Robert Gesink rode away with the 2012 Tour of California with a well-timed attack on the slopes of Mt. Baldy, and after staying out of any crashes or other trouble on a loop around Los Angeles, he was awarded the final yellow leader's jersey and the overall victory Sunday afternoon. The Rabobank rider finished with a time of 29:14:52. David Zabriskie (Garmin-Barracuda) earned his fourth second place finish in Tour history, 46 seconds behind Gesink. Tom Danielson, also of Garmin, came in third at 54 seconds behind. Santa Rosa's Team BMC had high hopes for their young rider Tejay Van Garderen, and he finished just off the podium, in fourth place and 1:17 out of the lead.
Gesink is only the second non-American to win the Tour of California, the other being Michael Rogers of Australia. The win marks Gesink's return from a terrible injury last year, suffering a full leg break in an accident. Zabriskie's fourth place finish is a record, and it is one that will likely be unique to Zabriskie. Many grand tours end with a time trial as the deciding stage, and anyone can put in a performance strong enough to rocket up the standings. The Tour of California typically has the individual time trial before the queen stage with a mountaintop finish, and Zabriskie isn't a strong enough climber to hold on to whatever gains he makes in the time trial.
Peter Sagan (Liquigas) took the sprint victory in stage eight, giving him five out of the eight stages. He won the green points jersey, looking dominant throughout as he won every stage with a sprint finish. Sebastian Salas (Optum Pro Cycling) takes the King of the Mountain jersey.