Juan Jose Haedo Wins Stage 6 of Tour of California

News & Results

02/25/2007| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen

Juan Jose Haedo Wins Stage 6 of Tour of California

Levi Leipheimer (Discovery Channel) maintains overall lead before tomorrow?s final stage.

The biggest Amgen Tour of
California
crowd to date witnessed Team CSC's Juan Jose "J.J." Haedo (ARG) win a sprint to the finish line in Santa Clarita to take his second stage, with overall race leader, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team's Levi Leipheimer (USA) close behind, maintaining possession of the Amgen Leader Jersey going into Sunday's final stage in Long Beach, Calif.

 

Today's Stage 6 of the Amgen Tour of California saw the toughest racing, the warmest weather and the biggest crowds of the seven racing days so far, as the peloton of world-class cyclists competed along a hilly route from
Santa Barbara
to Santa Clarita.

 

Haedo's (ARG) sprint effort at the finish overtook T-Mobile Team's Greg Henderson (NZL), Paolo Bettini (ITA), the world champion rider for Quick Step-Innergetic, Credit Agricole's Thor Hushovd (NOR) and Predictor-Lotto's Freddie Rodriguez (USA).

 

?I had to go really deep the whole day.   I think it was the hardest day in the Amgen Tour of
California
for sure," said Haedo.   "It was a hard day for the sprinters to go over the climb; there was a lot of attacking.   I made my way back to the big group before the third KOM [King of the Mountains], and then I tried to stay in the front with my team.?

 

Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team's Levi Leipheimer (USA), the general classification leader since the Prologue in
San Francisco
seven days ago, retained the Amgen Leader Jersey after a 65-mile ( 105 km ) breakaway spearheaded by Team CSC's Stuart O?Grady (AUS), which earned him today's Adobe Most Aggressive Rider Jersey.

 

?I don?t have the words to describe what my team went through today.   They threw everything they had at us.   I?ll be honest, it was stressful,? said Leipheimer.

 

According to CHP estimates, the crowd was the biggest of any in the 15 stages of the Amgen Tour of
California
since the race debuted last year.  

 

?It?s exciting, and people were curious how we would do in our sophomore year.   The CHP told us today that point to point it was the biggest stage we?ve had in our two years," said Shawn Hunter, president of AEG Sports.   "We?ve had some great racing out there.   We?re very proud and more committed than ever.   We love this sport.?

 

Pat McQuaid, president of Union Cycliste International (UCI), the international governing body of cycling, also was on hand for today's stage.

 

?This race is bigger than it was last year.   There are more people on the sidelines," said McQuaid at a post-race press conference.   "The organization has gotten bigger.   I?m very happy with their [the organizers'] continued commitment to this event."

 

In an example of the aggressive riding today, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team's George Hincapie (USA) and Tony Cruz (USA) touched wheels during an attack and crashed after only three miles ( 5 km ) of racing.   Hincapie, who won two stages in last year's Amgen Tour of California

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