Levi Leipheimer Rides to Overall Victory in 2007 Amgen Tour of California

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02/26/2007| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen

Levi Leipheimer Rides to Overall Victory in 2007 Amgen Tour of California

Levi golden in 2007.

After eight days leading the peloton of 144 elite, international cyclists that included Olympic medalists and world champions, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team's Levi Leipheimer (USA) was crowned as champion of the 2007 Amgen Tour of California today with a total time of 24 hours, 57 minutes and 24 seconds. A resident of Santa Rosa, Calif., Leipheimer is the second consecutive Californian to win the title.

"It's one of my most satisfying victories because our team really had to fight hard. I don't know if any other team could have done it besides the Discovery Channel team," said Leipheimer.

The race continued to attract record crowds, besting its own record of 1.3 million fans last year, and shoring its place as the most attended cycling race in the
U.S.

"In only its second year, the Amgen Tour of California continues to grow as the largest cycling event in America, and we've been proud to host the best field of cyclists ever to race on
U.S.
soil," said Shawn Hunter, president of AEG Sports, presenters of the race. "We love this sport, and we are committed to making it bigger and better every year to come. We want this race to be as important on
U.S.
soil as the Tour de France is in that country one day."

Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy) was one of the cycling fans on hand today, in support of Amgen's Breakaway from CancerTM complementary initiative.

?The 2007 Amgen Tour of California has been a thrilling race that saw the world?s best cyclists battle it out on some of the most punishing and spectacular terrain that California has to offer,? said George Morrow, Amgen executive vice president, global commercial operations.

The seventh and final stage of the Amgen Tour of California was held in
Long Beach , Calif., with enthusiastic crowds lining the ten laps of a 7.75-mile ( 12.5 km ) circuit.

Leipheimer maintained a 21-second lead over Team CSC's Jens Voigt (GER) in the general classification to put Voigt second overall, with Discovery Channel Pro's Jason McCartney (USA) placing third overall. Team CSC riders took the next three spots, securing a win for Team CSC in the team classification.

?It's been an interesting race, and first of all I want to say the courses are very good. There is great potential in this race. I think it has a big future," said Bjarne Riis, Team CSC's Directeur Sportif.

Agoura Hills, Calif.-based Ivan Dominguez (CUB) of the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team won the stage in an electrically charged sprint to the finish. He outpaced Rabobank's Graeme Brown (AUS) and T-Mobile's Gerald Ciolek (GER), who took second and third in the stage.

The attacks in today?s stage began within the first minute of racing, and before halfway through the first lap, a breakaway group of seven riders had formed, including Team Slipstream powered by Chipotle's Danny Pate (USA), who was voted by journalists as the Adobe Most Aggressive Rider.

For the first four laps, the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team chased alone, but were eventually joined by

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