Hincapie takes stage two win and leader jersey in San Jose
150000 fans watch major classification shake-up.
With the Amgen Tour of California on track to become the largest attended cycling event held on American soil as well as the most attended spectator sporting event in Californian history, George Hincapie of the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team proved strongest in today?s gruelling 95-mile mountain stage from Martinez to San Jose. With more than 150,000 fans lining the route, Hincapie captured the stage win and the overall Amgen Leader Jersey in the stage race that will continue daily through February 26. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
Following three neutral laps through picturesque downtown <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
The race turned on the Category One climb to
Finishing in fourth place, Gerolsteiner?s Levi Leipheimer (USA) lost his overall lead by
We wanted to try to make the race hard with two climbs to go. But that climb was really hard,? said Hincapie following the stage. ?Floyd and Levi are obviously very strong right now and I think they?ve done a lot of recon on the courses, they live here, so they probably knew what to expect. I think they?re climbing a lot better than I was today. But I stayed close, I stayed with my team mates and I knew that once we got together it would be tough for anybody to beat me. It came down to a sprint and I was pretty confident that I could win it.?
?The stage could have turned out differently had Zabriskie been able to bridge up on his own. But when he didn't, we did everything we could in order to catch the Leipheimer group and bring the first peloton back