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Mt. Baldy: Amgen Tour of California's crown

By: Bruce Hildenbrand

Penultimate stage's finishing climb could decide race

Even as he was dominating with three successive wins at the Amgen Tour of California, Levi Leipheimer was very vocal about his desire for a true mountain top finish for America's premier stage race. Last October, when the organizers announced a stage to the Mt. Baldy ski station, the race had its first legitimate summit finish.

"We decided about a year ago that we were going to do it; have a true mountain top finish," said president of AEG Sports Andrew Messick. "We hadn't, at that point, figured out where. You have to really want it because they are hard to organize. They are logistically complicated: You have to deal with power, you have to deal with access to telephones, you have to deal with how you are going to take care of your VIPs, hospitality. There are a lot of moving parts and it is really, really hard when you are doing it on top of a mountain.

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