They just gave him the aggressive rider jersey for some free pubblicity after an escape where he was the first to be dropped.
Cheng Ji is much better than him imho (yeah I know he just dns today but as value for a team he's superior).
I didn't watch that stage, but thanks for the insight! Cheng Ji is a stronger rider, I agree.
I must say from the standpoint of the Southern California scene there isn't too much buzz about this year's race. In part this is because the stages that are in our area are sort of 'out there' and mid week. The Escondido stage will get more buzz with the San Diego area fans/racers/enthusiasts, and certainly the Northern California stages will have a strong showing of the fans, especially with the Mt. Diablo summit finish. For SoCal though, the overall excitement for this year's ToC has been muted (at best) compared to prior years. Just my personal perception of it.
I can understand the organizers trying to modify the route a bit for many reasons. Going South to North helps to minimize the chance of running into weather issues, even if it's just a week difference.
The Tour of California isn't a very prestigious race just yet. That's fine. At least we have a race! Those of you in Europe often take for granted how valuable it is to have a televised Pro Tour race in your area or within close range.
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