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Sutherland: in best form ever for Tour of California

May 4, 2012

Is 2012 the year Rory Sutherland stands on the podium in Los Angeles in one of the top three overall places at the end of the Amgen Tour of California?

“I think of all years this might be the most attainable year,” he said, speaking after a hilly stage 2 at the UCI Tour of the Gila which he leads by ten seconds. “I’ve had really good training, really good numbers. Everything’s been going the right direction. Since November we’ve been training hard for it as a team and me personally going through the ups and downs for that goal. It’s not the be all and end all of the world but I think we are in the best place that I’ve been probably form-wise to go there.”

Sutherland, leader on the UnitedHealthcare team, out-climbed strong domestic riders like Chris Baldwin (Bissell) and Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist) for a solo win on the stage one uphill finish at the Gila.

Sutherland believes the Tour of the Gila is the best preparation for California.

Today’s 16 mile time trial in the Tour of the Gila may decide the overall race winner. Sutherland’s looking for a solid result in the time trial to defend his lead in the race. Still, he seems pretty relaxed about the outcome. “If I get no results the next few days and I feel terrible it’s fine — yesterday [stage one] was an affirmation that I’ve obviously done the right things,” he said, referring to his form going into California.

When asked about the competition for a podium place in California, for example the questionable start of Levi Leipheimer, Sutherland said, “They’re all riders; they’ve all got numbers on like anybody else. There is still Horner…I don’t know if some of Levi’s things have been a bit of a media hype… I know he broke his leg but it doesn’t mean he’s that bad. I know he’s been doing long training rides.”


From → Road Racing

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