Tour of California – Stage 4 Press Conference

Feature Articles Tour of California

Chris Horner (USA), First Place, Stage 4
Team RadioShack

On respecting the Amgen Leader Jersey
“We had Sky Procycling put a rider in the front with us because they have the Amgen Leader Jersey and we wanted to show respect for that. We rode with Ben King and Markel Irizar in the front and their job was to ride hard, maximize effort on every climb and get to the Mt. Hamilton climb with the field completely wrecked. As we came into the Sierra climb, the real destruction started with Matt (Busche), a young professional and a fabulous contributor to the Amgen Tour of California. Our team came here in exceptional form. We devastated the field in the first 500 meters and had to ride hard from there.”

On the leaders of Team RadioShack
“Levi (Leipheimer) and I came here as co-leaders of the team. Today, Levi had the majority of the team riding with him. I always have Markel and Matt near me; on the flats, no one looks after you better than Markel, and Busche is a young kid who is very good and always protects me.”

On his 16-year career
“My whole career, and I’ve had a long one, my first priority has always been the team. I don’t care if the winner is Levi or me. My first objective as a professional cyclist is for the team to win and the second, of course, is that it will be me.”

On preparing for the Amgen Tour of California
“Our goal today was to blow apart the field, and we did. The last five weeks I was on a mission to come to the Amgen Tour of California in the best fitness of my life. I’ve put in the best five weeks of training, and it has been hard, but it was worth it because it was an easy five kilometers to the top of the summit.”

Rory Sutherland (AUS), Third Place, Stage 4
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling

On racing the Amgen Tour of California
“This is it. For us, this race is the Tour de France. It is a huge objective for our sponsor and to be able to get on the podium today was very exhilarating; it just so happened that Chris (Horner) was going a little faster than us. This race is what we have been working for. We started working towards this a month after the 2010 Amgen Tour of California.”

On the mountain descents today
“My team support was fantastic. Chris Jones got dropped just at the top of Mt. Hamilton, but he is a phenomenal descender and got himself back to our group and eventually back in front of me. I’m not anywhere near as good on the descents as he is, so I asked him to stay with me today. It was a pretty controlled descent because no one is really willing to take as big of risks as we did in the past.”

On supporting his team
“It gives me a great feeling to have finished third today because of all the training I’ve been doing and the effort the team has put behind me. I’m glad I can repay the team with a podium finish after they did so much work for me.”

Ryder Hesjedal (CAN), Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Jersey Winner
Team Garmin-Cervelo

On Team Garmin-Cervelo’s strategy
“On today’s stage, we had the guys to bring the pressure. It was fun to see Levi and Chris (Horner) out there today. Chris just kind of rolled away and Levi sat on me. Fortunately, I was able to stay in there and bring a little bit of time back for the team. There is still a lot of racing left and putting pressure on Team RadioShack over the next few days is a big goal of ours.”

Photo by Stephanie Gutowski

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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