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Tour of California 2012: Stage 8


Thanks for joining us for today's live coverage. The final stage 8 of the Amgen Tour of California takes racers over 69.1km from Beverly Hills to Los Angeles.

 Good day and welcome to CyclingNews' Live Coverage of the eighth and final stage of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California, a relatively flat and short 69.1-kilometer race from Beverly Hills to the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

72km remaining from 72km

It's worth noting that today is the last race start by GreenEdge's Robbie McEwen. He turns 40 next month. 

And they're off!

Riders are still cruising through a neutral section on Rodeo Drive. It's relaxed in the peloton.

There is a small gaggle of fans at KM0, but beyond that, it looks like L.A. is still asleep.

And they are racing!


Michael Creed from Optum. Nice move and a sure sign that this isn't a typical "parade stage."

Well, this could be an exciting race today, but these guys will have a long way to go to match the excitement of the finish of today's stage at the Giro. What a finish.

65km remaining from 72km

The situation is quite dynamic and we have a new break that has formed off the front. The gap is only about 10 seconds.

McEwen spoke with CyclingNews before the stage about this, the final race of his career. Asked if he is feeling emotional, McEwen said there will be plenty of time for that later.  

"Right now, I just want to go out and give it everything I have," he said. "The time for emotion will be when it's done and I've crossed the finish line.

Gesink is not really too worried about things. He has his team there, setting tempo in the peloton. His teammate Michael Matthews lined up today wearing a skin suit. 

He says he's aiming for a stage win and saw no need for a regular road kit on a stage this short.

55km remaining from 72km

54km remaining from 72km

Heinrich Haussler spoke with CyclingNews today. He said the team is obviously disappointed that they lost the overall lead, but adds that it was Gesink who rode a spectacular race. "All of our guys busted their asses yesterday," he said. "He just had a great day." Houssler adds that the team is aiming to take some solace with a stage win today, but notes that taking second and third on GC is not a bad consolation prize.

50km remaining from 72km

Alex Candelario (Optum) says the team is motivated today and, despite being a terrific sprinter himself, Cadelario says he's expecting a strong performance by tammate Ken Hanson, today.

The leaders have entered the finishing circuit. These urban streets are not smooth. There are a number of manhole covers and potholes.

It's quiet in LA and there are not a lot of fans on the streets. That will be different at the Staples Center, we're sure.

49km remaining from 72km

The race reaches the Staples Center and there are big crowds there.

44km remaining from 72km

Jonas Carney, the DS of the Optum team says he is especially pleased that the team made it to L.A. with their sprinters. "A lot of teams have lost their fastest guys," he said, "but there are still a lot of really good guys here: Haussler, Boonen and Sagan of course. We'll give it our best and hope to do our best to give Hansen a good lead-out."

United HealthCare's Philip Deignan has a flat and is riding his way back.

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Taking the intermediate sprint, the guys in the break roll through there.
1. Rory Sutherland (United HealthCare)
2. Morgan Scmitt (Exergy)
3. Ben Jacques Maynes (Bissell)

32km remaining from 72km

30km remaining from 72km

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Nathan Haas (Garmin); Ben Jacques Maynes (Bissell), Rory Sutherland (United HealthCare); Thomas Damuseau (Argos-Shimano); Scott Zwizanski (Optum) Morgan Schmitt (Exergy) and Jasper Stuyven (Bontrager).

25km remaining from 72km

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We're spotting a lot of Kings jerseys in the crowd at the Staples Center. It's a busy day here, with NHL and NBA games coming up today ... all in the building in front of which the bike race ends.

20km remaining from 72km

GreenEdge's Leigh Howard flatted, but he's back.

17km remaining from 72km

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8km remaining from 72km

Nathan Haas (Garmin) attacks ... but he's being pulled in.

One lap to go.

Haas is actually holding his own. He's 17 seconds ahead of the peloton, which is scooping up some of the others from the break.

6km remaining from 72km

5km remaining from 72km

Rabobank and Liquigas are at the front of the peloton.

Haas is caught.

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A United HealthCare rider is trying a last-second flyer. Bradley White it is.

He's caught and Omega Pharma is racing to the front, for Boonen.

1km remaining from 72km

1km remaining from 72km

0km remaining from 72km

Boonen is getting a great lead... Sagan goes!

Sagan makes it five!

Sagan wins his fifth stage of this year's ATOC.

Boonen got a terrific lead-out, but he just couldn't match the young Slovakian.

So, there is obviously no change in the overall standings. Robert Gesink becomes only the second non-U.S. winner of the Amgen Tour of California, sharing the podium with Americans Dave Zabriskie and Tom Danielson.

1. Peter Sagan (Svk), Liquigas-Cannondale; 2. Tom Boonen (B), Omega Pharma-QuickStep 3. Gerard Ciolek (G), Omega Pharma-QuickStep. 


Okay, folks. That's a wrap. Congratulations to Peter Sagan and to Robert Gesink. Thank you all for a terrific week of racing. Thank you, too, to our readers for tuning in for Live Coverage here on Have a terrific Sunday. Now go ride your own bike!

Final general classification
1 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 29:14:52
2 David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:46
3 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:54
4 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:01:17
5 Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Colombia - Coldeportes 0:01:36
6 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:02:13
7 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:02:30
8 Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan 0:02:49
9 Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Nissan 0:02:54
10 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:03:05

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