Thor Hushovd Wins Stage 3 of 2009 Tour of California
Levi Leipheimer crashes, but maintains overall race lead.
just the last corner,” said Hushovd. “Then, (Brett) Lancaster (AUS) [of Cervelo Test Team] and I started to pass with only 150 meters to go, so our team did a great job today. I’m really proud of them.”
Mark Renshaw told Roadcycling.com about his experiences riding as leadout man for Team Columbia-Highroad's sprinter ace Mark Cavendish in today's Tour of California stage. “Today’s finish was extremely dangerous with the turns and the wet conditions. With one kilometer to go, I knew he (Mark Cavendish) was behind me. Just before last corner, Mark lost my wheel; I think it was one of the Rock Racing riders. Unfortunately, I got a rider in between George (Hincapie) and myself, and then when the sprint started, Mark lost the wheel. Having guys in between me and Cavendish made it hard to work as a unit today. I tried to do the best sprint I could, and I was hoping he’d find my wheel again. It is a little disappointing; we put in a lot of work today, but that’s how it goes. Maybe we’ll get another chance this week.”
Rabobank's Oscar Freire (ESP) and Team Columbia-Highroad’s Mark Renshaw (AUS) trailed in just behind for second and third, respectively. Mark Cavendish (GBR) of Team Columbia-Highroad, one of the most well-known sprinters in the world, took fifth in the stage. All of the riders that were in the top of the overall classification were in the group for the bunch sprint at the finish of the stage.
Three jerseys remained unchanged after Stage 3, including Leipheimer in the Amgen Leader Jersey, Mancebo in the Herbalife Sprint Jersey and Gesink in the Rabobank Best Young Rider Jersey. Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer™ Most Courageous Rider Jersey was awarded to White. Mollema took the California Travel & Tourism Commission King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey.
“Like the level of competition, the crowds here at the Amgen Tour of California continue to increase and get better each day,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports. “With BMC’s Jeff Louder holding onto the lead for quite some time, and four of the top-five general classification leaders also being American, U.S. cycling has put on an incredible showing, which could certainly continue throughout the remainder of the race. What’s truly exciting is that with five days of competition still to come, no fewer than ten riders could win the race this Sunday in Escondido.”
Commenting further on his crash Leipheimer told Roadcycling.com that "Usually you can put your foot down and pull it out, but not today. I went down. It was actually one of those crashes that hurts really bad right away, but goes away, so I think that’s a good sign. With Chris (Horner) crashing, the gap got a lot bigger so we had to shut it down; without the crash, it would have been a lot easier. The circuit we very, very nerve racking. It’s the first time we’ve done that this year and now it’s back to racing. I forget how hectic it can be."
On riding with his new