Stage 1 Press Conference – Rider Quotes

Tour of California

Peter Sagan (SVK)
Liquigas-Cannondale
Stage 1 Amgen Race Leader; Visit California Sprint Jersey Rider; Rabobank Best Young Rider Jersey Leader

On his thoughts of winning Stage 1 and holding onto the Amgen Race Leader jersey
“I want to thank my teammates for helping me win this stage. Ted King, who helped me with 3km to go and Daniel Goss who piloted me to the front so I was able to win. It’s going to be really tough to hold onto the yellow jersey. This race will definitely get harder and harder as we go.”

On having a close finish similar to this stage win
“When I was under 23 [U23], I flatted with 6km to go. I attacked and escaped. I didn’t win that but it was kind of a similar situation.”

Levi Leipheimer (USA)
Omega Pharma-QuickStep
Stage 1 Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider
On his first race back
“It was great to be here in my hometown in Santa Rosa. Today was a huge success. The course was beautiful and I knew every meter of the road. To be honest, I suffered a little, and suffering on your own roads isn’t fun, but I am just happy to be here.”

On the hometown course
“The design of the course was really nice. Everyone here in downtown got to see the start and participate in the village and see us a few times. It makes for a great experience for the fans and, hopefully, more stages can be designed like that.”

On the importance of the Amgen Tour of California leading up to the Tour de France and London Olympics
“The Amgen Tour of California is of the upmost importance in order to get to the Tour de France and London Olympics. There’s a lot of racing left, and this is my motivation to improve, be as fast as possible and train as much as possible.”

On gaining confidence after this stage
“When you are out of competition for a while, it’s a little foreign. As time passes I’ll get more comfortable and feel part of the peloton again.”

Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA)
Bissell Pro Cycling
Stage 1 Exergy Most Aggressive Rider
On his team’s performance and winning the Exergy Most Aggressive Jersey
“Bissell Pro Cycling is connected to Santa Rosa since this is where we train. We rode this course at our training camp in February. Coleman Valley has a lot of history here. There are some pretty gnarly descents, but we had good cooperation with the weather today. It was just a great day to be out with a great crowd. I’m really happy to win a jersey. Bissell is one of the most aggressive teams out here and that’s what we are here to prove.”

On riding so aggressively and his thoughts on racing in his hometown tomorrow (Stage 2)
“I’m sure I will be suffering on my home roads a little like Levi [Leipheimer]. I know every inch of the roads and I know how hard Bonny Doon is and Bear Creek road. We’ll see, but today definitely sapped the legs a little bit. The goal is to waive the Bissell flag and Exergy Most Aggressive Rider Jersey tomorrow. I’ll take this win.”

David Boily (CAN)
Team Spidertech Powered by C10
Stage 1 Nissan King of the Mountain Jersey Leader
On winning the Nissan King of the Mountain Jersey
“It was a long day in the saddle. However, it was very good to win the Nissan King of the Mountain Jersey. We will work very hard to try to keep this jersey.”

On his overall goals for the 2012 Amgen Tour of California
“I’m a strong rider for GC [General Classification.] My overall chances are pretty good, but I will put all my efforts toward gaining jerseys and will work hard on that.”

Fred Rodriguez (USA)
Team Exergy
Third-Place Overall, Stage 1
On the final kilometers of the stage
“I caught up to Boonen, but then he flatted. I tried to go around him but didn’t have the legs. [Peter] Sagan was definitely strong today.”

About the author: Thien Dinh

Thien Dinh gained most his cycling knowledge the old fashioned way, by immersing himself in the sport. From 2007 to early 2013, Thien served as RoadBikeReview Site Manager, riding daily while putting various cycling products through its paces. A native of California, Thien also enjoys tinkering with photography and discovering new music.


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