Monday, May 21, 2012

ATOC Done! US Pro Next! Can WN Fast Freddie get his 4th?

ATOC in the books! Now US Pro in Greenville, S.C.

Today’s 42-mile race through downtown Los Angeles presented the Amgen Tour of California teams with one final sprinter’s stage. The 90-minute race featured a 12-and-one-half mile trek from Beverly Hills to downtown LA, followed by six laps around a four-and-one-half mile course around the Staples Center.

Team Exergy’s Morgan Schmitt made it into the early break with six others riders. The group forged a lead of 30 seconds and stayed off the front for much of the race, but the main field pulled them back on the final lap as they prepared for the sprint finish.

As the group neared the finish line everyone wondered if Liquigas’ Peter Sagan could be stopped on an ATOC sprint stage. Sagan provided the answer as he surged past Omega Pharma-Quickstep’s Tom Boonen at the line for the win. He ended the tour having won an amazing five of the eight stages. Rabobank’s Robert Gesink ended the day as the overall ATOC champion.

Fred Rodriguez of Team Exergy crossed the line in 14th place, keeping him in 26th overall for the week. Exergy DS Tad Hamilton was pleased with the team’s performance this week. “This was a great event for us. We were excited to be here racing against the best in the world."

Team Exergy, and particularly Freddie, now cast their sights upon the upcoming US Professional Road Championship this coming weekend in Greenville, SC. With his good form during the ATOC, Freddie shines as one of the race favorites. He has won the event three times in the past. The winner earns bragging rights as the American champion and the right to wear the American stars and stripes on his team kit. Because of the importance of this race, the strongest American riders from teams around the world will be participating.

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