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Tour of California 2014: Stage 2

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Thanks for joining us for live coverage from stage 2 of the Tour of California.  What's happening today is a relatively flat 20.1km individual time trial in Folsom, California.

Welcome back for live coverage of stage 2 here at the Tour of California.  Racers are scheduled to get under way at 1:05 pm local (US Pacific) time.

In case you missed paying attention to the Giro d'Italia today, don't worry, you didn't miss any action racing-wise.  Today was the first rest day of the Italian Grand Tour as racers transferred from Ireland back to Italy.  The Giro will resume tomorrow with stage 4.

However, if you need to do some catching up on the Giro d'Italia happenings from this weekend, check out all our race coverage here.  Or you can catch up on the Tour of California action thus far here.

The women have already wrapped up their time trial at the Tour of California today.   Alison Powers (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) went one better than the previous two years and won today.  You can read more about it here.

We've got 128 riders taking their turn at the start ramp today.  First man off was Robbie Squire (Jamis - Hagens Berman), a rider some of you mountain bikers will know from his off-road performances although lately, his emphasis has been on road racing.

As usual, riders are starting in reverse order of their ranking in the general classification, which means that yesterday's stage winner, Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma Quickstep) will be the last man off.

Cavendish's teammate Niki Terpstra told Cyclingnews's Kirsten Frattini before the start, "We have the leader's jersey but that might change today, so we will continue to work together after the TT."

Today it's sunny and hot, and the air is very still.  The racers are blazing around the 20km course.

Over in the United Kingdom, we saw the Women's Tour finish on Sunday. We spoke to three riders at the event: Marianne Vos, Hannah Barnes and Lizzie Armitstead in this exclusive video. You can watch it here.

Before their starts, the riders are cramped into a tiny parking lot warming up on trainers. It's hot today!

If you've been enjoying our recent Cyclingnews, videos, don’t forget that you can subscribe to our Cyclingnews video channel here.

The first 28 riders are under way, and now we're onto the top 100.   100th place on the GC is Kevin De Mesmaeker (Team Novo Nordisk).

Today's time trial course is an out and back with a slight difference between the start and finish.  Riders are well underway and we're waiting for some times so we can get you some info on how they're doing so far.

Our first starter, Robbie Squire, finishes up with a 26:20 and becomes the man with the fastest time to beat.

Steve Fisher crosses the line in 26:57 while Matthew Lloyd clocks a 27:07, and Sean Mazich stops the clock at 27:16.

We're expecting to see a change in the race leader as a result of today's stage. While Mark Cavendish is a great sprinter, there are several good time trialers today who will be hungry to wear yellow and who are within 30 seconds or less of Cav... among them riders like Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Taylor Phinney (BMC) to name two. 

Going into today's stage, Mark Cavendish is in yellow as race leader.   He also leads the points competition while Will Routley is the mountains leader and Tao Geoghegan Hart tops the young rider classification.  Cannondale is the top team.

Joe Dombrowski (Team Sky) will be starting soon as the 84th rider in the GC standings.  Dombrowski told us prior to the start, "Obviously our number one goal here is to help Bradley Wiggins win. So today for the rest of us is to basically get through the day, bring on tomorrow and hopefully we'll be defending the yellow jersey tomorrow on Diablo." 

We also asked Dombrowski about his knee, and he said, "It's good. I haven't had any problems. So that's good."  This race is effectively the beginning of the Virginia rider's season - you can read more about that here.

Jose Joao Pimenta Costa Mendes (Team NetApp-Endura) has beat Squire's time, recording a 25:49.

Phil Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp) takes to the start.  He's 78th in the GC after yesterday's stage 1 and will set off just ahead of Danny Pate (Sky) and James Oram (Bissell Development).

Jens Mouris (Orica GreenEdge) sets a new fast time of 24:55.

The top 92 riders are within 10 seconds of each other ahead of today's time trial.  It means the door is pretty wide open among possible top time trialers who are going for a stage win and possible yellow jersey.

Pulling together the most important news, results and features, the new-look Cyclingnews newsletter is a perfect digest of the top stories from the world of professional cycling. With the Giro d'Italia and the Tour of California running concurrently, the newsletter is the best way to make sure you don't miss any of the action. To sign up, just click here.

The time to beat keeps continuing to fall as no rider yet has had to spend too much time in the hot seat.  Australian Jack Bobridge (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) set a new fast time of 24:33.

Ben King (Garmin Sharp) is about to take to the start.  King was the US National Road champion 2010.

Tom Danielson, 68th in the GC, is about to start. Earlier today, he told Cyclingnews, "I'm just going to go out and give it my best. I haven't had a perfect run-in to this race, but you just have to. Deal with it and see what happens."

When asked how much he's looking forward to tomorrow, Danielson said, "If I'm good, I'm looking forward to it a lot. If I'm not, then maybe I'm a little bit afraid of it. So I'll just take it day by day and see how I am."

Rohan Dennis (Garmin Sharp) sets the new fastest time of 24:02.  His performance comes despite a crash yesterday.

Tom Zirbel (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) gets underway. He is the current US time trial national champion and definitely a rider to watch today

Crowd favorite Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing) finishes up his time trial.

Haimar Zubeldia (Trek Factory Racing) is up next. Next up after him is Lars Boom (Belkin Pro Cycling).

Many of the roads the riders are on today are very wide open - in places five lanes wide.  Tom Zirbel (Garmin Sharp) is still out on course, resplendent in his national champion's kit.

Many of the roads the riders are on today are very wide open - in places five lanes wide.  Tom Zirbel is still out on course, resplendent in his national champion's kit.

Many of the roads the riders are on today are very wide open - in places five lanes wide.  Tom Zirbel is still out on course, resplendent in his national champion's kit.

Many of the roads the riders are on today are very wide open - in places five lanes wide.  Tom Zirbel is still out on course, resplendent in his national champion's kit.

Today's course is rolling with little hills, long descents and some corners.

California native Fred Rodriguez (Jelly Belly), who is out on course now, marked the beginning of the top 50 riders in the GC getting their turn at the TT.

In case, you are just joining us, Rohan Dennis (Garmin Sharp) continues to lead with the fastest time of 24:02.  45 riders still to start...

We asked Tom Danielson, who is now one of the many riders out on course, if his TT performance today would be a good likely indicator of how well he would be climbing tomorrow. "Probably not," he said. "I'm pretty light this year, so probably not. Normally it's one of my strengths, so I hope to do well. If it's anything like Romandie where I was like last place that's not very good. So I hope to improve on last place."

Garmin-Sharp's Janier Acevedo Colle finishes up with a 25:57.  He's got high hopes for the major climbs in this year's Tour of California.  Read more here.

Peter Stetina (BMC) is about to get underway. Before the start, he told Cyclingnews, "We hope Taylor [Phinney] can win the TT today. After that, I'll be focused on the stage 3 climbs. I'm honoured to be the team leader here."

Jesse Sergent (Trek Factory Racing) put in a solid ride to clock a 24:29, which puts him in a second place after Rohan Dennis.

Tom Danielson (Garmin Sharp) finishes up with a time of 25:39 - not good enough to break into the top few riders.

We're about five minutes away from when Bradley Wiggins will start.  He rode an aggressive race yesterday and has high hopes for a stage win today. Read more here.

In case you're just joining us, our current top five standings are as follows:
1 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin Sharp 0:24:02
2 Jesse Sergent (NZl) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:27
3 Jack Bobridge (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:31
4 Jens Voigt (Ger) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:40
5 Tom Zirbel (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 0:00:44

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) ets underway.  Next up to start is Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma Quick Step).

Ahead of today's stage, Brian Holm, Omega Pharma Quick Step director told us, "We're happy with the win yesterday [by Mark Cavendish], but we'd be fine even if we didn't. We're happy to be here racing." You can't beat starting out the Tour of California with a stage win.

Bradley Wiggins is being followed by his Sky team car.   The British rider looks smooth though it's too early to know anything about how his time is comparing.

Lawson Craddock (Team Giant Shimano) is about to get under way.  His departure means we have 25 riders to go.  We're still at one-minute intervals; only the final bunch of riders will get the two-minute spacing between them.

Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Team Giant-Shimano) finishes up with a 27:04.

Bradley Wiggins' pursuit and time trial skills are coming in handy today.  He has just caught his one-minute man, Fabio Sabatini (Cannondale) and motors right past.

Tomorrow, the Giro d’Italia will return to racing after an early rest day. To whet your appetite, here’s a historical look back at the race with footage from the early editions dating back to 1909.

Before his start today, Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma Quick Step) told us that he's focused at this year's race on helping his teammate Mark Cavendish.  He's "just working for the team after taking a break following Paris-Roubaix".

It's getting a little warm in the hot seat for Rohan Dennis, where he still sits after clocking a 24:02.  We'll see if Bradley Wiggins or anyone else can bump him out of it.

Ryan Eastman (Bissell Development Team) is about to start. 14 more riders to go after him.

At the first time check, Bradley Wiggins is 19 seconds ahead of where current fastest rider Rohan Dennis was at the same point.

Tom Zirbel, who is currently fifth in the stage's standings told Cyclingnews, "I'm feeling pretty good. Yesterday was pretty hard in the heat, and then it got pretty crazy there in the last 60km. But I came out of it pretty unscathed, so that's all I could ask for. Today is a great course. Maybe I could ask for a little more wind."

Another big favorite for today, Taylor Phinney (BMC) is about to start. Earlier today, he told Cyclingnews, "I'd like to win, do the best I can. I've done this race before but never won a stage."  He'll be under pressure against Bradley Wiggins, who is currently blazing out on course as the fastest rider thus far.

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) catches his two-minute man, Carter Jones (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies).  The Olympic champ is still looking smooth though turning over a huge gear.

Peter Stetina (BMC) finishes his time trial at 25:48 as Bradley Wiggins is within 500m of his finish.

Bradley Wiggins clocks the new fastest time of 23:18, knocking an impressive 44 seconds off Rohan Dennis's previous fastest time.

With Bradley Wiggins in, all eyes are now on Taylor Phinney (BMC), the man with the best chance at beating Wiggins.  He's not yet the first split.

These last few riders are going off at two-minute intervals.

Next up to start is Peter Sagan (Cannondale), and although he was fourth yesterday, told Cyclingnews that he was happy with the stage. He took a break after Classics and this is his first race back. He's working for teammate Guillaume Boivin in the sprints this week.

Laurens Ten Dam (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) is spotted on the ground after the finish. We're not sure what happened, but he's sitting up talking and the back of his jersey is quite torn up - he must have crashed at some point. Team staff surround him and check him out.

Tao Geoghegan Hart (Bissell Development Team) gets underway. He's the current best young rider, and you can find out more about him here.

Moreno Hofland (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) is up next as the third placed rider on the GC.  He talks about his race yesterday here.

Taylor Phinney (BMC) comes through the split down 32 seconds and as the third fastest man so far after Wiggins and Dennis.  Half of the course remains for Phinney.

The second-to-last start John Degenkolb (Team Giant Shimano) is next to go down the start ramp.

And our final rider, race leader Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma Quick Step) is the last man to start today.  He's clad in a mostly yellow leader's skinsuit and gives a wave to the crowd as he hops up on his TT bike.

It's going to be tough for Taylor Phinney to make up the 32 seconds he was down on Bradley Wiggins at the half way point.

Taylor Phinney may not be riding as fast as Bradley Wiggins, but he has also caught and passed his two-minute man, Nicolai Brochner (Bissell Development Team).

Taylor Phinney finishes up with a 24:10, which puts him as the third fastest man today so far.

Current stage 2 standings are

1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky 0:23:18
2 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin Sharp 0:24:02
3 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:24:10.

There are 10 riders left to finish, but since the only stage so far was a sprint stage, we're not expecting any of the remaining riders to go faster than current fastest finisher Bradley Wiggins.

Riders like Peter Sagan and stage 1 winner Mark Cavendish are still out on course.

If you'd like to see what the Giro d'Italia riders have been up to today on their rest day, check out this gallery.

As we wait for the last few finishers, we'd like to remind you that we're doing live coverage each day from both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour of California.  Stay tuned in right here to get your daily fix of all the live action.

The final rider today, Mark Cavendish, is through the turn-around time check and therefore past the halfway point. 

Peter Sagan (Cannondale) finishes up with a respectable 24:54.  Just a few more riders to go.

His teammate Guillaume Boivin finishes with a 27:00 while Danny van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing) is done in 25:35.

1km to go for Mark Cavendish.  The end is almost in sight.

Mark Cavendish finishes up with at time of 25:21.  He should be happy with that ride.

Bradley Wiggins wins the stage and takes over as the new race leader.

Join us for live during tomorrow's stage 3, the Queen Stage of this year's Tour of California.  It'll cover 108.5 miles and feature two major climbs: Mt. Hamilton and Mt. Diablo.  The stage will start at 10:45 am local time. 

That wraps up our live Tour of California coverage for today.   We hope you'll tune in again tomorrow.

That wraps up our live Tour of California coverage for today.  We hope you'll tune in again tomorrow..

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