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Holding Out Hope – Garmin-Cervelo’s Tom Danielson

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Seaside, CA – With Chris Horner (Team RadioShack) tearing the legs off the peloton, including his teammate’s, three-time Amgen Tour of California champion Levi Leipheimer, up Sierra Road during Stage 4, it is quite easy to overlook the rest of the field, and for that matter the remaining stages.

But with an Individual Time Trial (ITT) and a brutal ascent of Mt. Baldy on the horizon, no one is holding out for hope more than the man Lance Armstrong once tabbed “The Great White Hope,” Garmin-Cervelo’s Tom Danielson, who currently sits in third on the General Classification.

Since bursting onto the scene with victories in the Tour of Qinghai Lake (2001), Tour de Langkawi (2003), Tour of Georgia (2005) and Tour of Austria (2006), the 33-year old has battled a mountain of expectation and a series of inconsistencies throughout his professional road racing career. One thing, however, that has never come into question is Danielson’s climbing acumen.

Before the start of Stage 5 of the Amgen Tour of California, I caught up with Danielson, who gauged his chances of pulling off a surprise.

“I feel really good,” commented Danielson on his current form. “I didn’t expect to be where I am now, but I gonna have to play all my cards on Mt. Baldy and I know that. That climb suits me real well and I’m really happy to be where I’m at. Now I have a couple of stages that will be difficult and I’ll just have to perform well there and do well on Mt. Baldy.”

About his chances during the ITT in Solvang, Danielson added, “Yeah, I’m good. Hopefully I’ve improved. The last couple of weeks I worked on it quite a bit because this year it hasn’t been my strong point so we’ll see how I can do. I’ve got form so that a big part of time trialing, along with the equipment. It think I’m there so we’ll see on Friday.”

Lenny B
Leonard Basobas - Among my many and varied interests are cycling and writing. I am deeply passionate about both. Strangely enough, neither has come very easy to me.I had such a horrible crash as a small child that I did not attempt to ride again until the 6th grade. From that point forward, you could say that I have had a love affair with two-wheels. When I was not out on my bike, I could be found tearing apart or putting back together other bikes. The frames and parts found in my parents’ basement today are a testament to that fact. Around the same time that I began riding again, a young rider named Greg Lemond had just won the U23 World Championships. Following his career was my entry point into the sport of cycling, but I never participated in organized racing until I was past my cycling prime. Today, a healthy curiosity about racing has me lining up on the road and in the nearest velodrome.In regard to writing, I am not a trained journalist. My writing, instead, strikes a creative bent in the form of short stories, at least when I not writing for my day job in clinical research. Although I have yet to be published for my creative writing, I have authored several abstracts and papers, and been published as the lead author for a paper in a well-known peer reviewed medical journal.I have covered the sport of cycling, as both writer and photographer, at such races as the Amgen Tour of California (2008 to 2014) and the US Pro Cycling Challenge. I was also the featured Guest Contributor for LIVESTRONG.com, commentating and moderating the site's live blogging feed during the 2009 Tour de France.