The Tour of California wrapped up on Sunday, and it was Robert Gesink of the Netherlands that took home the overall title. He bested the closest rider by 46 seconds.
A win in the seventh stage keyed the victory for the 25-year-old Gesnik. He broke his leg in five places last September.
The eighth and final stage took place in Los Angeles on Sunday. Peter Sagan of Slovakia came in first for that final stage. He won the first four stages but was unable to hold onto to overall lead.
An American finished second in the Tour of California. Dave Zabriskie, who is a native of Utah, was the runner-up for the fourth time in the event's history. The race is in Zabriskie's backyard as he lives in California.
Another day, and another win for Peter Sagan at the 2012 Tour of California. Sagan won Stage 4, to go along with his Stage 1, 2 and 3 victories earlier this week, and in the process, extended his overall lead in the Tour of California.
Sagan needed a last-minute surge to pass other cyclists, but he was able to dig deep and muster up the strength to claim the victory in Stage 4. By winning Stage 4, Sagan picked up another 10-second time bonus, which certainly comes in handy.
Heinrich Haussler is currently in second place, trailing Sagan by 16 seconds. Sagan has a 34 second lead over Jeff Louder, who is in third place.
Stage 5 will be an 18 mile individual time trial through Bakersfield, California, and will be held on Thursday. Though the 18 miles might sound like a breather, 1,478 feet of climbing says otherwise.
Stage 3 of the Tour of California has just begun and it begins in San Jose and is a 115.3 mile course. After Stage 2 it is Peter Sagan in the lead who has an eight second advantage over Heinrich Haussler, and with the race so early on there are 30 riders from No. 10 - 50 who are only 20 seconds behind the leader.
The 2012 Tour of California gets underway on Sunday with Stage 1 covering 115.9 miles in and around Santa Rosa, California. The stage begins with a couple of laps throughout the city and then heads out through the mountains before returning.
Expect the action to start right away as riders try to get the jump on things before heading into the mountain climbs that are also included in the stage. None of the climbs are very severe but the winding descents will be fast and tricky when combined with the winds off the coast. The stage flattens out at the end which will provide another opportunity for riders to race for the stage win.
Here is a look at the route of Stage 1 of the 2012 Tour of California:
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The 2012 Tour of California is set to begin on Sunday, as Stage 1 of the eight stage race will get underway from Santa Rosa.
Stage 1 will start at 10:50 a.m. locally in California, 12:50 p.m. in the Dallas area, and will last until roughly 3:49 p.m. in California, 5:49 p.m. CT. The first stage is roughly 116 miles long, and the Tour of California's official website describes it quite nicely:
The first day of racing of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California will start and finish in Santa Rosa, California, the city that helped establish the race as the premier professional cycling event in the U.S. and home to three-time race champion Levi Leipheimer. Expect to see spectators perched in the trees, rooftops and in windows near the finish line as they vie for the very best view of the final sprint. The stage will start with two neutral laps around the city before heading out to the open roads of beautiful Sonoma County. Within 30 minutes, the race will reach the Town of Windsor and the first of several of the stage's featured Sprints. The peloton will then head south, passing by several of Sonoma County's world-famous vineyards. In Graton, the racers will turn east and head back into Santa Rosa for another Sprint, followed by a straight shot towards the coast and into the quaint town of Occidental. From here, the stage heads north on Bohemian Highway and follow a portion of Levi Leipheimer's "King Ridge GranFondo" route.
In Cazadero, the racers will start to feel the cool Pacific Ocean breezes as they begin a climb up to the top of Fort Ross Road. They say "what goes up must come down" - and in this case, Meyers Grade Road presents amazing views of a spectacular coast line, but it's the white-knuckle descent down to Highway 1 that will quickly grab the rider's attention. A left onto Highway 1 will take the racers south 12 miles to the quintessential northern California climb of Coleman Valley Road, which is long, twisty and steep. The technical descent back into Occidental will test the skills of every member of the peloton as they compete over the last 16 miles on redwood lined country roads to the finish in Santa Rosa. For the first time, the riders will race right to the finish line in Santa Rosa without any finishing circuits, ensuring a climactic, crowd-pleasing end to Stage 1 of the 2012 race.
Per AccuWeather, the forecast for Stage 1 looks quite beautiful -- 76° with sunshine.