Tom Boonen gave his QuickStep team its first victory in the 2008 Amgen Tour of California on stage two, taking out a soggy bunch sprint in Sacramento ahead of German Heinrich Haussler (Gerolsteiner) and the returning Lion King, Mario Cipollini (Rock Racing).
The win was the first on American soil for the Belgian former world champion. The morning’s leader Fabian Cancellara (CSC) lost hold of the leader’s yellow fleece, handing it off to Team Slipstream’s young sprinter Tyler Farrar. The 23-year-old took three seconds worth of intermediate sprint bonuses, which when combined with his four seconds in yesterday’s stage put him into the lead of the general classification.
The day started out with a cold, steady drizzle in Santa Rosa, and the first attack of the day was launched virtually from the start with Scott Nydam (BMC Racing Team) and Steven Cozza (Slipstream Chipotle) taking the first lead. Cozza quickly thought better of spending the day off the front, and went back to the peloton, while Nydam, a Santa Rosa resident, forged ahead alone.
Nydam spent more than four hours alone off the front, more than enough time to give his father, who is fighting a battle with cancer, a chance to see him on the television coverage. Nydam took the category two Trinity Grade and the other category four climb before being swallowed up by the sprinter’s teams with 23km to go.
Sébastien Turgot (Bouygues Telecom) had a go of a solo move shortly after the catch of Nydam, and had gained nearly one minute before a flat tyre ended his chance of glory. Coming into the finishing circuits, CSC’s JJ Haedo, the points leader, also suffered a flat, but was able to chase back on to contest the finale. But nobody could stop Tornado Tom, who took the sprint by a clear length ahead of Haussler.
Look for a complete race report on our sister site www.cyclingnews.com, including the full results posted here.