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Queen stage short, but packs a punch
The queen stage seven might be short but it is one of the most challenging and decisive stages in the Amgen Tour of California. The race will start in Claremont and climb for roughly 20 kilometres to the top of Glendora Ridge Rd for the first California Travel & Tourism Commission King of the Mountain (KOM).
The sprinters will have a moment to shine at the only Herbal Life intermediate sprint located near the mid-point of the race in the town of Glendora. From there, the route continues into the base of the final climb. The top climbers will emerge for the second KOM ascent located near kilometre 92 on Glendora Mountain Rd. The general classification contenders will likely battle for golden leader’s jersey over the next 25 kilometres up to the top of Mt.Baldy.
Chris Horner, RadioShack:
"Certainly this is the ‘queen’ stage of the Tour of California. If you didn’t win the time trial then this will be the only other time that you could ride away solo and win the Tour of California. I think a breakaway could go in the early part of the stage but I don’t believe a breakaway will stay away the whole day. I think whoever wins the stage on Mt. Baldy will certainly be one of the top three overall classification riders.
"I haven’t seen the whole climb but I hear it is very difficult. I have raced on part of that climb at the San Dimas Stage Race so I know the beginning of it and that part is not too difficult, but difficult enough to where the stage will be finishing in groups of one to five riders. But, I hear that the rest of the climb is very hard. I think the front of the race will be finishing in one to three-rider groups with the rest of the field trickling in to the finish line all the way until the gruppetto is finished."
Mike Tamayo, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling:
"When you look at a race of this caliber and see a 75-mile stage, you know it has to be hard. This one should be a crowd pleaser. It is the Tour of California's first real mountaintop finish. Historically the time trial has been key to deciding the winner of the tour, except Mt. Baldy this year could be the factor that has been missing to tip the hand towards a climber.
"If there is a stage I would want to watch on the side of the road, this would be it. I would expect the teams with depth to really put everyone into difficulty before the finish climb over Glendora Mountain. Then it’s up to the GC contenders and climbers to go mano-a-mano up Mt. Baldy."
Image ©: AEG Cycling
Image ©: AEG Cycling