Bakersfield Breaks Peter Sagan’s Stage Dominance But Big Climbs to Big Bear and Mt. Baldy Await Cyclists
In an All-American city, home of the famed “Mears Gang” auto and desert racing family – Rick was a four-time Indy 50 winner, brother Roger an off-road legend and Roger’s son Casey is currently in NASCAR – an American won the sprint stage of the Amgen Tour of California.
David Zabriskie (USA) of Garmin-Barracuda had a best time of 35 minutes, 59 seconds, which placed him ahead of Jens Voigt (GER) RadioShack-Nissan-Trek (LUX), who finished in 36 minutes, 51 seconds; and Tejay van Garderen (USA), BMC Racing Team (USA), who had a time of 36 minutes, 33 seconds.
Thursday marked the first day that Peter Sagan wasn’t first in something, the 22-year-old having won the event’s first four stages.
The 2012 Amgen Tour of California is winding down time time-wise, but winding up challenge-wise, as the mountains of Big Bear and Mt. Baldy remain in two weekend stages.
Big Bear is the Friday objective after a start in Palmdale. It’s a 115.7-mile ride. Once there, fans will be in a good mood because there’s a beer garden and festival from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The next day, it’s Glendora to Mt. Baldy.
The tour ends Sunday with a ride from Beverly Hills to Staples Center in L.A.