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Tour of California 2009 Stage 8: Frank Schleck Outsprints Nibali; Hincapie Third; Leipheimer, Zabriske, Rogers Make Tour Podium

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Stage 8 was great for viewing except for the many in number but few in percentage fans, who ran for their own glory and fifteen seconds of fame. At times times these selfans impeded the cyclists, it seemed.

There were fun breakaways and chases and the climb up Palomar was a good long challenge that made the last day interesting. And the final climb and downhill run into the flat finish made the last day's course excellent for maintaining at least some chance of a shakeup in the standings if Astana or other teams cracked. There was not much cracking to be had, especially considering the extra help. 

There were some strange alliances on the day, with Liquigas pulling for Astana some, it appeared, and even a couple of Quick Step fellows up front after Tom Boonen was out of it. I never figured these quirks out fully. Maybe we'll learn later.

A few breakaways seemed fruitful but fizzled instead, then Schleck produced a gap on the descent of the long Palomar climb, with three others at time, then just with Nibali. In the end, as serious GC (overall) challengers faded, there was less worry over letting two riders off the front with under a minute of so, as they would not affect the podium of the overall, after all. Nibali was impressive but seemed to have to labor harder than Frank Schleck, who timed the finish right to take the win. Hincapie finished at the front of the bunch to take the last Stage 8 podium spot.

A note about the course...

In one of the most difficult stages of the 2009 race, the 96.8-mile route from Rancho Bernardo to Escondido included one sprint and four King of the Mountain (KOM) climbs, including the ‘above categorization’ ascent of Palomar Mountain, the highest point ever reached in the Amgen Tour of California at 5,123 feet.  The ascent unfolded over 11.7 miles and included 21 switchbacks at an average gradient of seven percent.
http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/news/press/2009-stage8-results.html

Mark Cavendish (GBR) of Team Columbia-Highroad won the sprint competition for the Tour of California, and Jason McCartney (USA) of Saxo Bank kept the King of the Mountains climber's jersey for the Tour.

With the Oscars on the way, the Tour of California finished just in time! Levi Liepheimer looked awesome, and of course, Contador was not there but winning in Portugal. Lance Armstrong looked very good, and Jens Voigt held his 4th place for a fine finish. Landis did well to place in the top 25 after much time off.

Now we wait a few weeks to see if the doping tests were any good? Do you believe? In the tests? In the teams? In the cyclists? 

 

Tour of California Stage 8 Top 31 (breakaway plus the bunch)

1.   13   LUX 19800415 SCHLECK Frnk SAX 03.48'39" 00.00'00"
2.   66   ITA 19841114 NIBALI Vincenzo LIQ 03.48'41" 00.00'02"
3.   21   USA 19730629 HINCAPIE George THR 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
4.   102   AUS 19820208 SUTHERLAND Rory OCM 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
5.   56   GER 19751103 NIERMANN Grischa RAB 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
6.   7   ESP 19730127 RUBIERA VIGIL Jos Luis AST 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
7.   6   UKR 19800104 POPOVYCH Yaroslav AST 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
8.   16   GER 19710917 VOIGT Jens SAX 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
9.   1   USA 19731024 LEIPHEIMER Levi AST 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
10.   72   FRA 19801113 DUPONT Hubert ALM 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
11.   38   USA 19790112 ZABRISKIE David GRM 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
12.   55   NED 19861126 MOLLEMA Bauke* RAB 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
13.   125   UKR 19770205 KOBZARENKO Valeriy TT1 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
14.   94   SUI 19861209 FRANK Mathias* BMC 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
15.   167   NZL 19760528 CHADWICK Glen RRC 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
16.   28   AUS 19791220 ROGERS Michael THR 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
17.   46   BEL 19860912 SEELDRAEYERS Kevin* QST 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
18.   14   SWE 19800920 LARSSON Gustav SAX 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
19.   114   NZL 19801006 VENNELL Jeremy BPC 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
20.   26   SWE 19840404 LVKVIST Thomas THR 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
21.   52   NED 19860531 GESINK Robert* RAB 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
22.   47   BEL 19770209 VAN DE WALLE Jurgen QST 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
23.   82   ESP 19690603 CUESTA LOPEZ DE CASTRO Inigo CTT 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
24.   35   AUS 19841008 LOWE Trent GRM 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
25.   12   LUX 19850610 SCHLECK Andy* SAX 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
26.   161   ESP 19760929 SEVILLA Oscar RRC 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
27.   33   USA 19780313 DANIELSON Thomas GRM 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
28.   164   ESP 19740618 GUTIERREZ Enrique RRC 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
29.   101   USA 19751014 LANDIS Floyd OCM 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
30.   44   NED 19770616 ENGELS Addy QST 03.49'19" 00.00'40"
31.   2   USA 19710918 ARMSTRONG Lance AST 03.49'19" 00.00'40"

 

Tour of California 2009 Top 25 Final Standings

1.   1   USA 19731024 LEIPHEIMER Levi AST 31.28'21" 00.00'00"
2.   38   USA 19790112 ZABRISKIE David GRM 31.28'57" 00.00'36"
3.   28   AUS 19791220 ROGERS Michael THR 31.29'06" 00.00'45"
4.   16   GER 19710917 VOIGT Jens SAX 31.29'31" 00.01'10"
5.   26   SWE 19840404 LVKVIST Thomas THR 31.29'50" 00.01'29"
6.   66   ITA 19841114 NIBALI Vincenzo LIQ 31.29'58" 00.01'37"
7.   2   USA 19710918 ARMSTRONG Lance AST 31.30'07" 00.01'46"
8.   52   NED 19860531 GESINK Robert* RAB 31.30'15" 00.01'54"
9.   33   USA 19780313 DANIELSON Thomas GRM 31.30'45" 00.02'24"
10.   7   ESP 19730127 RUBIERA VIGIL Jos Luis AST 31.31'09" 00.02'48"
11.   46   BEL 19860912 SEELDRAEYERS Kevin* QST 31.31'18" 00.02'57"
12.   13   LUX 19800415 SCHLECK Frnk SAX 31.31'40" 00.03'19"
13.   161   ESP 19760929 SEVILLA Oscar RRC 31.31'58" 00.03'37"
14.   47   BEL 19770209 VAN DE WALLE Jurgen QST 31.32'36" 00.04'15"
15.   21   USA 19730629 HINCAPIE George THR 31.32'40" 00.04'19"
16.   55   NED 19861126 MOLLEMA Bauke* RAB 31.34'05" 00.05'44"
17.   56   GER 19751103 NIERMANN Grischa RAB 31.34'29" 00.06'08"
18.   14   SWE 19800920 LARSSON Gustav SAX 31.34'46" 00.06'25"
19.   82   ESP 19690603 CUESTA LOPEZ DE CASTRO Inigo CTT 31.35'17" 00.06'56"
20.   164   ESP 19740618 GUTIERREZ Enrique RRC 31.36'16" 00.07'55"
21.   6   UKR 19800104 POPOVYCH Yaroslav AST 31.36'37" 00.08'16"
22.   4   USA 19711023 HORNER Christopher AST 31.38'35" 00.10'14"
23.   101   USA 19751014 LANDIS Floyd OCM 31.38'47" 00.10'26"
24.   72   FRA 19801113 DUPONT Hubert ALM 31.39'08" 00.10'47"
25.   57   NED 19810405 WEENING Pieter RAB 31.39'30" 00.11'09"

 

Locations

Rancho Bernardo, California
United States
33° 1' 7.1508" N, 117° 3' 39.2184" W
Escondido, California
United States
33° 7' 17.8752" N, 117° 4' 53.1984" W
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