Cycling: Aussie Michael Rogers wins Tour of California
AP Sports Writer
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Michael Rogers of Australia won the Tour of California on Sunday, emerging from a talented field to capture a race overshadowed by a doping scandal.
Rogers won by nine seconds after holding the lead since Thursday. He repelled repeated challenges during the 83½-mile final stage on a hilly circuit in Ventura County while riding for the U.S.-based team of HTC-Columbia.
American David Zabriskie of Garmin-Transitions, who led Stages 3 and 4, finished second overall, his third runner-up finish in the 5-year-old race. Three-time champion Levi Leipheimer of the United States began the day third overall and ended up there for RadioShack.
The U.S. team lost Lance Armstrong after he crashed Thursday outside Visalia.
That's the same day Armstrong was accused of doping and helping others cheat by former teammate Floyd Landis, who showed up at Saturday's time trial in Los Angeles, where he hung out in a sponsor's tent. Armstrong returned to Texas, and tweeted that he was back on his bike Saturday. He angrily denied Landis' accusations.
Zabriskie's teammate, Ryder Hesjedal of Canada, won the eighth and final stage.
The riders sped along four 21-mile circuits through Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village and Agoura Hills, and up famed Mulholland Highway with its steep climbs and numerous switchbacks.
Zabriskie knew the route well because he uses it regularly for his training rides since moving to Southern California.