Thousand Oaks, California - As the curtain closed on the 2010 Amgen Tour of California, Team Type 1 achieved what it had been hoping to since it opened up the eight-day stage race one Sunday ago. When Team Type 1's Thomas Rabou crossed the line safely inside stage eight's time cut, he confirmed his hold on the California Travel and Tourism King of the Mountains jersey, arguably the biggest accomplishment in Team Type 1's history. To further Team Type 1's achievements, Valeriy Kobzarenko and Chris Jones improved on their positions in the overall classification standings with strong rides on what was an extremely challenging day.
When Team Type 1 rolled out of Thousand Oaks, California, they were facing 83 miles of hilly terrain that would test the reserves of an already tired peloton. It was a day that breakaway artists were excited about, as the profile lent itself perfectly to those who wanted to thwart the general classification contenders. One man who had shown a penchant for the attack many times this week was Team Type 1's Dutch climbing sensation, Thomas Rabou. As he had already done twice, earlier in the week, Rabou found himself in the day's main breakaway. As with his breakaway in stage 6's queen stage that climbed to Big Bear Lake, Rabou was among elite company, joining many Pro-Tour level riders as they made their bid for freedom.
Rabou had promised to show himself a worthy wearer of the King of the Mountain jersey wearer, and once the break was established, Rabou helped drive the pace and took the day's second and third King of the Mountain sprints. The two victories were Rabou's eleventh and twelfth of the week, giving him a total of 77 points overall. Rabou's work bumped his winning margin out to 50 points over American Road Race Champion George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team), who finished second in the King of the Mountains competition.
When the attacks out of the leading group began in earnest, Rabou was able to ride the rest of the stage safe in the knowledge that he would finish as the King of the Mountain winner. With that classification assured, Team Type 1's focus could turn to its two general classification threats, Valeriy Kobzarenko and Chris Jones, who entered the day in sixteenth and seventeenth overall, respectively.
Just behind the main general classification contenders was an elite chase group that emerged in the carnage which erupted on the final of four climbs up Mullholland Highway. In that group were Kobzarenko and Jones, who rarely left each other side when the going got tough. When the dust settled, Kobzarenko had taken fourteenth on the stage while Jones' work was good for eighteenth for the day, placing two Team Type 1 riders in the top twenty in two of the most challenging days in the history of the Amgen Tour of California.
Kobzarenko and Jones' performances came with an added bonus, as each was able to work their way up the general classification. Thanks to his fourteenth place, Kobzarenko was able to move his way up to the same ranking on the general classification, with Jones only two spots behind, in sixteenth overall. Spent from his earlier effort, Rabou rolled across the line almost six minutes behind the day's winner, but still managed to move up to twenty-sixth overall. Of the sixty-three riders that finished this year's Tour of California, five were on on Team Type 1, a set of results that earned the team fifth on the overall team classification, besting a majority of Pro-Tour and Professional Continental teams in the process.
The biggest story of the week, however, was the dominant fashion in which Rabou won the King of the Mountains competition. Rabou was the class of the climbers over much of the Tour of California's uphill sectors, and was truly the classification's worthy victor. Rabou even went a step further, honoring the jersey in the race's final stage, when he could have just as easily sat back and soft-pedaled his way to the win.
Stage eight brought an history week for Team Type 1 to a close. Over the course of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California, Team Type 1 brought home a classification jersey, had a top ten finish and a number of top twenty results. In the mountains, Team Type 1 was first across fifteen King of the Mountain points and had one rider named the day's Most Courageous Rider. Few could have expected the success that Team Type 1 enjoyed over the previous week, but the team overwhelmingly proved why they were invited to the Tour of California and why they are considered one of the best teams in America.