Levi Leipheimer, the ATOC defending champion, shares his observations that the initial two stages of the race this year would offer more opportunities for the sprinters to come out ahead, but that the second stage could also see dropouts from weak climbers.
According to the organizers, the primary stage is set in the mining town of Nevada as the place recognizes its 50th anniversary of its Classic criterium. This is one of the oldest races which Leipheimer won once in 1998. He was the one who assisted Armstrong to win it, too. The entire course will circle around the hilly crit as a part of the normal start.
After getting out of town, the 104-mile track will then lead to a few hills but it won’t be spacious enough to split the area. This is the part where Leipheimer thinks would be taken advantage by the sprinters. He is somehow undecided yet with how stage 2 would look like but he is quite sure many won’t make it by then.
The 110-mile stage will run from Davis to Santa Rosa which is the hometown of Leipheimer. The Howell Mountain road will the toughest part of it all according to Leipheimer. With Santa Rosa being the finish city, he thinks it is a good choice.
Via Velo News