Toyota-United's Hilton Clarke Wins Stage 1, Secures 2nd Place Overall at Tour of Elk Grove
the win and maintain his slim overall lead. With Veilleux at 2 seconds, Zirbel at 3 seconds along with four other riders in position to win with time bonus sprints on the line it was a tough task.
A break of six, including Tyler Hamilton (Team Rock Racing), developed immediately, gaining one minute. The boys rode it back to 25 seconds and then kept a break matching time for the next 2 hours and 20 minutes. With two to go they brought the break back and a few teams attempted to lead it out, but Team Kelly Benefits Strategies took control on the last lap and gapped Dominique Rollin and Hilton Clarke in the last corner. Brad Huff (Jelly Belly Pro Cycling) won Sunday's race. Veilleux took 2nd place and the 12 second time bonus and thus, a 10 second win in the final overall rankings over Hilton. Zirbel was able to finish in the group and hold on to his 3rd place on GC. Rock Racing’s Fred Rodriguez' memory of a couple of hard falls earlier this season as well as Team Keyy's way of riding in corners made him opt for a cautious approach in the final stage as the Kelly Benefit-Medifast team again led out the sprint. He finished third in the criterium to place fifth overall. Team Astana's Chris Horner crashed in the final stage but was able to finish the race.
“It’s a criterium, so you expect it to be fast around the corners,” Fred Rodriguez said after the race, “but they (Kelly Benefits) are misjudging how fast you can go around the corners. Yesterday, they lost one of their guys in the crash. The problem is we also get caught in the fire.”
Toyota-United’s UCI B World Road Champion Ivan Stevic will compete on August 8th in the 2008 Olympic Road Race in Beijing, China.