Tour of California - CSC vs Discovery?
Jens Voigt of Danish super team CSC has taken the sprint from Discovery Channel's Levi Leipheimer and Jason McCartney on Stage 3 of the Tour of California. Could this signal the beginning of a year-long rivalry? The result leaves Leipheimer wearing the yellow jersey with Voigt only 3 seconds behind. Voigt, despite his success last year in Germany, is primarily a breakaway and stage win specialist and not considered a climber or a contender for the GC. So what rivalry?
The more interesting question may lie in the bigger picture: Is there a link between Ivan Basso's defection from CSC to Discovery Channel and the fact that CSC have fielded their strongest team yet for a North American event?
CSC have an obvious ambition for stage wins on Discovery Channel home turf (or tarmac). CSC have won the last two stages of the ToC and, with both Julich and Cancellara, CSC look to have strong possibilities for the stage 5 individual time trial. This may be the first of many confrontations this year between what are widely considered to be the two top teams on the Pro Tour. All of which leads to a show down in France at the Tour de France this June between Ivan Basso and CSC's Carlos Sastre. (Before that we can look forward to a spring showdown between Cancellara and Hincapie on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix). I'm sure other teams will have something to say about the results but I'm sure that Basso's perceived "defection" added a few watts to Voigt's sprint today (despite reports that Armstrong was in one of the Discovery team cars).
more on the tour of california here: