Tour of California: HTC-Columbia's Michael Rogers moves into the lead
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tour of California: HTC-Columbia's Michael Rogers moves into the lead

by Jered Gruber at 8:13 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of California
Three-time world TT champ takes over

Michael Rogers arrived in the press room following today's second place finish behind Liquigas' prodigal talent, Peter Sagan, with a broad grin. His efforts during the stage to net an intermediate time bonus sprint along with his sprint for second netted him the lead by one second over former leader, David Zabriskie.

"Every second does count. We were aggressive all day. I got some help from some pretty good sprinters in Cavendish and Renshaw to get the early time bonus sprint."

Rogers gave a nod to RadioShack for once again working hard to make a selection at the front of the race: "With RadioShack attacking on the climb quite hard, it thinned out the bunch significantly. It was a very tough circuit, and the wind played a major factor. Once again, my team delivered me very well to the line. Peter Sagan is a huge talent and very fast, something I'm not renowned for. I'm happy to put the jersey on, and yeah, every second counts."

Some have stated that they think tomorrow will be a wash of a stage - difficult, but not significant for the battle for overall supremacy. Rogers is not of that mindset: "I'm counting on a tough day. RadioShack still have a lot of guys in contention. They're not going to go away from this race without giving it everything and doing their best to deliver. There's a heckuva lot of climbing tomorrow and a lot of it is at high altitude. It should take its toll. I'm confident in my team to deliver me to the final climbs and from there, let me do my thing."

When asked about the big crash that felled some big names today, Rogers nodded emphatically: "I was right next to it. I didn't see what happened, but I was almost involved in it. I was actually taking a drink at the time. It happened to the side of me. I think it was a touch of wheels. We were traveling quite fast, so there wasn't a lot of time to react before the riders went down. Unfortunately, it looks like Stuey broke his collarbone, and Lance is injured as well."

The three-time World Time Trial champion says that the racing has been difficult so far: "Everyone has had to ride hard, because everyone is looking for bonus seconds. Hopefully, my legs will be better than the others'."

As the press conference wrapped up, one final question was posed to Rogers, but it was in this final question that Rogers really let on to how different this season is for him compared to those of years past.

"I've come here in some of the best fitness I've ever had in my life. I've made a lot of changes. I've changed the way that I train. I'm four kilos lighter than I was last year in this race. I've learned how to train more efficiently, and I've realized what I want from the sport. I'm going about chasing it now."


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