Stage three of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California starts in San Jose, the only city to host a stage in every year of the race's existence. It's 115 miles from the start in San Jose to the finish in Livermore, but all eyes will be on just 10.8 miles of the race: the miles from the bottom to the top of Mt. Diablo. Fans of the race have been wanting to see the professionals tackle Mt. Diablo for years, and this year they get their wish. The riders will climb 2,250 vertical feet over just under 11 miles.
The mountain comes nowhere near the finish of the stage, so it's unlikely that any of the GC contenders will stage an attack on the slopes. It's much more likely that a breakaway will try for the King of the Mountain points, with the prize going to the cyclist who can suffer the best. The stage sees another, smaller climb over Patterson Pass, and then it's downhill to the finish. If teams can get their sprinters over the hills without cracking, expect a sprint finish in Livermore. If the hills prove to be too much, though, all bets are off.
Start: San Jose, 11:35am PDT
Live coverage on NBC Sports Network starting at 2:00pm PDT
Streaming live via the Radioshack Tour Tracker
SB Nation Bay Area will continue to bring you previews, results, updates and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. As always, for cycling news and analysis, Podium Cafe has you covered.