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.
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.