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Amgen Tour of California Stage 7 Report
 
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 2/27/2006
Amgen Tour of California Stage 7 Report
 

Amgen Tour of California Stage 7 Report
Cycling's shining moment in the Sun at the Stage 7 Tour of California Pictorial Report.

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 third.


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 back."

 
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