California 1: Haedo gallops to sprint win

CSC delivers stage win, retains overall with Cancellara

Juan Jose Haedo had already won more stages of the Amgen Tour of California than any other rider coming into Monday's 156k stage one, but the Argentinian CSC sprinter tacked one more win on for good measure in the bunch gallop into Santa Rosa.

Haedo was delivered to the line by a well-oiled Team CSC machine, which succeeded in both protecting Fabian Cancellara's yellow jersey and taking the stage win at the same time. The QuickStep train controlled much of the race finale, but an untimely tangle with George Hincapie (High Road) put Tom Boonen at the back of the main group with 300 metres to go.

Haedo hit out hard, getting to the line lengths ahead of High Road's Gerald Ciolek and Heinrich Haussler (Gerolsteiner). Hincapie escaped his wreck with some road rash, finishing 73rd, just four places behind Boonen.

How the race began

Stage One began at a leisurely pace from Sausalito, but at kilometre 17, Team BMC Racing's Jackson Stewart caught Kelly Benefit Strategies' Justin Spinelli and Rock Racing's Victor Hugo Pena and flew past down a bumpy descent, gaining a few seconds lead.

The peloton was content to let the lone rider gain time, and his lead ballooned to nearly 13 minutes as he headed up the Pacific Coast, mopping up all three intermediate sprints and the one mountain prime of the day. Stewart was caught with 30 kilometres to go, but ended the day with both the points and mountains classification lead.

Mark Cavendish (High Road) battled Slipstream/Chipotle's Tyler Farrar in the intermediate sprints, but wound up in the second group on the road. The Slipstream boys set a furious pace to ensure he could not get back on terms, setting up Farrar for a chance at yellow just two seconds behind Cancellara after gaining three bonus seconds.

Cavendish then suffered a flat in the closing circuits, losing touch with his group, but was given the same time as it happened in the final three kilometres. Farrar was shut out of the bonus seconds in the finishing sprint, taking sixth, but will fight for the overall lead in the two intermediate sprints on Stage Two into Sacramento Tuesday.

See for more details & pics from the Tour of California. Also, Procycling's Daniel Friebe is in California. check out his daily post-race blogs here.

Back to top