Two efficient protocols for the synthesis of tert-butyl (5S,6R,2E,7E)-5-[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)-oxy]-6-methyl-8-phenyl-2,7-octadie noate, a major component of the cryptophycins, are reported. The first utilized the Noyori reduction and Frater alkylation of methyl 5-benzyloxy-3-oxopentanoate to set two stereogenic centers, which became the C16 hydroxyl and C1' methyl of the cryptophycins. The second approach started from 3-p-methoxybenzyloxypropanal and a crotyl borane reagent derived from (-)-α-pinene to set both stereocenters in a single step and provided the dephenyl analogue, tert-butyl (5S,6R,2E)-5-[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-6-methyl-2,7-octadienoate, in five steps. This compound was readily converted to the 8-phenyl compound via Heck coupling. The silanyloxy esters were efficiently deprotected and coupled to the C2-C10 amino acid fragment to provide desepoxyarenastatin A and its dephenyl analogue. The terminal olefin of the latter was further elaborated via Heck coupling. Epoxidation provided cryptophycin-24 (arenastatin A).