Mon, May 21, 2012
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Dutchman Gesink claims California crown

2012-05-21 03:03:48 GMT2012-05-21 11:03:48(Beijing Time)

Robert Gesink of the Netherlands riding for Rabobank Cycling Team stands on the podium with second place finisher David Zabriskie (L) riding for Garmin-Barracuda and third place finisher Tom Danielson (R) riding for Garmin-Barracuda after the end of the Amgen Tour of California in Los Angeles. (AFP Photo/Joe Klamar)

Dutchman Robert Gesink, who broke his right leg in four places last September in a training accident, won the Tour of California on Sunday after the last of eight stages in the US cycling event.

The 25-year-old Rabobank rider won by 46 seconds over American David Zabriskie by finishing in the pack in the final stage, a 70-kilometer ride from Beverly Hills to downtown Los Angeles that was won by Slovakian Peter Sagan.

Gesink, fifth in the 2010 Tour de France, accumulated his winning margin over Zabriskie by taking Saturday's penultimate stage, a rigorous climb ending atop steep Mt. Baldy.

"It's moments like this, when you have your good times and your wins, that's what you do it for," said Gesink, whose father died in a 2010 cycling accident.

Sagan, who rides for Liquigas, won the first four stages and captured the last with a closing charge to edge top-ranked Tom Boonen at the line after the Belgian's Pharma-QuickStep teammates set up their man down the final straight.

"I don't know if it could have been better. I'm very happy," Sagan said. "The last kilometers were really fast. It was good going."

Sagan hopes to carry the momentum from his US stage victories into his Tour de France debut later this year.

"I hope I will do it good," he said of the French race. "I want to win one stage. I hope I do it."



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