Amgen Tour of California Stage 7 Report
Cycling's shining moment in the Sun at the Stage 7 Tour of California Pictorial
I think that California is missing the Tour already as this morning a storm
moved in and the heavens are crying mightily that Floyd Landis and Company have
moved on to other races...
Peterson, Hincapie, Floyd, Horner, Zabriskie at the start
Photo c. www.dailypeloton.com
The circuit race in Redondo was a fast one over the 7.65 mile circuit that
opened up to overcast skies with record crowds of over 200,000 fans that lined
the roads to watch the race. They weren't disappointed by the weather or the
race as it was non stop action from the start to the finish when Floyd Landis
rode in comfortably in the bunch to win the tour.
It wasn't 2 miles into the race that Glen Chadwick of the Navigators
Insurance team attacked on the Esplanade before the hill, an early attack in the
first lap wasn't of too much concern to the peloton. Aaron Olsen (Saunier Duval/Prodir),
Davide Frattini (Colavita) and Scott Zwizanski (KodakGalleries/Sierra Neveada)
chased, and a 4 man break was away.
Chadwick, Olsen, Zwizanski and Frattini coming out of the
second turn photo c. www.dailypeloton.com
On the turn to return south on the backside of the course as the riders the
fast downhill section at over 45 mph that Tom Peterson the Best Young Rider in
the tour, hit a pothole in the pavement and six riders went down with him.
As the peloton waited for its fallen members the break pressed on and nearing
the start finish area had established a 2:20 gap to the peloton.
By lap two the quartet of escapees had increased the time to 4:40 gap, in the
ensuing laps. The main group of riders let the gap grow to over six minutes
which made Navigators' Chadwick the leader of the race on the road by the 4th
lap. This made it an interesting experience for the spectators as the break and
peloton were now in a virtual pursuit of each other with a wait of ten minutes
or less for either the break or the chasing peloton to show up on the road.
Three laps into the race and the gap grew to 8 minutes with a fast moving,
but disorganized chase by the peloton. At this point Chris Horner (Davitamon/Lotto)
and team decided to stretch their legs and join in the pursuit stretching a
still disorganized and reluctant peloton out and reducing the gap to 5 minutes
in the next two laps.
As the quartet shared the points at the intermediate sprints at the half way
point in the race CSC with T-Mobile picked up the chase and the gap now started
to come down to under 5 minutes.
With 2 laps to go Chadwick picked up another $1000 at the intermediate sprint
in Riviera Village and Saunier/Duval rider Olsen gets a quick wheel change for a
flat tire... what may have been a fatal mistake for the break they slow to wait
for Olsen... back at the the chase is on as it strings out past the start finish
and brings the break down to just over two minutes as CSC leads.
2 laps to go Phonak and Gerolsteiner lead the Peloton on the chase.
With one lap the tiring break and the driving chase combine to bring back the
escapees on the back of the course on the last climb of the day. Zwizanksi makes
one last attack before his companions are absorbed into the peloton; alas his
tired legs fail him as he too is swept up by the group now intent to keep the
pack together for a sprint finish.
Discovery, CSC and T-Mobile lead the charge in the last two miles into the
finishing straight it is T-Mobiles train that challenges on the left ... Pollack
and Greipel of T-Mobile charge the finish line.
Olaf Pollack wins the stage with Frankie Andreu's J.J. Haedo 2nd and Griepel
Kevin Sharer, Chairman and CEO, Amgen
The rain drones on outside my windows as I remember the promise of Amgens CEO
from the podium ceremonies after the stage, that the Amgen Tour of California
will return again next year. As our governor of California might say..."I'll be