If you’re one of the true cycling tifosi, this is the best time of year because two great stage races are taking place at the same time! The beginning of America’s biggest stage race, the Amgen Tour of California, is an exciting event for American cycling fans and having the Giro d’Italia taking place at the same time is icing on the cake. The Giro saw the battle for the GC start to take shape with its first mountain stage on Saturday. Michele Scarponi (Lampre ISD) stamped his authority on the race with a blistering attack in the last km of stage 7 that quickly seperated the wheat from the chaff. Only Paulo Tirralongo (Astana) was able to go with him and managed to come around him at the finish for the win. Frank Schleck (Radioshack-Nissan) and Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) accelerated away from the chase group to finish only a few seconds back in 3rd and 4th. On Sunday, we saw the second mountain stage go to the little climber from Colnago – CSF Inox who is looking like a dark horse for an overall podium spot with his win at the Giro di Trentino. Accelerating away from the group of favorites, he quickly put 30 seconds between himself and the chase group. Overall, Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) barely clings to the Pink Leader’s Jersey by 8 seconds over Joaquin Rodriguez. Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Androni Giocatoli) wears the Blue Climber’s Jersey. Matt Goss (Orica-Greenedge) wears the Red Sprinter’s Jersey, and Damiano Caruso (Liquigas-Cannondale) wears the White Young Rider’s Jersey.
Back on home soil, the Amgen Tour of California is underway and Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) has come to defend his green jersey of the last 2 years. Sagan won the sprint into Santa Rosa by more than a bike length over second place Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Barracuda). More incredible than his win was the way in which he won it. Sagan suffered a puncture in the last 10 kms, but managed to bridge back up to the peloton and claim the win. On stage 2 into Santa Cruz, Garmin-Barracuda set about making the pace just difficult enough to make everyone uncomfortable over the Bonny Doon climb. Descending into Santa Cruz, Liquigas-Cannondale set about the pace making at the front of the peloton for race leader Peter Sagan. Inside of 3k Rory Sutherland made a bid for glory, but it wasn’t meant to be as he was swallowed up by the peloton soon after. The finish featured a tricky sharp right that seemed to slow everyone but Sagan. He easily claimed his second victory and remains in the Leader’s Yellow Jersey. Heinrich Hausler wears the Sprinter’s Green Jersey after finishing second to Sagan on both stages. David Boily (Spidertech Powered By C10) wears the Climber’s Polka Dot Jersey, and Lawson Craddock of Bontrager Livestrong Team wears the White Young Rider’s Jersey.
Peter Sagan rides a Cannondale SuperSix Evo with a full Sram Red 2012 Group… almost. He uses previous generation Sram Red chainrings and a Sram Red Steel Cage Front Derailleur. A Fizik Aliante Carbon Rail Saddle as well as Fizik Microtouch Tape and Speedplay Stainless Zero Pedals provide his connection points. A bit harder to see but just as important, Sagan uses Gore Professional Ride-On Sealed Cables.