Posted on: February 19, 2008 8:47 am
Edited on: February 19, 2008 8:49 am

TOC: Stage 1

Stage 1 was a 97 mile (156k) stage from Sausalito to Santa Rosa.

Juan Jose Haedo of Team CSC took the stage with Gerald Ciolek of High Road finishing second and Heinrich Haussler of Gerolsteiner rounded out the podium.

The Peloton finished with the same time with a couple groups coming in later but none of the GC contendors lost any time.

No change in the Golden Jersey standings

Jackson Stewart of BMC was away on a breakaway early so he took both the Green and Orange jerseys

Ciolek takes the blue jersey from Hagen

Posted on: February 18, 2008 12:19 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2008 8:49 am

TOC: Prologue

Surprise, surprise...

The World Time Trial Champion, Fabian Cancellara won the prologue with Bradley Wiggins and Slipstream's Tyler Farrar finishing second and third to round out the podium.

Levi finished 4th so he's only six seconds back with Dave Zabriskie in 6th, Vandevelde and Hincapie tied for 12th, 10 seconds back.

As predicted, Rock Racing only has 5 riders but Super Mario Cipollini arrived at the last minute and finished 44th.

Fun, fun, fun!

Posted on: February 17, 2008 10:31 am
Edited on: February 19, 2008 8:49 am

TOC: Here we go!

Only hours to go before the start of the prologue and the drama has hit a fever pitch.

Rock Racing has made the decision to only start 5 riders becuase the TOC organizers have said the Hamilton, Sevilla and Botero cannot race becuase they are mentioned in the ongoing Puerto investigation in Spain.

Hold on to your socks!

Posted on: February 15, 2008 9:42 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2008 8:48 am

TOC: Missing in action?

The news for Team Astana in regards to the TdF isn't good but if anybody has a fighting spirit, its Levi Leipheimer and Johan Bruyneel, don't count them out yet! Levi, Alberto, Chris, Chechu and Johan will be in Stanford on Sunday looking to send a message to the ASO.

The full start list is on the TOC website and there are glaring omitions for the Rock Racing team...first of all, there are three riders missing from their team, the only team without the full 8 compliment. Names on this team that you would think would be in Cali for this race would be Santiago Botero, Oscar Sevilla and Tyler Hamilton yet none of them are listed, issues?

We all have our opinions about Tyler but regardless, like David Millar, he served his time and if he's in shape, let's give him another chance at proving himself no?

Also missing:

David Rebellin, Robert Forster and Stefan Schumacher from Gerolsteiner,

Only Voekler and Lefevre are here tpo carry the mantle for Bouygues

I am VERY pleasantly surprised to see such strong Quick Step and CSC Teams. No doubt it's attributable to their strong US Sponsoship both in bikes and sponsors. BUt there are some big names that lend TOC some credability, more even then the Tour Down Under, a Pro Tour event. They include:

From Quick Step: Paolo Bettini, Tom Boonen

From CSC: Fabian Cancellara, Juan Jose Haedo, Karsten Kroon, Stuart O'Grady and Jens Voight

Joinig Hincapie on High Road are Brit Mark Cavendish, Kim Kirchen, and Aussie Bradley Wiggins. This team needs an international sponsor and hopefully they'll get one by the Giro...anybody have Larry Ellison's phone number?

Only Friere is here to carry the torcj for Rabobank, no real suprise there

Hushovd is a no show fo C.A, so they are left to fend with Patrice Halgand and Christophe Le Mevel...not sure why they even sent a team

Slipsteam looks strong on paper but frankly, anything less of winning this race or at least three stages will be a failure for a team that had overtures of being a ProTour tea, in 2008

Posted on: February 13, 2008 4:48 pm

Top TOC Riders Announced

Full rosters are still TBA but we do now know these guys will be there...this with the news that Astana will not be invited to this year's Tour de France:

  • Paolo Bettini (ITA), Quick Step
  • Tom Boonen (BEL), Quick Step
  • Fabian Cancellara (SUI), Team CSC
  • Oscar Freire Gomez (ESP), Rabobank
  • George Hincapie (USA), High Road
  • Kim Kirchen (GER), High Road
  • Bobby Julich (USA), Team CSC
  • Levi Leipheimer (USA), Astana
  • David Millar (GBR), Slipstream Chipotle Presented By H30
  • Fred Rodriguez (USA), Rock Racing
  • Rory Sutherland (AUS), Health Net Presented by Maxxis
  • Enjoy watching Levi while you can!

    Posted on: February 12, 2008 12:56 pm

    The Tour of California

    OK, so here comes the 2008 edition...with all of the team shakeups and sponsor bail outs, here's the team lineup for this year's race: Johan Bruyneel's team and representing Luxembourg rather than Kazakhstan. Riding the Trek bikes will include Levi Leipheimer, last year's winner, 2007 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, Chris Horner and youngster Jani Brajkovic.

    Gerolsteiner...still riding Specialized bikes. Notable names include Davide Rebellin, Fabian Wegmann, Robert Förster and Stefan Schumacher.

    Bouygues Telecom...While they are a ProTour team, they don't instill fear in anybody, the only names I recognize on their roster are Pierrick Fedrigo, Anthony Geslin, Laurent Lefevre, Jerome Pineau, Matthieu Sprick and Thomas Voekler...nobody there really blows up my skirt...they're riding Time machines

    Kelly Benefit...a young continental team out of Minneapolis with some up and comers in Canadian David Veilleux and American Ben King...riding Lemond bikes

    Healthnet...the top continental team on this side of the pond...the team is lead by Aussie Rory Sutherland and is joined by American Phil Zajicek this year...riding on Cannondales

    Rock emerging in 2008 that will be riding in the continental circuit and has a few big names, albeit maybe over the hill: Colombian Santiago Botero, Spain's Oscar Sevilla, former Armstrong lieutenant Victor Hugo Peña, American sprinter Fast Freddie Rodriguez, back from his doping ban, American Tyler Hamilton...they'll ride De Rosa machines

    Jelly Belly...riding on GTR Team bikes, this team is full of youngsters looking to make a name on the domestic circuit

    Quick Step...a UCI ProTour team from Belgium that should be no stranger to anybody that has watched cycling over the last five years...Quick Step is known for being a sprinting team and rarely competes in the GC in the Grand Tours...It's TBD which of their riders will make the trip over for this one but you have to think the only reason they're in this race is because of the Specialized bikes they ride

    High Road...this is the former T-Mobile Team led by George Hincapie and should include Aussie Michael Rogers as well as young American John Devine...they are still on Giants

    Team CSC...back again on their Cervelos...Their roster includes, Swiss World Time Trial Champion Fabian Cancellara, German Jens Voigt, Aussie Stuart O'Grady, Spaniard Carlos Sastre, Fränk and Andy Schleck, brothers from Luxembourg, old school American Bobby Julich and Argentinian Juan José Haedo, although it's unlikely all of them will be in California

    Rabobank...with Michael Rasmussen gone from the team, don't expect Rabobank to fade into the hills...Their roster includes Antonio Flecha, three-time World Cycling Champion Óscar Freire, Denis Menchov and Thomas Dekker...they're on Colnago bikes

    Credit of the older ProTour teams...still riding on Look leader Thor Hushovd and Italian Piétro Caucchioli are among those on their roster

    Toyota-United...following up on a strong TOC last year...this domestic team has a lot of new faces for 2008

    Saunier-Duval...this team had a lot of success in 2007, they'll return to California on Scott bikes...David Canada Gracia and Rubens Bertogliati have name value as well as Leonardo Piepoli who won KOM at last year's Giro

    Team Slipstream...they'll remain on the domestic circuit this year despite overtures to the contrary towards the end of last season...riding Felt bikes...Jonathan Vaughter's squad will consist of a number of ProTour riders such as US Time Trial champ Dave Zabriskie, Christian Vande Velde, David Millar, Magnus Backstedt, Julian Dean, and former Discovery Channel riders Tom Danielson and Trent Lowe...if there is any chance of a US team getting into the Tour de France this year, this would be it, but don't hold your breath, those wildcard team entries are primarily reserved for European teams that the Tour is rolling through.

    BMC...obviously riding BMC machines...Swiss rider Alex Moos is likely to be team leader but the roster also includes ex-Disco boy Antonio Cruz and former HealthNet rider Jeff Louder.

    The race starts on Sunday at Stanford so I'll be back when the rosters are announced officially

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