Amgen Tour of California Stage 1 Teams & Riders' Comments
Teams, Riders comments and Photos of today's action:
Toyota/United Pro Cycling, Health Net presented by Maxxis, CSC, Kodakgallery.com/Sierra
JJ Haedo dominates the sprint Photo c. Scott Schaffrick and
Toyota/United Pro Cycling
Juan Jose Haedo Sprints to a First Place Finish in
Blasting from the peleton in the final 300 meters of today’s Stage One of the
Tour of California, Juan Jose Haedo of Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team, pulled
away from Prologue winner Levi Leipheimer of Gerolsteiner, CSC’s Stuart O’Grady,
and Discovery’s George Hincapie – besting some of the world’s most renowned
cyclists for a win in front of over 150,000 fans in Santa Rosa.
The 25-year-old, four-time Argentinean National Champion came from nowhere
for a surprise win after riding a total of 84 miles from Sausalito to Santa
Rosa. His win, by a gap of more than two-and-a-half bike lengths, marked the
first stage win of the race and first official scheduled race win for the new
Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team.
“My team did a great job keeping me safe,” said Haedo.
“I broke out in front and from then on it was all the way. I’ve won big races in
Argentina, but this is my biggest win on American soil. I can’t say I wasn’t
surprised, but I trained hard to be here and I put myself in a good position to
defend my jersey. We came here to win stages and we want to win a few more
stages in the next few days.”
It was a strategic move, according to Team Director Frankie Andreu. “Today it
was decided that every rider would help Haedo to win the stage,” said Andreu.
“Our main concern was to make sure J.J. and a few teammates would enter into the
circuit in good positions. We were confident that if the team could drop Haedo
off at one or two kilometers from the line that he would be able to finish it
Team Owner Sean Tucker says he wasn’t
surprised by the win.
“When we signed J.J., I knew we’d signed one of the fastest and most aggressive
sprinters in the world,” said Tucker. “After dreaming of building this team for
11 years it’s great to see it finally come together and win our first big race
on a world stage.”
In other team news, Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team’s Tony Cruz steered into a
9th place finish, helping the team move to 7th place overall as the team heads
into Stage Two, a 95-mile race from Martinez to San Jose that will include the
peleton’s first Category 1 ascent, the Sierra Road climb, 22 miles before the
“This takes enormous pressure off our shoulders,” said
Team Director Harm Jansen.
“It’s fantastic to see J.J. come out on top. Today we relied on our sprinters,
tomorrow we’ll rely on our climbers. We are enjoying today’s win, and now we can
focus on the next stage win.”
Podium Stage 1 AToCA
Photo c. Scott Schaffrick and
Following are today’s Stage One results, including the top 10 finishers and
& Toyota-United’s individual results
Sausalito to Santa Rosa (84 Miles)
1. HAEDO Juan José TUT 3.14'13"
2. POLLACK Olaf TMO 3.14'13”
3. O'GRADY Stuart CSC 3.14'13"
4. HUFF Charles Bradley TIA 3.14'13"
5. HINCAPIE George DSC 3.14'13"
6. RAPINSKI Viktor COL 3.14'13"
7. HASELBACHER René GST 3.14'13"
8. ELMIGER Martin PHO 3.14'13"
9. CRUZ Antonio TUT 3.14'13"
10. JULICH Bobby CSC 3.14'13"
67. FRIEDICK Mariano TUT 3.14'13"
68. ENGLAND Justin TUT 3.14'13"
77. BALDWIN Christopher TUT 3.14'13"
81. GARCIA José-Manuel TUT 3.14'13"
88. BLACKGROVE Heath TUT 3.14'13"
112. DOMINGUEZ Ivan TUT 3.14'42"
G.C. After Stage One:
1. LEIPHEIMER Levi GST 3.19'06"
2. JULICH Bobby CSC 3.19'11"
3. HINCAPIE George DSC 3.19'12"
4. LANDIS Floyd PHO 3.19'12"
5. ZABRISKIE David CSC 3.19'15"
15. BLACKGROVE Heath TUT 3.19'20"
24. BALDWIN Christopher TUT 3.19'23"
63. ENGLAND Justin TUT 3.19'34"
69. HAEDO Juan José TUT 3.19'36"
71. GARCIA José-Manuel TUT 3.19'37"
87. CRUZ Antonio TUT 3.19'42"
105. FRIEDICK Mariano TUT 3.19'57"
114. DOMINGUEZ Ivan TUT 3.20'34"
The Tour of California marks Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team’s first public
appearance since the team’s official launch on Feb. 7. The team’s presence at
the Tour of California includes a large expo tent that captures cycling fans’
interest featuring a look at the new 2006 Toyota RAV4, the team’s limited
edition team issue bicycle by United Bicycles, a team video, a life-size standup
of the team (a crowd favorite), a retail store including apparel and team
merchandise, and membership kiosks allowing fans to become a part of the
About Toyota: Toyota established operations in the United States in
1957 and currently operates ten manufacturing plants including one under
construction. There are more than 1,400 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in
the U.S. which sell more than 2 million vehicles a year. Toyota directly employs
over 32,000 in the U.S. and its investment here
Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada Pro Cycling Team
Jackson Stewart Most Agressive Rider
With Jackson Stewart (Los Gatos, CA) winning the Most Aggressive Rider prize,
things went according to plan for the Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada Pro Cycling
Team in today’s first road stage of the Amgen Tour of California, covering 81.5
miles from Sausalito to Santa Rosa.
After the Gerolsteiner team of race leader Levi Leipheimer controlled the
field over the initial climbs out of Sausalito through Muir Woods, Stewart and
Credit Agricole’s Jean-Marc Marino found themselves clear of the field about
four miles ahead of the Clif Bar sprint line at Point Reyes Station.
advantage of the advice given by Racing Manager Jonas Carney in last night’s
team meeting, Stewart surprised Marino by starting his sprint well ahead of the
left-hand corner leading up to the sprint line.
Although the pair’s advantage over the field would grow to over three minutes,
they were caught on the run-in to Santa Rosa with around 15 miles to go after 43
miles off the front. Stewart’s effort earned him the Adobe Most Aggressive Rider
“Marino established the move,” said Stewart, “but I was waiting and I jumped on
it. We rolled pretty well together, and I was pretty sure I’d get the most
aggressive jersey after I won the sprint at Point Reyes. This is really good for
Stewart looks back for Marino after taking the sprint at Point Reyes
Carney added, “Considering the competition that we’re up against,
we’re really pleased to have won the intermediate sprint and the most aggressive
jersey. Also, Ben and Martin did a great job of positioning in the finale, even
though things got a little crazy in the last kilometer. This was a good day for
Race organizers estimated that 130,000 spectators attended today’s stage,
which also marked the road racing debut of Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada
sponsor SRAM’s new professional-level road component group.
Team leader Ben Jacques-Maynes commented, “I’ve ridden the SRAM group
in training and a couple shorter races, and I was looking forward to using it in
a major race. I was confident that it would perform as needed and it didn’t let
Tomorrow’s difficult stage from Martinez to San Jose will be an important
test for Jacques-Maynes himself, as a San Jose resident and Kodakgallery.com/Sierra
Nevada’s co-leader along with Dominique Perras.
D. S. Jonas Carney said of tomorrow’s stage, “We’re going to swing for
Health Net Presented by Maxxis Report
With no major climbs, Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California was expected to be
a day for the sprinters, with the Health Net Pro Cycling Team Presented by
Maxxis looking to set up Canadian Gord Fraser for the finish. However, a
puncture mid-way through the first of three 5 km finishing circuits in Santa
Rosa took Fraser out of contention, despite the best efforts of teammate Mike
Jones to pace him back to the fast-moving peloton.
Instead, with the first climbing stage looming on Tuesday, the team had to
content itself with keeping overall race contenders Hayden Roulston (8th) and
Nathan O’Neill (t-19th) out of trouble.
“Coming into the finish we had decided to set up Gord for the sprint,” team
Directeur Sportif Jeff Corbett said. “When
he flatted, that pretty much took him out of it, and unfortunately, Greg
Henderson wasn’t on a good day.
“Guys like (Mike) Sayers and Roulston can try and have a go, but on a stage like
today’s, unless you’re a pure sprinter it’s hard to be successful.”
Notes: Sayers was the highest finisher on the day for Health Net Presented by
Maxxis in 11th. Roulston came across the line in 20th position. Fraser finished
safely in the bunch to maintain his top 20 position in the overall.
The team remained 5th overall in the team classification.
O'Grady Third in Tour of California Stage 1
Australian sprinter Stuart O' Grady took third in a bunch sprint at the end of
what was an otherwise quiet Stage 1 for Team CSC in the Tour of California.
With only two 750-foot climbs, the flat ride along the coast from Sausalito
north to Santa Rosa seemed destined for a breakaway or a bunch sprint. It got
both, with a two-man breakaway that lasted almost to in Santa Rosa. But once the
peloton hit the 3.1-mile technical finishing circuit, the sprint trains churned
into action and took over. In the final three laps the peloton stretched almost
single file as speeds hit nearly 40 miles per hour. Despite the presence of
established sprinters like O'Grady and Fred Rodriguez of Davitomon Lotto, the
stage went to a relative unknown: Juan José Haedo, an Argentine with the newest
U.S. domestic team, Team Toyota-United Pro.
results were even more impressive considering that CSC didn't have a sprint
train to lead him to the line. CSC's main priorities today were protecting David
Zabriskie and Bobby Julich for general classification. " If Stuart could do
something on his own, that was great," said Team CSC sport director Scott
Sunderland. "He's a very capable sprinter – he can look to see what the other
sprinter's teams are doing and can grab hold of those trains."
Despite a crowded start site that saw O'Grady knocked off his bike by a
photographer, CSC had a relatively calm day. CSC was able to sit in the peloton
and conserve its strength, in part because golden jersey wearer Levi
Leipheimer's Gerolsteiner squad was obligated to reel in any attacks off the
front of the pack.
" We just kept the guys together, in case they needed to do something they do it
as a whole," Sunderland said.
Tuesday's Stage 2 is expected to be the first stage to bring about a split in
the peloton. The 95-mile stage from Martinez to San Jose hits a single Category
1 mountain, the Sierra Road climb east of San Jose. But the road to the peak is
so narrow that not all the peloton will be able to fit on it at once, so riders
who want to have a shot at the golden jersey will need to be in the front of the
peloton when the roads start to squeeze.
Bobby Julich’s thoughts about the outcome of today’s Stage 1: “I
was a little surprised when the Discovery Team lit it up on the climb. But it
was pretty much business as usual, a sprint finish.”
On his strategy for today’s stage: “Save enough energy for tomorrow
and the next day.”
Stage 2? Arguably the most challenging stage of the tour:
“The whole thing is challenging. It’s a very difficult stage, especially with
that climb at the end with about 25 kilometers to go. It’s going to be very
On being back in Santa Rosa, Calif.: “I’m very happy. I have a lot
of friends over here so it’s so nice to see them and hang out for a bit.”
HAEDO WINS STAGE ONE OF AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA
Leipheimer Retains Lead In Front of Hometown Crowd in Santa Rosa
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 José
Haedo of the Toyota-United Pro cycling team. Santa Rosa resident Levi Leipheimer
(USA) kept his lead in the inaugural international professional cycling race
throughout California from February 19-26.
Gerolsteiner sets tempo Photo c. Scott Schaffrick and
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.
Cycling Crazy Santa Rosa!
Photo c. Scott Schaffrick and www.dailypelton.com
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.
JJ Haedo “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
“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
It’s an amazing feeling,” said Leipheimer. “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 for me,” he added.
“We could not have scripted this any better, with Levi riding into his
hometown in the leader jersey. It was a fantastic day for the event and for
cycling,” said Shawn Hunter, president of AEG Sports. “We knew we had
something special here, and I think it is exceeding all of our expectations. It
was very special, and we still think our biggest and best days are ahead.”
Levi Photo c. Scott
Schaffrick and www.dailypelton.com
Amgen’s vice president of Corporate Communications and Philanthropy Phyllis
Piano presented the Amgen Leader Jersey to Leipheimer. “It was a great honor to
present the leader jersey to Levi Leipheimer on behalf of Amgen today. As the
title sponsor of the Amgen Tour of California, we would like to extend a special
thanks to the city of Santa Rosa, home to an avid cycling community, for being
such an enthusiastic host city.”
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