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Amgen Tour of California Stage 2
By Staff
Date: 2/21/2006
Amgen Tour of California Stage 2

Amgen Tour of California Stage 2
George Hincapie Wins Stage 2, Chris Horner, Josep Jufre, Leipeheimer, Julich and Landis Follow. George Hincapie in Gold as G.C. Leader. Race Report, Updated with top ten results and Photos from the race.

Amgen Tour of California Stage 2
Martinez to San Jose 152.7 km (94.2 miles)
The race was off shortly after 11 am this morning, in cool temperatures that had riders wearing leg and arm warmers wasn't too long before the race and the riders warmed up

Mike Creed of TIAA Cref (former Prime Alliance/Discovery) broke away at mile 10 to capture the first King of the Mountain points, Ben Jacques-Maynes and Mads Kaggestad bridged up to Creed at mile 14 mile. The three quickly built up a lead of 1:20.

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 (CSC) said yesterday when asked about the stage, "Arguably the most challenging stage of the tour. The whole thing is challenging. Itís a very difficult stage, especially with that climb at the end with about 25 kilometers to go. Itís going to be very difficult.Ē
Bobby added at the start today, that CSC has come to win this race.

The riders face two decisive days in San Jose. After neutral parade laps in the start city of Martinez, the stage is a hilly ride through the East Bay that will bring the race over its first significant climb. Coming 22 miles before the finish line in downtown San Jose, the Sierra Road climb east of the city center will be the first Category One (highest ranked in order of difficulty) ascent in the King of the Mountains competition.

Levi Leipheimer and the Gerolsteiner's "water boys" took up the chase but without the full cooperation of the peloton. The trio of escapees Creed, Jacques Maynes and Kaggestad, working well together built their lead up to 4.30 by the 27 mile marker.

Gerolsteiner Hammering the Chase Up Palomares Canyon Photo c. Richard Lozes

50 miles into the race the escapees have increased their lead to over 5 minutes as Gerolsteiner takes up the chase with new resolve to limit their time losses. The peloton seems content to let Levi and his team pursue Creed and Company.

Ben Jacques Maynes "Leader on the Road"
Current G.C. mid race, we have: Mike Creed (TIAA Cref) at 33 seconds, Ben Jacques Maynes ( Nevada) at :15 seconds, and Mads (Credit Agricole)at:22 . This makes Maynes the defacto leader in Gold, on the road at this point.
Mads is the veteran of the riders at 28, Mike Creed age 24, and Ben Jacques Maynes 25 years old.

Mike Creed San Francisco GP photo c. Lily Trevisanut &
Creed the youngest rider in the break, shouldn't be counted out to make good his escape.
Mike has raced and done well during a career that spans victories in the USA and in Europe with the USA Cycling squad as a elite youngster and was a vital part of the team that aided Chris Horner during their stint at Prime Alliance to win major stateside stage races.

After a year on Discovery that proved fruitless due to a hard to diagnose illness Mike proved he was ready to return to hard racing at the San Francisco Grand Prix at the end of the 2005 season with a six lap solo effort that had the crowds screaming his name on climbs up Taylor street. Mike could be wearing the King of the Mountains jersey later today.

Jacques Maynes ( Nevada) is riding the new SRAM Road Gruppo in his pursuit of the gold jersey today...he looks like he could go for a bottle of his sponsors pale ale at this point in the race.

Mads Kaggestad leads Jacques Maynes and Creed up Palomares Canyon Photo c. Richard Lozes
Photo ref: At this point the trio has  5:30 gap on the Gerolsteiner led peloton.

Gerolsteiner picks up the chase and the peloton is stringing out as the break away approaches the next to last climb with 4:30 in hand.

With 30 miles to go and the 1800 feet to climb the Credit Agricole car pulls up so Roger Legay Credit Agricole D.S. can chat with  Mads Kaggestad. With the climb coming and Saul Raisin in the peloton he just might be checking how strong Mads feels for the finish... Raisin fresh from a stage win at Tour of Langkawi could make his presence felt on the Cat 1 climb ahead.

The "water boys" of Gerolsteiner are still hard on the chase and the strung out peloton has reduced the break to 3:30 at this point.

Navigators step to the front to help Gerolsteiner who all would like to stop off at a local Trader Joe's Market and pick up a bottle of Gerolsteiner at this point...Navs drive the speed up to 30 mph
Health Net joined in the chase after the descent which left a ribbon of color down the twisting mountain road and the chase and the climb has reduced the lead of Creed and Company to just over a minute.

3km from the summit and the next King of the Mountains sprint the peloton has the break in their sights... the hunt is on.
Creed dropped his companions, Ben Jacques Maynes is the first to be absorbed by the peloton.

Creed struggles and is caught by a ten man break led by Leipheimer and Hincapie as they charge the summit.

Levi, Landis and Bernard Kohl sprint for the King of Mountain points through a crowd of screaming fans leaving a shattered group of leaders behind. Time to save your energy to make it back together on the descent and the run in to San Jose finish line.

Kohl took the mountain points with Levi right behind him as Landis was dropped in the closing metres. The final descent is on with Kohl (T-Mobile), Landis (Phonak) and Levi blazing the way.

Zabriskie (CSC) is one of the next over the summit and has joined the chase with for Kohl, Landis and Leipheimer who opened a gap of 20 seconds on a shattered peloton.

A group of 15 riders now consolidate with Zabriskie in the chase to bring the trio of strong men, more join the group as the descent finishes.

15 km to go to the finish the trio of escapees with a chase that includes Hincapie and another Discovery channel rider. Unlikely the break will succeed with about 20 of the top riders in the world hunting them down.+

The trio of were pulled back in by the chasing group with 6 km to go and Christian Van de Velde attacks and makes a gap, but with the maillot oro of race leader in contention a determined bunch only toys with Van de Velde after allowing him a short leash of 30 metres.

3 km from the finish the group is together and racing through the fan lined streets of San Jose. With all these Spanish names for cities in California, one wonders why we don't call it the Vuelta e' California? Alas,  back to the race as Discovery Channel team puts the hammer down and the group of 23 riders position for the sprint.

Disco on the front and Hincapie is being led out perfectly for the line with a km to go.
Horner is at the front, but it is Hincapie in blue who jumps out of the two red clad Davitamon/Lotto mates Horner and Josep Pou Jufre.

Hincapie wins stage 2!!! Yeah George...look'in good, Crazy Jane watching in Prague, Congratulations George did it!
Chris Horner, second and Jufre third. Leipheimer who raced an aggressive stage today finishes in 4th, Bobby Julich fifth, and Floyd Landis rolls in 6th.

 Correction to the earlier provisional B.C. reports:
George Hincapie in the Race lead with 4 seconds in hand over #2 Levi Leipheimer at  :04, with Bobby Julich at :09 seconds.

Earlier conflicting reports made it uncertain if Leipheimer of Hincapie would wear the "Golden Fleece" of the race leader. T
he official results were provided later in the evening so this report could be updated to the official results, (sorry for the inconvenience.)

Then again the top ten are separated by only 22 seconds, and if you follow the full results the mountains made a selection today with top 22 riders separated by only 43 seconds, but the riders who missed the break are 3:35 behind the further you go down the G.C.

The Time Trial tomorrow will make another selection of the riders with the edge going to riders in the top 22 each of who can sustain speed over the distance. Watch for Nathan O'neil, Zabriskie, Landis, Cancellara, Horner, Cadel Evans, and others more than able to turn back the clock on their competitors.

Full result, photos, reports and Team and Rider comments will follow asap...
Read Cathy Mehls Bobby Julich interview today.

Stage 2
Average speed of winner 37.774km/h (23.471mph )
1.    57 USA 19730629 HINCAPIE George      DSC 4.01'26" 10"
2.    23 USA 19711023 HORNER Christopher DVL 4.01'26" 6"
3.    24 ESP 19750805 JUFRE POU Josep        DVL 4.01'26" 4"

4.    31 USA 19731024 LEIPHEIMER Levi      GST 4.01'26"
5.       2  USA 19711118 JULICH Bobby           CSC 4.01'26"
6.     21  AUS 19770214 EVANS Cadel             DVL 4.01'26"
7.     11  USA 19751014 LANDIS Floyd            PHO 4.01'26"
8.     41  ITA 19710825 SIMONI Gilberto         SDV 4.01'26"
9.       9  USA 19790112 ZABRISKIE David     CSC 4.01'26"
10.   68  FRA 19770808 VOGONDY Nicolas     C.A 4.01'26"

G.C. After Stage 2 (updated to Official Result)
1.       57 USA 19730629 HINCAPIE George DSC           7.20'28"
2.       31 USA 19731024 LEIPHEIMER Levi GST           7.20'32" 4"
3.         2 USA 19711118 JULICH Bobby CSC                  7.20'37" 9"

4.       11 USA 19751014 LANDIS Floyd PHO                   7.20'38" 10"
5.         9 USA 19790112 ZABRISKIE David CSC            7.20'41" 13"
6.       21 AUS 19770214 EVANS Cadel DVL                    7.20'44" 16"
7.       23 USA 19711023 HORNER Christopher DVL       7.20'47" 19"
8.       54 USA 19780313 DANIELSON Thomas DSC        7.20'49" 21"
9.         7 USA 19760522 VANDEVELDE Christian CSC   7.20'49" ...
10.     52 CAN 19751218 BARRY Michael DSC                7.20'50" 22"

Who will win Stage 3 ITT and the first Tour of California?
Discuss and debate this topic and others with fans and racers from around the world on the Chat, Message Board and Forums.

George Hincapie Prologue Tour of California
Photo c Mark Adkison Phd. and


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Amgen Tour of California Prologue Results
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Amgen Tour of California Stage 1 Photo Gallery

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