Tour of California: Andreu looks to Top 10 overall for Kenda/5-hour Energy p/b Geargrinder squad
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tour of California: Andreu looks to Top 10 overall for Kenda/5-hour Energy p/b Geargrinder squad

by VeloNation Press at 8:47 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of California
 
Harsh weather could change the face of what would be a grueling opening stage

Ben DayWith Mother Nature ordering up a 70 percent chance of snow with the possibility of 3 to 5 inches throwing in 40mph winds for good measure, the question for the first stage of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California will be about the safety of the riders and whether the stage will be modified.  Rumblings through the race have been about the possibility of a prologue should the bad weather come to pass.

As the race awaits the verdict, it's clear that the ultimate selection for the peloton in stage one will either be the weather, or how the riders fare up the final 1,100 foot climb up Brockway summit after 179km of racing.  If the original course is chosen, it means the peloton will spend the day at an average elevation of 6,200 ft which will put their pure altitude fitness and Vo2 max to the test.  In fact, very few professional races have ever been challenged at this high of an elevation for consecutive kilometers, which could mean some surprises at the end of the day.

VeloNation caught up to Kenda/5-hour Energy p/b Geargrinder Team Director Frankie Andreu Friday evening just before the team presentation, for some quick questions.

VeloNation: Who is the designated leader for Kenda/5-hour Energy p/b Geargrinder?

Frankie Andreu: "We have Benjamin Day of course as the designated leader.  He is riding well now and so is the team. The team will be protecting him for a goal of some top ten finishes.  We are counting on Phil Giamon, James Stemper to have good legs to follow along with Ben and be able to protect him for a top ten on G.C. If the team has the right opportunities then we will send a rider off for a KOM."

VN: What are your thoughts on the final arival times for stage one?

FA: "If the weather is good I think you are going to see big time differences between riders and teams for the premier stage.  Really this is a stage that has never been raced before. The race is at altitude and it is not flat.  So, yes, I have to say that this going to be a hard stage and there will definitely be big time differences for the initial G.C.

VN: What are the team's ambitions for the race?

FA: "It is still along way to Thousand Oaks so we will have to wait, be patient and see how the race develops.  We have not had an official team meeting yet, but we would like to have a rider in the top 10 overall G.C., and of course win a stage and be one of the best teams racing at our peak for the season.

Kenda/5-hour Energy p/b Geargrinder roster for the 2011 Tour of California:
171 Benjamin Day
172 Luca Damiani
173 Phil  Giamon
174 Chad Hartly
175 Roman Kilun
176 Shawn Miline
177 Jacob Rytlewski
 178 James Stemper

Interview courtesy of Robert Nichols - Advanced Pro Cycling Agency

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