The 2012 Amgen Tour of California (ATOC) ended as it began, with an incredible sprint win by Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale). The fresh faced 21 year old phenom set the record for most stage wins this week (8) and was joined on the stage eight podium by Omega Pharma-Quick-Step’s Gerald Ciolek (3rd) and Tom Boonen (2nd) after what was a fast and furious noonish finish in crowded downtown Los Angeles, CA. All three rode SRAM’s all new RED-2012 gruppo, even lighter weight, even faster shifting, and and even more ergonomic…and is the winningest groupset ever built.
From a SRAM perspective, the Tour was marked by not only great sprint wins, but heroic efforts. AG2R’s Sylvain Georges soloed away to win stage 6 into Big Bear, CA, in dramatic fashion. The Frenchman said “a hamburger” was in order after a long stage of climbing and a dramatic chase in the finale. Georges rode SRAM Black RED to his “most beautiful” victory ever. Sagan and Georges combined for sic stage wins total for SRAM componentry.
One of the other highlights had to be an incredible ride by a guy who’s won ATOC three times, but who’s chances were dimmed when he suffered a fractured leg April 1, OPQS’s Levi Leipheimer. Leipheimer, who finished 6th overall, was encouraged everyday with his improvement and is on track for a great result at the 2012 Tour de France. Inspiration also came from the Bontrager-Livestrong youthsquad, who rode aggressive and had four top ten finishes against world-class competition.
Congrats to all six SRAM teams – Omega Pharma-Quick-Step, Liquigas-Cannondale, AG2R, Optum Health p/b Kelly Benefits, Bontrager-Livestrong & United Healthcare -as well as SRAM NRS, and all of our partners.