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ToC reaches new heights despite detour

Updated: July 22, 2010, 7:05 PM ET
By Jim Caple | ESPN.com

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Sunday's final stage of this year's Tour of California was a circuit race, four laps around a 21-mile course that included a nasty 5K, 1,000-foot climb. The cyclists rode hard, climbed this painful, exhausting mountain, reached the top, flew dangerously fast down the road, leveled out for awhile, sailed across the finish line … and then repeated the process. Again. And again. It was daunting enough that almost a quarter of the riders, already well out of the running, ...

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