Stage 8: Santa Clarita - Thousand Oaks
The stage eight finale will begin in Santa Clarita and wind predominantly downhill for the first 45 kms. The climbers will have one last opportunity to contest the California Travel & Tourism Commission King of the Mountain (KOM) jersey on Balcom Canyon located at kilometre 50.
Likewise, the sprinters will have their final two chances to gain points toward the Herbal Life sprint jersey at intermediate sprints located in Moorpark (km 70) and on the line at the start of the first circuit in Thousand Oaks. Once there, the peloton will face five circuits of 6.4 kms in length before concluding the eight-stage race on the finish line in Thousand Oaks.
Chris Horner, RadioShack:
"I believe the last stage will be the best chance for a breakaway to make it all the way to the finish. I think there will be top riders such as George Hincapie who will try to be in that breakaway for a shot at winning the stage. I don’t think this stage will change the overall classification but it might affect the group of riders in the top ten or further down. I’m going to help Levi Leipheimer win the whole thing and if he doesn’t then I’m going to try to. But, my first job will be to help Levi win."
Mike Tamayo, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling:
"This should be a great opportunity for the sprinters. The main challenge of the day is over Balcom Canyon, a steep kicker of a climb. There are still plenty of miles after the climb for teams to get organized and bring their speedsters to the finish. The finish circuits are short and tight, with four-mile laps.
"It is a great venue to see what should be a good opportunity for teams to show of their lead-out trains. I think it’s going to be a great finish to what is definitely the hardest Tour of California yet."
Image ©: AEG Cycling
Image ©: AEG Cycling
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