Peter Sagan Repeats Stage Victory in 2012 Amgen Tour of California

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05/15/2012| 0 comments
by Thomas A. Valentinsen

Peter Sagan Repeats Stage Victory in 2012 Amgen Tour of California

Young Slovakian cycling sensation and overall 2012 Amgen Tour of California race leader Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Cannondale crashed and suffered a flat tire on a tough descent, but recovered to win Stage 2 of the race in Santa Cruz, California - his second consecutive stage in as many days.

Young Slovakian cycling sensation and overall 2012 Amgen Tour of California race leader Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Cannondale crashed and suffered a flat tire on a tough descent, but recovered to win Stage 2 of the race in Santa Cruz, California - his second consecutive stage in as many days.

Even with an attack by Rory Sutherland of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team at the finish, Sagan managed to outsprint the pack to take the stage 2 victory in convincing fashion. He was followed by Team Garmin-Barracuda's Heinrich Haussler and Leigh Howard of Team GreenEdge to round off the top three.

Ironically, the punctured tire was also the second flat of the race in as many days for the 22-year-old Sagan, who maintained his overall lead over Haussler after the second stage of the race. Howard remained in third place overall.

"I don't know, maybe it takes a natural disaster," said Sagan, when asked what it would take to stop his winning ways, noting he suffered an untimely punctured tire three miles from the finish yesterday and still won stage 1. "I am feeling good. I will see tomorrow (if I can make it three straight wins)," he continued.

Amidst remarkable views of the San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge and Angel Island, stage 2 of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California got underway in San Francisco and routed south 117.1 miles over the climbs of Empire Grade and Bear Creek Road.

At the start of the stage, after leaving the city of San Francisco, riders headed toward the coast and faced the first sprint of the day in Pacifica, where Howard, Maarten Tjallingii of Team Rabobank and Bradley White of Team UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling were the first three to cross the line and earn valuable points. Shortly thereafter, six racers, including White, Jeremy Vennell of Bissell Pro Cycling, Michael Creed of Team Optum - powered by Kelly Benefit Strategies, Lloyd Mondory of AG2R La Mondiale, Juan Pablo Suarez of Team Colombia-Coldeportes, and Alexandre Geniez of Team Argos-Shimano established a breakaway. This breakaway swept the second sprint of the day with points awarded to White, Vennell and Mondory in that order.

Fifty miles into the race, the break had a significant lead of nine minutes and 45 seconds ahead of the peloton. However, as standard procedure prescribes it, after passing through the feed zone the main peloton group began working harder to reel the breakaway riders back in.

As the breakaway group closed in on Bonny Doon and the first King of the Mountain (KOM) climb of the day, the gap was narrowed to five minutes and 50 seconds. When the riders began to climb, Garmin-Barracuda worked hard at the front of the peloton to protect the interests of their GC leader Tom Danielson and to ensure that the stage would end in a sprint finish where their sprinter Haussler could battle for the stage victory.

After a few attacks, only three riders were left in the break - White, Vennell and Geniez - with a lead of four minutes and 20 seconds. Geniez

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