In its second year, the Amgen Tour of California, the first big race of the professional cycling season, attracted some of the the best teams and riders from around the world. The ToC is an 8-day, 650+ mile race through California from north to south. The US-based Discovery team (Lance Armstrong’s old team) led the pack, garnering both first and third place finishes. No word yet from the French anti-doping authorities on whether or not any of the 4 Americans in the top 10 will be stripped of their titles for taking Advil. [ed. note – OK, while that felt great to write, it’s completely unfair. Cycling, as a sport, appears about as honest as professional wrestling these days. Someone’s gotta step up.]
The ToC is the biggest race in the US, but is still dwarfed by the great European cycling events. The high level of participation and the exciting finish to the race indicate that this event has great promise in continuing to become bigger and better.
The downside for the Discovery Team was that George Hincapie fell and broke his wrist in stage six. It looks like he’ll miss the Spring Classics – shorter, very challenging races in Europe where he tends to be a leader.