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Solvang test returns, will Leipheimer make it four?
The notorious Solvang Time Trial returns to grace the Amgen Tour of California after a one year absence. The 24 kilometre test is held in and around the quaint Danish town of Solvang. It is a short but challenging parcours that is well suited to a rider like RadioShack’s Levi Leipheimer, who won the stage and the event’s overall title on three occasions. The course is predominantly uphill on the way out as the riders pass over Ballard Canyon and descend back into the Solvang finish line.
Chris Horner, RadioShack:
"We’ve done this time trial course many times in the past and you gotta to believe that Levi Leipheimer will be one of the favourites to win this stage because he is a three-time champion on this course. The time trial will also have a major impact on who wins the overall at the Tour of California and I gotta believe I’d put Levi down as my five-star favorite.
"I would put Dave Zabriskie down as my four and three quarter-star favorite. If Tony Martin is there I think he could be spectacular but I also think that he has been training and racing at a high level during the early season and we need to believe that his form is going to drop somewhere. With his win at Paris-Nice, he would be a favorite at the Solvang time trial but I think his form will be dropping by the Tour of California, while other riders are on target for this race."
Mike Tamayo, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling:
"One of the true favorite courses of Tour of California and is now a staple to the race. The Solvang TT has a bit of everything. Some open flat roads, one steep pitch climb, a technical fast descent, some rollers back to the finish. It is a good test of an all around time trialist. The day before Mt. Baldy, this will set the tone on how aggressive the next day’s race is."
Image ©: AEG Cycling
Image ©: AEG Cycling