Haedo wins stage one of Amgen Tour of California

News & Results

02/21/2006| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen
Top 3 on the podium: Haedo, O'Grady and Pollack. Photo copyright Roadcycling.com.
Top 3 on the podium: Haedo, O'Grady and Pollack. Photo copyright Roadcycling.com.

Haedo wins stage one of Amgen Tour of California

Leipheimer retains lead in front of hometown crowd in Santa Rosa, CA, USA.

A crowd of more than 130,000 from Sausalito to Santa Rosa watched the first stage of the Amgen Tour of
California
, won by Argentinean sprinter Juan Jos? Haedo of the Toyota-United Pro cycling team.
Santa Rosa
resident Levi Leipheimer (USA) kept his lead in the inaugural international professional cycling race.

 

 

On a stage that saw Leipheimer?s Gerolsteiner team set tempo for most of the day?s 81.5 miles ? from the first climb out of Sausalito through the Muir Woods National Monument until the sprinters? teams took over on the first of three finishing circuits in downtown Santa Rosa ? Haedo won with a significant gap over second place Olaf Pollack (GER) of T-Mobile Team and third-place Australian Stuart O?Grady of Team CSC.

 

A two-man breakaway composed of KodakGallery.com/Sierra Nevada Pro Cycling Team?s Jackson Stewart (USA) and Jean Marc Marino (FRA) of Credit Agricole escaped the field three miles before the first Clif Bar Sprint of the race in Point Reyes Station. The pair gained a maximum advantage of 3?22? and stayed away for 42 miles until being caught by the Gerolsteiner led field on the approach into
Santa Rosa
.

 



 

?The team worked for me to stay safe in the front, and then I was on my own [for] the last part.   I almost crashed at about 1 [kilometer], but I really decided to go and win the race.   I just went as hard as I could and I went a little bit early.   It was really good, eh?, said Haedo. "I'm really surprised that I had that big of a gap.   With nine ProTour teams, I was really surprised and at the same time, I worked for that, and I think I kicked at the right spot.   It was very emotional.?

 


 

With his win, Haedo also took the lead in the Clif Bar Sprint Competition and will wear the Clif Bar Sprint jersey during Stage Two. Bernhard Kohl (AUT) of T-Mobile Team keeps the California Travel and Tourism King of the Mountain Jersey and Colavita Olive/Sutter Home?s Zachary Grabowski (USA) stays in the Union Bank Best Young Rider Jersey. Stewart earned the Adobe Most Aggressive Rider Jersey for his role in the breakaway. Leipheimer retains his lead in the general classification and will wear the Amgen Leader Jersey for a second straight day.

 



 

?I?ve been dreaming for months, training the whole winter, every day, thinking about the possibility of winning the prologue and bringing the yellow jersey into my hometown, and then to actually realize that dream is something I can?t describe.   It?s an amazing feeling,? said Leipheimer after the stage. ?I got reports last night that they were expecting 50,000 people today and [thought] well, that?s maybe a little bit much.   But I think you saw today that was at least as many people out there.   It was very impressive to see the support for the race and for me.   I?m overwhelmed and very grateful.   It?s just a special day

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