2015 marks the tenth anniversary for America's biggest stage race, the Tour of California which debuted on the cycling calendar in February 2006. The race has since moved to May, from 2010, in an attempt to attract the biggest names in the sport. The first ever stage of the race was a prologue held in San Francisco and won by Levi Leipheimer who became the first rider to pull on the yellow leader's jersey but it was Floyd Landis claiming the overall victory.
Leipheimer would make the race his own though with three straight victories between 2007 and 2009 before Australian Michael Rogers became the first non-American rider to claim overall victory. As Leipheimer's strangle hold on the GC was ended, Peter Sagan became a new star of the race from 2010 when he won two stages at the race and the points classification. Sagan has won at least one stage in the race each year since with his 2012 feat of winning the first four stages of the race a definite highlight and holds the record of most stage wins with 13.
Chris Horner and Tejay van Garderen have provided two further overall wins for America at the race while in 2014, Bradley Wiggins became the first Tour de France champion and Briton to claim overall victory at the race and his name to the list of winners. Three time best young rider at the race, Robert Gesink was the first European winner in 2012 with his stage win on Mount Baldy setting up the victory and is the only former winner racing in 2015.
The race has also witnessed several notable wins from breakaways from the likes of Taylor Phinney (2014), Lieuwe Westra (2013) and Jens Voigt (2013) while the weather has made its impact felt on the race. The first stage of the 2011 edition of the race had to be cancelled due to heavy snow in Lake Tahoe but generally the race shows of the beauty of the California coastline and the Sierra Nevada under blue sunny skies.
Enjoy our retrospective gallery of the race but clicking through the photos above.
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