California 8: Leipheimer wins third Tour of California in a row

Frank Schleck wins final stage

California resident Levi Leipheimer (Astana) won his third consecutive Amgen Tour of California with surgical precision Sunday, as the peloton completed nearly 800 miles of racing since the 8-stage race began in Sacramento February 14.

Frank Schleck (Team Saxo Bank) beat breakaway companion Vincent Nibali (Liquigas) to win the 156km final stage from Rancho Bernardo to Escondido Sunday, wrapping up what was a roller coaster week that started with prologue winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) dropping out due to sickness part way through Stage 1. Lance Armstrong (Astana), Floyd Landis (Team OUCH) and Ivan Basso (Liquigas) all brought huge crowds to an already popular event, but it was Leipheimer who stole the lead after Stage 2 into Santa Cruz Monday, holding on through the wet week, then stamping his authority on the race by winning Friday's time trial in Solvang.

Leipheimer beat second-place finisher Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream) by 36 seconds.

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