Today’s second stage of the Tour of California saw double stage winner J.J. Haedo add a third victor
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Report by Amgentourofcalifornia.com Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California between Santa Rosa to Sacramento was won by Team CSC sprinter J.J. Haedo in a bunch sprint. Haedo, who claimed two stage wins in last year’s race, beat Luca Paolini (Liquigas) and Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole). Levi Leipheimer (Discovery Channel) retained the race leader’s gold jersey, which was presented to him by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Coming up to the line, Haedo was more than four bike lengths clear of his rivals – an enormous margin in a bunch sprint. “We had a hard day yesterday and put everything into today for the win,” he said at the press conference. “I’m sure tomorrow everyone is going to make an even bigger effort to bring me to the line. It’s a good thing to win a race here because it gives the team confidence in me.” Race leader Leipheimer is still happy to be on top after the controversial decision to grant him and around 50 other riders the winner’s time after a crash with 10 km to go yesterday. “I am taking it day by day,” he said. “That’s all we can do because there are a lot of very good riders out there who are just waiting in the wings, and our team has had to do a lot of work. But it’s worth it because we get to lead the Amgen Tour of California, and I get to wear the yellow jersey. But we’ll see because tomorrow’s a decisive stage.” The top three on GC are all American, with first year pro Jason Donald (Team Slipstream Powered by Chipotle) in second place and Ben Jacques-Maynes (Priority Health Cycling Team Presented by Bissell) in third. The stage was marked by a three-man breakaway that lasted more than 80 miles. The break included Credit Agricole’s Christoph Laurent, Irish national champion David McCann (Colavita-Sutter Homes), and Omer Kem (Priority Health). Laurent was the main protagonist, taking two king of the mountains climbs, and both sprints the group encountered along the way. But soon after initiating the breakaway, on the category 2 climb of Trinity Grade, the Frenchman realized that it would likely not succeed. Still, he enjoyed his time in the sun. “This was a really beautiful stage today, and there were so many cheering fans out watching the race in every small town and village,” he said. “When I was on the Trinity Grade climb, it felt like I was in the Tour de France!,” In the king of the mountain classification there was no change to the leadership, with Team Slipstream’s Thomas Peterson maintaining a three-point lead over Laurent and Quick Step-Innergetic’s Jurgen Van de Walle. In the sprint classification, Discovery Channel’s Allan Davis kept the lead, while in the young rider’s classification, Team Slipstream’s Taylor Tolleson also kept his top spot. Stage 2 results 1 Juan Jos Haedo (Arg, Team CSC) 4:40:39 2 Luca Paolini (Ita, Liquigas) 3 Thor Hushovd (Nor, Credit Agricole) 4 Allan Davis (Aus, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 5 Gerald Ciolek (Ger, T-mobile) 6 Graeme Brown (Aus, Rabobank) 7 Greg Henderson (NZl, T-mobile) 8 Ivan Dominguez (Cub, Toyota United Pro) 9 Hilton Clarke (Aus, Navigators Insurance Cycling Team) 10 Paolo Bettini (Ita, Quick.Step) General classification after stage 2 1 Levi Leipheimer (USA, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 0:09:02:47 2 Jason Donald (USA, Team Slipstream powered by Chipotle) 0:00:01 3 Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (USA, Priority Health Cycling Team) 0:00:05 4 Rory Sutherland (Aus, Health Net presented by Maxxis) 5 Hilton Clarke (Aus, Navigators Insurance Cycling Team) 6 Fabian Cancellara (Swi, Team CSC) 0:00:06 7 George Hincapie (USA, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 8 Adam Hansen (Aus, T-mobile) 9 Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Col, Rabobank) 0:00:07 10 Ben Day (Aus, Navigators Insurance Cycling Team) 0:00:08 Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.