Hometown Hero Levi Leipheimer Takes Victory at 2007 Amgen Tour of California Prologue in San Francisco for Second Straight Year

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02/19/2007| 0 comments
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Hometown Hero Levi Leipheimer Takes Victory at 2007 Amgen Tour of California Prologue in San Francisco for Second Straight Year

For the second consecutive year, Santa Rosa resident Levi Leipheimer (Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) rode to victory during the 2007 Amgen Tour of California Prologue stage before an enthusiastic crowd that
San Francisco
city officials estimated to be between 280,000 to 300,000 fans.

For the second consecutive year, Santa Rosa resident Levi Leipheimer (Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) rode to victory during the 2007 Amgen Tour of California Prologue stage before an enthusiastic crowd that
San Francisco
city officials estimated to be between 280,000 to 300,000 fans.

Reaching
Coit Tower from San Francisco 's famed Embarcadero in a record time of 4:49.05, Leipheimer will once again proudly ride into Santa Rosa wearing the Amgen Leader's Jersey when Stage 1 takes the riders from Sausalito to
Santa Rosa
Monday morning.

Among the record crowds, cycling fan Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy) was on hand in support of race sponsor Amgen's complementary initiative, Breakaway from Cancer .

Fitting for the largest sporting event in the state, two
California
cyclists placed in the top three. Behind Leipheimer, Jason Donald (Team Slipstream Powered by Chipotle) took second place, followed by
San Jose
resident Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (Priority Health Cycling Team Presented by Bissell) . Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team (
USA
) leads the general team classification after today with a total time of 14:45.

Commenting on his stage win Levi Leipheimer told Roadcycling.com that ?I didn?t feel my legs. I was obviously super-motivated to win today. Everybody came back and told me about this headwind, that the wind had changed, and a I think a few years ago that might have affected me, but I just told myself ?I have to win today,? and I knew exactly the pace I had to go, and Johan (Bruyneel ? his team manager) did an awesome job? he knows exactly what to say behind me. I was like, four, maybe five seconds ahead of George (Hincapie) at the bottom of the climb, and I knew I had so much left. I really saved a lot and then before halfway up the climb, he told me I had ten seconds. I knew that was enough to win. It hurt, but I did it??


A 180-degree wind shift after the first 30 minutes of racing put the later riders at a disadvantage. The final rider of the day, Leipheimer rode hard into the wind to best last year's time of 4:53.43 by about 4 seconds for the 1.92 mile-course (3.1km), which ended with a steep climb to the San Francisco landmark,
Coit Tower.

"This gives me the opportunity to wear the leader's jersey into my hometown of Santa Rosa," added the jubilant 33 year-old who stated in the pre-race press conference that doing so in this race one year ago had provided him with one of the best days of his career. "This race ranks up there with some of the best on a very short list in the world. It looks good for American cycling. "

Early in the day, the seventh rider to start, neo-pro Jason Donald (Team Slipstream presented by Chipotle) , from
Winter Park , Colo. surprised everybody by posting a time of 4:50.97. Neither the road cycling world champion, Italy's Paolo Bettini (Quick Step-Innergetic) , who placed 122nd with a time of 5:31.57, nor the time trial world

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