Who to watch for as Amgen riders Hit the Mountains

[Neal Rogers, CyclingTips]

Stetina believes that Stage 6, from Folsom to South Lake Tahoe could also prove pivotal. There are 4,000 metres of elevation gain on the day; the final climb, up Kingsbury Grade to Daggett Summit, is 13km long at 6% gradient, topping out at 7,300 feet (2,225 metres) elevation.

“There is an hors categorie climb that’s at high elevation, after you have a whole day of climbing in your legs,” Stetina said. “It’s going to be a race of attrition. The last climb [Kingsbury Grade] is a behemoth, and the top is near the finish line. Anyone who has unfinished business with the race, that’s your last shot. For me, this is the queen stage. It’s the hardest one. It will be a big kilojoules day. Tahoe is my backyard. I’m a part-time resident there. I get a lot of local love up there. That’s the stage that I’m most in love with here.”

Oregon native Ian Boswell (Katusha-Alpecin) is in a similar position to Stetina — a strong climber who will need to take time on Gibraltar, and perhaps again in Lake Tahoe on Stage 6 ...