Floyd Landis takes the lead in Tour of California

News & Results

02/23/2006| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen
Landis, Zabriskie and Julich on the podium in San José, CA, USA. Photo copyright Roadcycling.com.
Landis, Zabriskie and Julich on the podium in San José, CA, USA. Photo copyright Roadcycling.com.

Floyd Landis takes the lead in Tour of California

Midpoint of race 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.?

 

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.

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