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Michael Rogers (AUS), General Classification Leader; Second Place, Individual Time Trial
HTC-Columbia

On potentially winning the Amgen Tour of California:
"I think taking the Amgen Leader Jersey tomorrow would be the biggest win of my career, in terms of a stage race. This would be a highlight for me. There's a huge emphasis on this race and I think it would be a dream come true, not only for me, but for the whole team in general."

On team's strategy to keep the Amgen Leader Jersey tomorrow:
"We haven't seen the course. We can only go with what the [technical guide] booklet says. We'll send management around the course to see. With regards to our tactics for the race, first and foremost, I want to protect the Amgen Leader Jersey. I'm very confident with Tony [Martin], Tejay [Van Garderen]…we have a strong team. From what I hear, tomorrow is a very tough circuit with a tough climb. It's not over. It's far from over."

"Obviously it isn't a huge lead. It's still nine seconds. My job tomorrow is to mark the top GC guys. If they move, I'll move, too. We can expect a lot of the attacks from guys a bit further down on the GC. We're really excited. We think we can do it. A lot of people doubted us before, at the start of this stage, but we came one step closer today."


On losing two teammates (Mark Cavendish and Mark Renshaw):
"When you analyze the stage yesterday, we were able to protect the lead without the two men. We will have to have our wits about us. The whole race is going to throw everything at us. We have a lot of experience - not only the riders but our sports directors have got years and years of experience. We can use all that to our advantage."

On his thoughts on Team RadioShack's potential offense tomorrow:
"They'll attack. They'll attack hard. The logical place to attack is on the climb. I'd do the same if I were in that position."

On racing in downtown Los Angeles:
"It's obviously a spectacular place for a time trial. It was a beautiful race - certainly something I'll remember for a long time."

On his condition:
"Beating both Dave [Zabriskie] and Levi [Leipheimer] was obviously a great ride. We're all very experienced time trialists. I took a little step away from time trialing and I lost my time trial abilities a little bit. I worked really hard to get it back this year. It's nice that that hard work is paying off."

"I kind of realized last year that I wasn't getting out of cycling what I wanted to. I wasn't getting the satisfaction. I asked myself, 'How can I improve?' After talking with people I've been close to in my career, they thought I had to change the way I train and be more efficient. I needed to change the way I go through my season. So I started treating every training day as a race. And things are paying off."

On today's time trial:
"I was in contact with my sports director [during the time trial]. He was relaying split times and let me know, first and foremost, that I was a bit faster than the main GC contenders. I knew that through the first time check, I was just behind Tony [Martin]. I'm usually a slower starter. I knew I had a little bit of a time buffer on the first lap. On the last lap, I just concentrated on keeping it together and maintaining the small time buffer I had."

"The wind made it kind of tough. It just seemed to be swirling through the buildings. It was a tough time trial after six days of tough racing and especially after yesterday's tough mountain stage."

On where he is as a cyclist today:
"I think I've matured a lot as a person. I definitely have more experience and I'm calmer on the bike. I've been in a lot of 'winning possibility' situations. In the past, as most young guys do, I've made some mistakes. I feel all the more wiser for it."

Tony Martin (GER), First Place, Stage 7; Amgen's Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey Winner
HTC-Columbia

On racing in downtown Los Angeles:
"I've never been to Los Angeles before, so to race here in such a big city was really spectacular."

On getting his first win this season:
"The year was, so far, not good for me. I had a bad injury [early in the season] and I lost a little bit of my morale. Now with my first win of the year, I'm really motivated for the Tour de France. I'm really happy now."

On today's time trial:
"I heard at the beginning that I had 30 seconds I knew it was a really good time. That motivates me to go really deep. At the beginning of the race, I didn't know I'd have the legs because I had to work really hard yesterday. I knew I had a really good time and I had to finish really hard.

"I did everything I could to protect the Amgen Leader Jersey for Mick [Rogers]. I did everything I could, I was pulling everything."

David Zabriskie (USA), Third Place, Stage 7 Garmin-Transitions

On today's time trial:
"I'm disappointed, of course. I was a little bit off but it went pretty well. I don't think the race is over yet. I'd say that, even if I were in the Amgen Leader's Jersey. It's not over till it's over. Tomorrow's a very hard course. Having surveyed the course, it can be windy and there are a couple of big climbs. Not all that much fun."

Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team RadioShack

On today's time trial:
"This is not the best I've ever done. I think that Dave [Zabriskie] and Mick [Rogers] just were a fraction better than me all week, and they proved it to me today. It was really windy and tough out there, and you can argue that it's maybe not the best course for me, personally. But I can be happy. Of course, when I come to the Amgen Tour of California, if I don't win, I lose. And that's a lot of expectation. But I can be happy with this time trial.

On tomorrow's race:
Considering tomorrow, it's not over. The tour has been very hard. Unfortunately, among the top three [riders], it's been very tight all week. As a peloton as a whole, it's been extremely hard. Tomorrow won't be any different."

Photos courtesy of Stephanie Gutowski