Defending champion Leipheimer retains overall lead heading into final stage of 2008 Amgen Tour of California

News & Results

02/24/2008| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen
The train of Quick Step riders leads the peloton.
The train of Quick Step riders leads the peloton.

Defending champion Leipheimer retains overall lead heading into final stage of 2008 Amgen Tour of California

Luciano Pagliarini claims victory after penalty shakes up stage 6 results.

sprint duo of Mario Cipollini (ITA) and Fred Rodriguez (USA).

But in that fight for position, wheels touched and down went Cipollini, Rodriguez and Cavendish in a heap. 
“Coming into the last two laps, I had Cipollini in front of me and Cavendish in front of him,” said Rodriguez.  “Cavendish swerved and took out Mario.  I had no where to go.  I basically T-boned Mario and then went head first into the pavement.”

Cavendish and Cipollini both remounted and chased back up through the cars to the field and then advanced for the sprint.

Just as the breakaway dissolved, the rider sitting in second overall, David Millar (GBR) of Team Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30, blasted off the front with Thomas Voeckler (FRA) of Bouygues Telecom in tow.  Saunier Duval rider Iker Camano (ESP) went with the move as well.

“I was trying to look around for him and that’s when he went,” said Leipheimer.  “My teammates Chris (Horner) and Chechu (Rubiero) got to the front - even in the midst of the Quick Step lead out - and brought him back.”
With that, the field prepared itself for a bunch sprint.  As the riders leapt out of their saddles, Dominique Rollin (CAN) of the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team pounced first and opened a margin.

He would be swarmed by the field, with Cavendish, bleeding from his crash, hitting the line first, followed by Pagliarini, Haedo and Bettini. 

Today’s stage brought few changes to the jersey leaders.  Sutherland was awarded the Tachyon Most Aggressive Rider Jersey.  Scott Nydam (USA) from Team BMC claimed the California Travel and Tourism King of the Mountains Jersey for the fourth consecutive day.  Rollin retained the Herbalife Sprint Leader Jersey for a third day.  Robert Gesink (NED) of Rabobank held onto the Union Bank of California Best Young Rider Jersey.  Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30 is still leading the team classification.

Today marked the fourth Breakaway Mile – a special one-mile honorary ride across the finish line celebrating local cancer survivors and their support teams -- at this year’s race.  At the finish line, prior to the conclusion of today’s stage, spectators celebrated Santa Clarita breast cancer survivor Brandi Newquist.  Joining Brandi were the people who helped her with her battle against cancer, including her husband Bobby, as well as members of her medical team and Amgen scientist Joe Miletich who plays a crucial role in developing innovative medicines.

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