NAPA, CA - MAY 17: The Peloton passes along wine vinyards during stage two of the Tour of California on May 17, 2010 in Napa, California. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Tour of California 2012 Teams: Robert Gesink Wins Tour

Robert Gesink won the 2012 Tour of California on Sunday. He became just the second non-American to win the event.

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Tour of California 2012 Results: Robert Gesink Takes The Glory

After eight grueling days through the great state of California, Robert Gesink of Team Rabobank emerged as the winner of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California.

Peter Sagan put on performance for all to see throughout the event, winning five of the eight stages. Nobody had ever taken that many of the stages before. However, he couldn't hold off Gesink who was riding for someone special, according to the official site.

"I dedicate this win for my father," said Gesink. "For me emotionally it is something really big to be back at this high level and to win a stage here, the toughest stage of all. It's a good thing to be back in California and to be winning again."

Americans David Zabriskie and Tom Danielson of the Garmin-Barracuda team came in second and third overall respectively. Both had very nice showings once again, with this being the fourth time Zabriskie has finished second.

For the final standings, click here.

For more on the race, please be sure to check out our StoryStream for any other important news.

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2012 Tour of California Standings: Robert Gesink Wins Tour, Peter Sagan Takes Stage 8

Robert Gesink won the 2012 Tour of California after finishing with the first peloton on Stage 8 on Sunday. He came into the day wearing the yellow jersey after winning Stage 7 over Dave Zabriskie on Saturday. Peter Sagan won Sunday's stage for his fifth stage victory of the tour. He won the green jersey as the tour's points winner. Sebastian Salas of Optum Pro Cycling won the King of the Mountain title.

Optum passed Bissell Pro Cycling to finish 15th out of 16 teams at the tour. West Chester, PA, native and self-described "Philly Guy" Scott Zwizanski finished 96th out of 110 finishers.

Here are the final Top 10 standings. You can check out the full results at the official site of the 2012 Tour of California.

1) Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 30:42:32
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 0:01:17
5) Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Colombia Coldeportes 0:01:36
6) Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step 0:02:13
7) Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:02:30
8) Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan-Trek 0:02:49
9) Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Nissan-Trek 0:02:54
10) Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge 0:03:05

Stick with this storystream for updates, previews, and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. As always, Podium Cafe has you covered for cycling news and analysis

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2012 Tour of California, Stage 7: Stage Preview, Television Information, How To Watch Online And More

Stage seven of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California returns to the site of stage seven in 2011, a 78mi stage that runs over three King of the Mountain points and finishes 6000 feet up at the top of Mt. Baldy. Current race leader Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Barracuda) is not a phenomenal climber, and there are plenty of strong riders in the top ten who are less than a minute out of the standings.

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The queen stage of the Tour of California is placed where it is in the race for just this situation, to draw GC contenders into attacking each other on the last, biggest climb. In last year's race Chris Horner and teammate Levi Leipheimer held off all attackers, but Horner is more than two minutes back and Leipheimer is nowhere near last year's form. Tejay Van Garderen (Team BMC), Robert Gesink (Rabobank), and Thomas Danielson (Garmin) all have a great shot at winning the race, but they won't be able to do it without an agressive ride up Mt. Baldy. Stage eight's drive into Los Angeles is a formality for spectators and promoting the race; Saturday's stage seven is where who will wear the yellow leader's jersey will be decided.

Start Time: 12:00pm PDT

Television Coverage: Live Coverage on NBC Universal Starting at 4:00pm PDT

Online Coverage: Streaming via the Radioshack Tour Tracker

Stick with this storystream for updates, previews, and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. As always, Podium Cafe has you covered for cycling news and analysis.

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2012 Tour of California Standings: Sylvain Georges Wins Stage 6 In Solo Effort, Dave Zabriskie Leads Overall

Stage six of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California saw Sylvain Georges (AG2R) ride a solo effort to the win, finishing a full 28 seconds ahead of the main bunch. Georges spent nearly 175km of the 186km stage off the front, at first with a half-dozen companions in the break. One by one they cracked and drifted back to the peloton, but Georges poured on the effort and the peloton was unable to reel him in.

The GC Standings remain unchanged, with Dave Zabriskie (Garmin) in the lead, and Saturday's climb up Mt. Baldy is the last chance for an attack from anyone who has their eye on the overall victory. West Chester's Scott Zwizanski remains quite a ways back in the general classification, but for a young rider merely sticking around in a major stage race builds experience.

The GC standings following stage six:


1) David Zabriskie (GRM) 25:37:05
2) Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) -:34
3) Robert Gesink (RAB) -:39
4) Peter Velits (OPQ) -:45
5) Andrew Talansky (GRM) -:48
6) Luke Durbridge (OGE) -:01
7) Thomas Danielson (GRM) -1:07
8) Rory Sutherland (UHC) -1:10
9) Cameron Meyer (OGE) -1:26
10) Lawson Craddock (BNT) -1:26

Stick with this storystream for updates, previews, and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. As always, Podium Cafe has you covered for cycling news and analysis.

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Tour of California 2012, Stage 6: Palmdale To Big Bear Lake

Stage six of the 2012 Tour of California will get underway on Friday. The ride will start in Palmdale and end in Big Bear Lake, lasting 115.7 miles. The last ascent of the stage includes an ascent up a the mountain, at an elevation of more than 7,000, at the Snow Summit Ski area.

Here are the Top 10 riders atop the standings after Thursday. You can check out the full results at the official site of the 2012 Tour of California.

1) Dave Zabriskie (GRM) - 20:29:31
2) Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) - -:34
3) Robert Gesink (RAB) - :39
4) Andrew Talansky (GRM) - :48
5) Peter Velits (OPQ) - :49
6) Luke Durbridge (OGE) - 1:01
7) Tom Danielson (GRM) - 1:07
8) Rory Sutherland (UHC) - 1:10
9) Cameron Meyer (OGE) - 1:26
10) Markel Irizar (RNT) - 1:29

For more on the Tour of California, please be sure to check out our StoryStream right here on SB Nation Philly.

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Tour of California 2012 Live: Peter Sagan Yields Yellow Jersey To Dave Zabriskie On Stage 5

It was fun while it lasted for Peter Sagan. The young rider for team Liquigas-Cannondale fell out of the Top 10 overall standings completely at the 2012 Tour of California after holding onto the yellow jersey for three straight stages. He had no misconceptions about what was likely to happen during the Stage 5 time trial. Dave Zabriskie opened up a 34-second lead in the overall standings with a time of 35:59.21 on Thursday. Sagan was nearly three and a half minutes behind.

West Chester's Scott Zwizanski actually fared well in the race relative to his conspicuous finishes over the previous four stages. He came in 34th place overall on the stage, 2:22 behind Zabriskie. He came in second among his Optum Pro Cycling teammates. Thomas Zirbel was just eight seconds faster.

Optum is still in last place by a wide margin overall among the 16 teams on the Tour. The team raced well on Thursday, however, coming in 10th place. They were six minutes behind team Garmin-Barracuda's winning time of 1:49:52.

Here are the Top 10 riders atop the standings after Thursday. You can check out the full results at the official site of the 2012 Tour of California.

1) Dave Zabriskie (GRM) - 20:29:31
2) Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) - -:34
3) Robert Gesink (RAB) - :39
4) Andrew Talansky (GRM) - :48
5) Peter Velits (OPQ) - :49
6) Luke Durbridge (OGE) - 1:01
7) Tom Danielson (GRM) - 1:07
8) Rory Sutherland (UHC) - 1:10
9) Cameron Meyer (OGE) - 1:26
10) Markel Irizar (RNT) - 1:29

For more on the Tour of California, please be sure to check out our StoryStream right here on SB Nation Philly.

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Tour of California 2012, Stage 4: Peter Sagan Is Still In The Lead

Stage Four is set to get underway for the Tour of California on Wednesday afternoon.

The race has been thrilling so far, with Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Cannondale still finding a way to hold onto his lead after three grueling days.

This stage will be from Sonora to Clovis, which will cover 130.2 miles altogether. Wednesday will favor the sprinters as large portions of today's schedule will be a prime area to do so, according to the official site.

Sonora has some history behind it, as it's considered to be the most preserved gold rush town by many in the great state.

Today will be a challenge with the weather starting to really heat up. The forecast is calling for beautiful sunny skies but a high of 86 degrees with just a slight wind coming out of the northwest.

The good news is the humidity level has dropped off to just 44 percent, compared to almost 80 percent earlier in the week.

Scott Zwizanski and Michael Friedman are in 101st and 121st respectively, both locals and members of the Optum Pro Cycling team.

For more on the Tour of California, please be sure to visit our StoryStream for all the latest news and updates.

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Tour of California 2012 Standings: Peter Sagan Wins Stage 3 For 3rd Win On Tour

Peter Sagan won Stage 3 for his third win of the 2012 Tour of California in as many tries. Heinrich Haussler once again came in second place. The 114-mile stage featured a brutal nearly 11-mile climb up Mount Diablo midway through to test riders vying for the King of the Mountain title. The finish was all downhill, however. Haussler tried to get a jump on Sagan by breaking first with 100 meters to go. Sagan responded immediately to edge out Haussler and take the win and the associated time bonus.

The pair of Pennsylvanians racing in Tour still have yet to make much of an impact near the front of the pack. West Chester's Scott Zwizanksi came in at 4:58:34 on Day 3, nearly eight minutes off the winning time. Pittsburgh's Mark Friedman finished over four minutes behind Zwizanski. Optum Pro Cycling is still in last place among the 16 teams competing. Collectively, they are 25:52 behind the 10 teams tied for the lead.

Here are the Top 10 riders atop the standings after Tuesday. You can check out the full results at the official site of the 2012 Tour of California.

1) Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 14:34:54

2) Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin - Barracuda -:12

3) Jeffry Louder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team -:24

4) Fred Rodriguez (USA) Team Exergy -:26

5) Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Cycling -:26

6) Marc De Maar (Aho) UnitedHealthcare -:27

7) Markel Irizar Arranburu (Esp) RadioShack-Nissan -:29

8) Josh Atkins (USA) Bontrager-Livestrong -:29

9) Greg Van (Bel) Avermaet BMC Racing -:30

10) Lawson (USA) Craddock Bontrager-Livestrong -:30

For more on the Tour of California, please be sure to check out our StoryStream right here on SB Nation Philly.

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Tour of California 2012: Paul Sagan Solidifies Yellow Jersey With Stage 2 Win

Paul Sagan won Stage 2 of the 2012 Tour of California with another impressive sprint to finish the day. He had no mechanical trouble on Monday, as he led the pack coming around the final bend before turning on the jets and pulling away from Heinrich Haussler, who for the second straight day came in second.

The pair of Pennsylvanians riding in the Tour once again finished well back of the leaders. Mark Zwizanski of West Chester came in at 5:16:01 over the 42-mile course, over 14 minutes off Sagan's winning time. Pittsburgh's Michael Friedman finished with the last pack of riders at 5:16:45. Optum Pro Cycling is still off to a slow start, though Alexander Candelario was able to come in with the first group of riders all earning times of 5:02:00.

Here are the Top 10 riders after two stages.

1. Peter Sagan, Liquigas-Cannondale in 9:44:15

2. Heinrich Haussler, Garmin-Barracuda at :08

3. Leigh Howard, Orica-GreenEdge :13

4. Jeffry Louder, UnitedHealthcare at :14

5. Fred Rodriguez, Exergy at :16

6. Ben Jacques-Maynes, Bissell at :16

7. Marc De Maar, UnitedHealthcare at :17

8. Markel Irizar Aranburu, RadioShack-Nissan at :19

9. Joshua Atkins, Bontrager-Livestrong at :19

10. Greg Van Avermaet, BMC Racing at :20

For more on the Tour of California, please be sure to check out our StoryStream right here on SB Nation Philly.

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Tour of California, Stage 2, 2012: Peter Sagan Leads Going Into Monday

Monday brings Day Two of the Tour of California after a thrilling first day to get things going.

22-year-old Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Cannondale holds the lead after Sunday's inaugural stage, despite blowing a tire early on.

For more on the race, please be sure to check out the AMGEN Tour of California website.

On Monday the race will start in the beautiful city of San Francisco and wind its way to Santa Cruz. The stage is 42 miles and includes a lot of downhill portions along the picturesque coastline.

While that may sound easy, it's anything but as the riders will have to use all their strength to keep an optimum pace throughout the day.

For anyone trying to pull for the local guys, keep an eye on Optum Pro Cycling. Their team includes Scott Zwizanski, of West Chester, PA and Mike Friedman of Pittsburgh.

The weather is supposed to be perfect, with a forecast of partly cloudy throughout the day and a high of 59 degrees. Humidity may be a factor however, at times hitting 80 percent.

For more on the Tour of California, please be sure to check out our StoryStream right here on SB Nation Philly.

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Tour of California 2012 Standings: Peter Sagan Wins Stage 1

Peter Sagan took Stage 1 of the 2012 Tour of California with a thrilling come-from-behind win in the final three kilometers of the race. He fell behind when the Liquigas-Cannondale mechanic fumbled changing a flat. A crash at the front of the peloton allowed Sagan to battle back with the help of his teammates. He cruised to the stage win with an impressive sprint in the final few hundred meters.

Pennsylvania natives Scott Zwizanski and Mike Friedman finished back of the front peloton. Zwizanski was given a time of 4:49:31, over seven minutes back from Sagan's 4:42:25. Friedman finished at 125th overall with a time of 4:54:23. Their team, Optum Pro Cycling, is in last place among the 16 racing teams at the Tour. Their top finisher was Andrew Bajadali, who came in with the first peloton at 4:42:59.

Here are the Top 10 finishers from Sunday's opening stage.

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 4:42:35

2 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin - Barracuda

3 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Team Exergy

4 Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team

5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team

6 George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team

7 Ryan Anderson (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10

8 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep

9 Lawson Craddock (USA) Bontrager Livestrong Team

10 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team

Stay with this storystream for news and updates from the 2012 Tour of California. As always, SB Nation's cycling blog Podium Cafe is your source for intelligent cycling news and analysis.

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2012 Tour of California, How To Watch: Television Coverage, Online Coverage And More

The 2012 Tour of California gets started on Sunday, and the race will be available multiple ways, both online and off. NBC Sports Network is once again carrying the race. Stage one hits the road at 10:50am PDT, but television coverage never starts until the riders have been on the road for a few hours.

Television Coverage:

NBC Sports at 2pm PDT, 5pm EDT

Online Coverage:

Streaming at the official Tour of California site

Mobile Coverage:

New this year is the Radioshack Tour Tracker (available for itunes and Android) which allows you to follow the tour on your mobile device. Live video, tracking the peloton as it moves, photos, statistics and more will be available via the tracker. This should be an interesting solution for people who want to follow the race before the television coverage starts.

Stay with this storystream for news and updates from the 2012 Tour of California. As always, SB Nation's cycling blog Podium Cafe is your source for intelligent cycling news and analysis.

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Tour of California, Stage 1 2012: Opening Stage Moves Through Santa Rosa's Technical Descents

Santa Rosa, California is home to both the beginning and the end of stage one of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. There are two neutral laps through the city, and then the route loops out and back to Santa Rosa for a total of 115.9 miles. There are intermediate sprint stages, so the fight for the points jersey should break out immediately. There are climbs in the stage as well, so the King of the Mountains jersey will also be contested. Those climbs are not particularly severe, but the descents are fast and tricky, and as they move along the coast the wind can always complicate things. The stage flattens out towards the end, giving all of the sprinters and their teams time to set up for what should be a tightly contested finish on the run in back to Santa Rosa.

Stage1_medium_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

Because the Tour of California isn't as long as the larger European races, the overall win contenders tend to start looking for their opportunities as early as possible. Defending champion Chris Horner (Radioshack-Nissan) will be eager to show he can win twice in a row, while men like Tom Danielson from Garmin-Barracuda, Tejay Van Garderen (BMC), and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) all keep an eye on each other. Scott Zwizanski and Mike Friedman, the two Pennsylvania men riding for Optum Pro Cycling, will both be looking to prove that this year's Optum roster can do better than last year's, which never placed better than 5th on any given stage.

Stick with this storystream for updates throughout the Tour, and SB Nation's cycling blog Podium Cafe has all the cycling news and analysis you need.

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Tour of California 2012 Teams: Pennsylvania Natives Ride The Tour Of California With Optum Pro Cycling

Two Pennsylvania natives are on the roster of Optum Pro Cycling and are riding the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. Scott Zwizanski from West Chester and Mike Friedman from Pittsburgh will both try to make their mark in America's biggest stage race.

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Tour of California 2012: Optum Pro Cycling Begins Tour Sunday

The 2012 Tour of California begins on Sunday, May 13 and will last eight days, finishing the following Sunday. Optum Pro Cycling features two riders from the Philadelphia area.

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