, Bookwalter, Drucker)
Bora (Sagan, Majka)
Cannondale (Talansky, Phinney, Craddock)
Cofidis (van Genechten)
Dimension Data (Renshaw)
Jelly Belly (Tvetcov)
Katusha (Kristoff, Machado)
LottoNL (Gesink, Bennett)
Novo Nordisk
QuickStep (Kittel, de la Cruz)
Rally
Sky (Geoghegan Hart, Kennaugh, Lopez, Viviani)
Sunweb (Oomen)
Trek (Degenkolb, Zubeldia)
United Healthcare (Acevedo)
UAE (Durasek, Guardini)

Generally, a big pack of top (Degenkolb, Kittel, Kristoff, Sagan), first- and second tier sprinters. On the other hand – not too much climbers and usual GC suspects.

Full startlist available here :
http://www.procyclingstats.com/race/Amgen_Tour_of_California_2017_Startlist
dick the quick
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12 May 2017 18:47

Hopefully second stage will be raced.
PunchingRouleur
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Re:

12 May 2017 19:13

PunchingRouleur wrote:Hopefully second stage will be raced.

It's probably going to be another Sagan stage...
User avatar Mayomaniac
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Re:

12 May 2017 19:14

PunchingRouleur wrote:Hopefully second stage will be raced.

Yeah, I would be disappointed if they cancelled it.

;)

On a serious note, I think not much happened there in 2015. There was a nice solo from Skujins but apart from that there was just a sprint of puncheurs for 2nd place.
Wij steunen hem, tenzij hij niet genoeg fietst.
Anderis
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12 May 2017 19:29

This race is generally on the boring side. The one thing they know how to do is give a good online stream.
Skyline Drive
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPjM6rZ4pN0
_____________________________________________________________________________
Canton Ave Climb
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C90ZPlbEfmU
User avatar Jspear
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12 May 2017 19:51

Last year they did a few things right, a pretty good MTF, the Laguna Seca stage was fun and the Lake Tahoe stage wasn't too bad and something different because of the altitude, it was a step in the right direction.
This year however the route is rather generic.
User avatar Mayomaniac
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12 May 2017 19:57

Quick-Step's sport director Brian Holm - "Unfortunately, Julian Alaphilippe, who won the 2016 edition, won't be here due to a knee injury, while David De La Cruz, who was supposed to be our man for the general classification, is also out due to health problems(pneumonia)."

https://twitter.com/quickstepteam/status/863080149289455619
can3478
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12 May 2017 20:47

They have had some bad luck this season...
Breh
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12 May 2017 21:05

Given the form he showed in the Tour of the Alps and in the Tour of Yorkshire has Bookwalter a chance to win the overall?
Talansky dropped out of the Basque Country because of illness and his form is uncertain,Majka and Gesink aren't time trialists and a 24 km pan flat ITT doesn't suit them at all. George Bennett too.
Interested to see what Oomen can do after a good spring.
5th June 1999, the day cycling died
User avatar ThePirate81
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12 May 2017 21:19

here is a link to press conference, after these guys come sagan, degenkolb and kittel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3161pJRrAkg
User avatar Dr. Watson
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12 May 2017 21:34

Bobby G, who else?

I'll watch this race more closely since I'm visiting California in September.
User avatar SafeBet
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Re:

12 May 2017 21:40

Jspear wrote:This race is generally on the boring side. The one thing they know how to do is give a good online stream.

Hmmm. Cable TV coverage thru NBCSN was pretty crappy though. Any time they approached anything that resembled a hill, the TV cut out. And helicopter coverage wasn't used that much. And, I thought they got all of their views from the same TV cameras. To me, that's pretty much been the way it has been covered for the last 3 or 4 years.
Nacho
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12 May 2017 21:45

Sad that De la Cruz is out, but this probably means Enric Mas can ride for himself, he's Quickstep's only climber now :)
User avatar LaFlorecita
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Re:

13 May 2017 02:04

ThePirate81 wrote:Given the form he showed in the Tour of the Alps and in the Tour of Yorkshire has Bookwalter a chance to win the overall?
Talansky dropped out of the Basque Country because of illness and his form is uncertain,Majka and Gesink aren't time trialists and a 24 km pan flat ITT doesn't suit them at all. George Bennett too.
Interested to see what Oomen can do after a good spring.


IMO he has a very fair chance of winning it. He seems to be stronger this year than he was last year and then he was able to place 3rd....also because of what you've already stated. The GC list is just weak.
Skyline Drive
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPjM6rZ4pN0
_____________________________________________________________________________
Canton Ave Climb
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C90ZPlbEfmU
User avatar Jspear
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13 May 2017 02:13

What a crap GC field. Disappointing. Sprint field is top notch, however.

A shame Axeon isn't here.
User avatar jaylew
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Re:

13 May 2017 14:37

SafeBet wrote:Bobby G, who else?

I'll watch this race more closely since I'm visiting California in September.


Bobby G will be a good helper for George Bennett.
Max Rockatansky
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13 May 2017 21:05

Will Sagan dig deep on Baldy and try for GC? The route is similar to the year he took GC and the competition is worse.
Goodbye, Tommeke; thank you for all you have given us!
User avatar Netserk
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Re:

13 May 2017 22:28

Netserk wrote:Will Sagan dig deep on Baldy and try for GC? The route is similar to the year he took GC and the competition is worse.


He says he won't....that 2015 was something special. He would need the TT shortened and he would need to beat the big sprinters to gain all the extra time possible.
Skyline Drive
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPjM6rZ4pN0
_____________________________________________________________________________
Canton Ave Climb
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C90ZPlbEfmU
User avatar Jspear
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13 May 2017 22:45

While a shorter TT suits him better, surely he should be able to gain the same time or more on the climbers with a longer TT.
Goodbye, Tommeke; thank you for all you have given us!
User avatar Netserk
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13 May 2017 23:19

Will be happy if any of Rob Britton, Lawson Craddock and Guerreiro perform well.

Will also be cheering for the usual suspects in Skujiņš, Phinney and McCabe. :)
''The battle between Démare and Bouhanni for being France's best sprinter is decided: it's Coquard.'' - BBB
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