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ToCA Team and Rider Comments Stage 3
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 2/22/2006
ToCA Team and Rider Comments Stage 3

Pro Cycling Team and Rider Comments After Stage 3 of the Tour of California
CSC Double Bookends to Floyd Landis Today, Nathan O'Neil Vaults to top 5, Team .

Team CSC Double on Podium
Today showcased the time trial strength of CSC. Seven of the top 16 riders wore CSC jerseys. At one point CSC held the top four spots with Fabian Cancellara, Stuart O’Grady, Lars Bak and Jens Voigt, with Cancellara holding onto the best time until nearly the end of the race. Cancellara finished sixth in the stage

Team CSC Gets Two-Thirds of the Podium in Stage 3
Team CSC didn't get first place in what may be the decisive stage of the Tour of California, but with a second and third place for David Zabriskie and Bobby Julich in the Stage 3 individual time trial it does have a good shot at the other two-thirds of the podium.

The winding 17-mile course in the foothills around San Jose was expected to be the key stage of the Tour of California. With just four riders to go Zabriskie posted a blazing time, grabbing a 30-second edge over his closest rivals. But the mark stood less than a minute before Floyd Landis, the captain of Phonak, roared past, 26 seconds faster than Zabriskie. No one else came close. Julich finished nine seconds slower than Zabriskie for third place. George Hincapie of Discovery and Levi Leipheimer of Gerolsteiner both fell short of the podium—Hincapie by a little, Leipheimer by a lot.

Team CSC sport director Scott Sunderland was pleased with both Zabriskie and Julich. "Dave's still lacking a little bit, but he hasn't raced for a while and it's only February," he said. "He probably surprised himself at how good he was today. Being in America racing has lifted his spirits."

The day showcased the time trial strength of CSC. Seven of the top 16 riders wore CSC jerseys. At one point CSC held the top four spots with Fabian Cancellara, Stuart O'Grady, Lars Bak and Jens Voigt, with Cancellara once again holding onto the best time until nearly the end of the race. Cancellara finished sixth in the stage.

The time trial gives Landis a commanding lead in the overall standings, and the rest of the race doesn't present clear opportunities for anyone to reclaim more than a few seconds on him. "I honestly see the possibility of overtaking the lead as pretty slim," Sunderland said. "He showed he was one of the best yesterday and today. It's not just a few seconds, it's 25 seconds." Still, Sunderland says that CSC will attack when possible. In addition to protecting Zabriskie and Julich, Team CSC will look for possible stage wins from riders like O'Grady, Cancellara and Voigt.

Thursday's 130-mile Stage 4 will take the riders from Monterey to San Luis Obispo along California's fabled Highway 1. The terrain will be consistently technical and hilly, but Sunderland's biggest worries will be the winds coming in from the Pacific Ocean. "It's maybe not such a bad thing that we're sitting in second and third position right now because if we did have the jersey it'd be a very long day," Julich said. "Although we lost a lot of time today, it also makes it a little easier for us to be in an attacking mode than a defensive mode."

Stage 3 - February 22: San Jose Time Trial, 27.4km
1 Floyd Landis (Phonak) 35'58.91
2 David Zabriskie (CSC) 36'24.53
3 Bobby Julich (CSC) 36'33.89

4 George Hincapie (Discovery) 36'53.05
5 Nathan O'Neill (Health Net/Maxxis 36'55'74
6 Fabian Cancellara (CSC) 37'01.19
7 Vladmir Gusev (Discovery) 37'01.75
8 Hayden Roulston (Health Net/Maxxis) 37.06.66
9 Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner 37'14.97
10 Robert Hunter (Phonak) 37'27.21

Bobby Julich on why time trials are such an important part of the overall race:
“They really separate everyone from each other because when you come in a sprint finish everyday when you’re not a sprinter you’re losing five or 10 seconds a day because of the time bonuses. So the time trial is really where you have to make your mark in the race overall.”

On the reception from the people of San Jose:
“The reception in San Jose and every other city we’ve been in has been fantastic. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m really happy to be a part of the first ever Tour of California.”

On the importance of a crowd to a cyclist’s performance:
“Absolutely, we are social creatures and when you’re acknowledged it’s nice. When your friends and family are around and people enjoy and respect what you do for a living it makes a big difference.”

On the difference between preparing for an individual time trial versus a stage race:
“Individual time trials are a lot more difficult. It’s a lot shorter so you have to make sure to warm up enough, but not too much and then to focus for the 40 minutes or so that it takes to complete the race.”

On taking on tomorrow’s challenging climbs through Big Sur:
“It’s maybe not such a bad thing that we’re sitting in second and third position right now because if we did have the jersey it would be a very long day. So although we lost time today that will be difficult to get back, it also makes it a little easier for us to be in an attacking mode than a defensive mode like Floyd Landis has to be in the next few days.”

CSC Windows Video Media after race interview with Bobby Julich.

O’Neill vaults to 5th overall in California.
 Nathan O’Neill of the Health Net Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis had been targeting this stage for weeks. “I knew it would be decisive for the overall classification,” he said.

The seven-time and current Australian national time trial champion also knew the 17-mile Stage 3 individual time trial would be an opportunity to make a run at the top of the general classification. He made the most of that opportunity, placing 5th in today’s time trial with a time of 36:55.74, to move up from 18th to 5th overall.

Stage winner Floyd Landis (Phonak) flew through the course to a time of 35:58.91 – the only rider to break the 36-minute barrier – to assume the overall race lead from George Hincapie. David Zabriskie (CSC), winner of an individual time trial at the Giro d’Italia, finished second at 36:24.53. He was followed by his teammate, 2004 Olympic time trial bronze medalist Bobby Julich at 36:33.59. Hincapie came in just 2.7 seconds ahead of O’Neill for 4th place.

“I had a pretty good ride today,” O’Neill said. “Given the level of talent here, it was about where I expected to be. It would’ve been a bit of a surprise to do better, but a disappointment to come in farther down. I’m never satisfied with fifth place, but taking everything into consideration, it was good.”

The 17-mile course was an undulating affair, starting off almost immediately out of the start house with a winding, 300-foot climb in the first 2 km. It was followed by a second, more gradual climb that gained about 300 feet as well. But the final 12 km of the course was almost dead flat, but into a steady headwind coming from the northwest.

“The last 12 km was a bit rough because of the wind,” said Hayden Roulston, who also posted a strong time of 37:06.66 to finish 8th on the day, and move to 22nd overall. O’Neill agreed, describing the course as “honest.”

“The wind was definitely a factor,” O’Neill commented. “The first part of the course was about power. With a block headwind for the last 12 km, the last part was about aerodynamics. I think my time in the wind tunnel in January helped out a bit today. It showed me some things I suspected and gave me more evidence of some small things that I needed to change. But those small changes, with a second here, a second there, add up after a while.”

Thursday’s stage will be the longest of the tour at 130 miles from Monterey to San Luis Obispo, and while it may not change things on the overall, there should be plenty of fireworks. With Levi Leipheimer dropping down to 6th overall after his 9th place finish in the ITT, he now sits only two seconds behind O’Neill on GC.

 “I’m sure he’d like to finish top-five in his home state tour,” O’Neill said. “It’s definitely going to be on tomorrow. CSC will try to light it up, but I expect Phonak to take a lot of responsibility with Floyd in the lead. The race isn’t over, but it’s definitely getting narrowed down.”

Notes: Scott Thornton of the San Jose Sharks ripped through the course before the pros went off in a time of 48 minutes flat. “I don’t think my time is going to hold up for too long,” he said afterward. In fact, it held up for well over an hour.
“I didn’t get much of a warm-up in, so that first hill on Bailey Road was a bit tough,” he said. “It took me until the last stretch coming up Santa Teresa to really get my legs cleared out and start feeling good.

“But I’m just happy to have the opportunity to ride the course in Health Net Presented by Maxxis kit on this amazing Cannondale time trial bike. I had a great time today. And I got to meet Paul Sherwin and Bob Roll!”

Following his ride, he signed autographs at the Health Net booth in the race expo along Santa Teresa Road and visited with Health Net VIPs. He was also interviewed by the crew from ESPN2 for the race broadcast.

Health Net On TV
A crew from Fox Sports Net Bay Area filmed the entire event, including him getting fitted on the bike following Tuesday’s stage in San Jose, for their half-hour magazine show, SharkByte. The segment is expected to air four to five times prior to Sharks broadcasts on FSNBA over the next couple months. Look for the air times to be posted next week.

Toyota/Unite Pro Cycling Team Finishes Strong on Stage 3 Time Trials
Todays Lucky Numbers: 24, 28, 31, 37 and 41
It was every man for himself on the 17-mile individual time trial at the Tour of California today and Toyota United Pro Cycling Team’s (TUT) top riders held their own.
Tony Cruz charged the course leading the Toyota-United Team with a 24th place finish and a time of 38 minutes and 10 seconds, 2 minutes and 12 seconds behind the stage winner and new overall leader Floyd Landis (Phonak). Heath Blackgrove, who has been riding strong throughout the Tour, finished 28th today, with José Manuel (Chepe) Garcia following closely behind with a 31st place finish.

“I’m not known as a time trialist, but today the course was awesome and lined with spectators,” said Cruz, pleased with today’s ride. “People were cheering my name so I was motivated to do well. It was interesting to see the show-down of all the best time trialists in the world.”

Heath Blackgrove continues to be the team’s highest placed rider, currently in 25th overall, followed by Chris Baldwin in 27th.

“We had three or four guys ride as hard as they could,” said Team Director Frankie Andreu. “Cruz, Blackgrove, Baldwin and Garcia were impressive.
It was windy and they gave it their all. Now, we’re looking ahead to the stage wins and the sprints. We plan to keep our sprinters as rested as possible.”

Tomorrow’s “Queen Stage” race will be a scenic 130-mile ride from Monterey to San Luis Obispo. This is the longest stage of the race and will test the riders on a consistently hilly and technical terrain.




Toyota/United Pro Overall
Stage 3 Results: San Jose Time Trial (17 miles):

24. CRUZ Antonio TUT .38'10"
28. BLACKGROVE Heath TUT .38'22"
31. GARCIA Jose-Manuel TUT .38'28"
37. BALDWIN Christopher TUT .38'42"
41. FRIEDICK Mariano TUT .38'51"
85. ENGLAND Justin TUT .40'29"
109. HAEDO Juan Jose TUT .41'32"

Toyota/United Pro Overall G.C. Stage 3:
25. BLACKGROVE Heath TUT 8.02'26"
27. BALDWIN Christopher TUT 8.02'49"
42. CRUZ Antonio TUT 8.04'36"
89. GARCIA José-Manuel TUT 8.13'49"
92. FRIEDICK Mariano TUT 8.14'32"
100. ENGLAND Justin TUT 8.15'47"
108. HAEDO Juan José TUT 8.16'52"

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 Toyota-United team.

About Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.: 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
is currently valued at more than $13 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.
About United Pro Cycling Team, LLC: Based in Newport Beach, California, a wholly owned subsidiary of United Cycling, L.L.C, United Pro Cycling Team is owned and operated by Sean Tucker. Comprised of some of the top cycling talent in the country, it is positioned to be the premier cycling team in America. In addition to its racing team, United Cycling, L.L.C, wholly
owns and operates United Bicycles, L.L.C. The team has also designated the United Cycling Foundation, Inc. as its designated charity, committed to raise awareness and funds for American causes including homelessness and the environment.

Jackson Stewart Spearheads Nevada Team
Two days after earning the Adobe Most Aggressive Rider prize, Nevada's Jackson Stewart again spearheaded the team at the Amgen Tour of California, this time finishing 30th with a time of 38'27" in the 17-mile individual time trial in San Jose, 2'29" behind stage winner and new overall leader Floyd Landis (Phonak).

A native of nearby Los Gatos, Stewart recalled, "I didn't expect to go that fast, but I know the course and I had Robin Zellner coaching me from the team car. I was planning just to use today's stage as a learning experience, but to get that kind of result is awesome for me."

Riding later in the day under windier conditions, Nevada's Ben Jacques-Maynes finished 43rd in 38'55".

"I've ridden this course at least once a week on my time trial bike for the last few months, and I've never gone this fast," the San Jose resident said. "I was able to hit my peak wattage and keep it there, so I can't complain about my ride."

With the race moving on to central California for tomorrow's 130-mile stage from Monterey to San Luis Obispo, Jacques-Maynes reflected on his performance in today's time trial and in a 60-mile breakaway during yesterday's epic road stage from Martinez to San Jose.

"There were people all along the course cheering for me yesterday and today," he said. "To have that kind of personal support makes me ride that much harder. Everyone that I see out there that I know is one more person that I can't let down."

Jacques-Maynes continues as Nevada's highest placed rider in 28th place overall, 6'20" behind Landis in the general classification.
View the Stage 3 Photo Gallery


Midpoint of Inaugural Race with Field of World’s Top Cyclists
Finds Eight Americans in the Top-10

With the Amgen Tour of California on pace to set records in attendance for a spectator sporting event in California after its second finish in
San Jose, Floyd Landis (USA) of Phonak Hearing Systems took the stage as fans cheered the riders on during today’s 17-mile race against the clock.

After yesterday’s grueling 95-mile mountain stage from Martinez to San Jose, today’s time trial saw riders vying for the fastest time on a course just outside downtown San Jose around the Calero and Chesbro Reservoirs. Murrieta, Calif.-based Landis captured the Amgen Leader Jersey in the inaugural international professional cycling race, which launched February 19 and will continue daily through February 26.

Landis, a top-ten finisher in last year’s Tour de France, moved from fourth to first place in the overall classification with a dominating ride. His time of 35’58” was 26” faster than second-place David Zabriskie and 35” ahead of third-place Bobby Julich, both of Team CSC. Yesterday’s stage winner and overall race leader George Hincapie (Discovery) placed fourth, 55” behind Landis, and fell to fourth overall. Previous leader Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner) fell to sixth while Austrailian Nathan O’Neill (Health Net Professional Cycling Team presented by Maxxis) jumped from 18th to fifth overall with a fifth place finish in the time trial.

“It couldn’t have gone better; obviously this stage was a goal of mine. I couldn’t be happier to win [the jersey],” said Landis. “The race is far from over. Some hard days are coming. I have a strong team and a dedicated team, and we will fight to defend the jersey.”

Don Fitzgerald of Clayton participated in the Amgen Tour of California by riding in the motorcade during the San Jose time trial and presenting the leader jersey. A two-time cancer survivor, Fitzgerald was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in January 2000 and cancer of the tongue in September 2003. Throughout the course of his recovery, Fitzgerald attended a participant group at The Wellness Community. He continues to participate in the Life after Cancer group and is a newcomer leader helping people who are coming to The Wellness Community for the first time.

“The Wellness Community was truly my guiding light following treatment to recovery,” said two-time cancer survivor Don Fitzgerald of Clayton. “The organization provided me with support, camaraderie and a place to not only share my feelings but also gain knowledge from ‘fighting the same war.’ I encourage everyone going through the painful cancer journey to get involved in programs like Breakaway from Cancer. Realizing you’re not alone in the battle has a significant, positive impact on your health.”

Launched in December 2005 as a partnership between Amgen, The Wellness Community and George Hincapie, the Breakaway from Cancer initiative is a complementary component of Amgen’s title sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California. The initiative includes a series of free workshops designed to help people who are affected by cancer learn about new treatments, side effects, support networks and educational resources.

With no points on offer for the sprinters, George Hincapie kept the lead in the Clif Bar Sprint Competition and will wear the Clif Bar Sprint Jersey during Stage Four. Bernhard Kohl (T-Mobile Team) also kept the California Travel and Tourism King of the Mountain Jersey, while Tom Peterson of Team TIAA-CREF retained the Union Bank Best Young Rider Jersey.
“One of our goals for this race is to help raise the level of the sport in America,” said Shawn Hunter, President, AEG Sports, presenters of the Amgen Tour of California.
“With Americans as the top-five riders into today’s time trial and the top-five in the overall classification, the strength of U.S. riders in international cycling is evident here in California.”

Stage Four tomorrow will bring the riders 130 miles from Cannery Row in Monterey down Highway One to San Luis Obispo. The longest stage of this year’s race, this signature California ride will feature three California Travel and Tourism KOMs and one Clif Bar Sprint Line.
For full results, official times, archived footage, photos and play-by-play from today’s stage of the Amgen Tour of California, please visit the official race website at

 A one-hour race recap will be broadcast on ESPN2 tonight at 10 p.m. PST.
Still to come this week:
Thursday, Feb. 23 – Stage 4, Monterey to San Luis Obispo
Estimated Start Time: 10 a.m.
Estimated Finish Time: 4 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 24 – Stage 5, San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara
Estimated Start Time: 10 a.m.
Estimated Finish Time: 2 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 25 – Stage 6, Santa Barbara to Thousand Oaks
Estimated Start Time: 10 a.m.
Estimated Finish Time: 1:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 26 – Stage 7, Redondo Beach Circuit Race
Estimated Start Time: 1 p.m.
Estimated Finish Time: 4 p.m.

About Amgen: Amgen discovers, develops and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious illnesses. With a broad and deep pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and our vital medicines, visit

ABOUT AEG: AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center, The Manchester Evening News Arena and NOKIA Theatre Times Square; sports franchises including the  Los Angeles Kings (NHL), five Major League Soccer franchises, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA) and the Amgen Tour of California cycling road race debuting in San Francisco on February 19th; AEG LIVE, the organization’s live-entertainment division, is a collection of companies dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance, touring and a variety of programming and multi-media production. Additionally, the company has begun fully developing the 28-acre Millennium Dome and adjacent property located in the eastern part of London along the Thames River and will create the O2, a new arena within the ‘Dome’ and additional arenas, on a 50-acre site in the heart of Berlin and Spring Center in Kansas City, Missouri; stadiums in Bridgeview, Illinois and Harrison,
New Jersey. For more information, visit AEG today at

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