Tour of California Preview: Radioshack

American Levi Leipheimer will look to make it four years in a row in the yellow jersey at the Tour of California.

American Levi Leipheimer will look to make it four years in a row in the yellow jersey at the Tour of California.

If history tells us anything, there will be a Radioshack jersey on top of the final podium at this year’s Tour of California, as three-time consecutive winner Levi Leipheimer returns to the race in his home state this year, looking to make it four in a row in California. The American clearly owns the race, and has fought off some of the top talent from around the world the past three years to take the yellow jersey.

Longtime friend and teammate Lance Armstrong, who played a major part in Leipheimer’s 2009 victory with team Astana, will join Leipheimer again this year in California, choosing to forgo the Giro d’ Italia to race in the states. American Chris Horner is also expected to ride in support of Leipheimer, adding some more American firepower to the Radioshack squad.

Leipheimer’s strong time trialing has traditionally been important to his GC wins that have come to define his career, and Leipheimer will again have an opportunity to gain some time during stage 7 of this year’s tour, a 21-mile individual time trial through the streets of Los Angeles. Although the time trial won’t be as important this year as in years past, Leipheimer is an incredibly talented all around rider, and shouldn’t have trouble staying on top of the race he as come to own.

Radioshack is far and away favored to win the Tour of California again this year. If Leipheimer can stay in form and avoid any major problems, he is on track to win a fourth Tour of California. While Armstrong will bring starpower to the race and the Radioshack team, this year will be all about Levi…again.

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