Hometown Hero Levi Leipheimer Takes Victory at 2007 Amgen Tour of California Prologue in San Francisco for Second Straight Year
For the second consecutive year,
For the second consecutive year,
Among the record crowds, cycling fan Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy) was on hand in support of race sponsor Amgen's complementary initiative, Breakaway from Cancer.
Fitting for the largest sporting event in the state, two
Commenting on his stage win Levi Leipheimer told Roadcycling.com that ?I didn?t feel my legs. I was obviously super-motivated to win today. Everybody came back and told me about this headwind, that the wind had changed, and a I think a few years ago that might have affected me, but I just told myself ?I have to win today,? and I knew exactly the pace I had to go, and Johan (Bruyneel ? his team manager) did an awesome job? he knows exactly what to say behind me. I was like, four, maybe five seconds ahead of George (Hincapie) at the bottom of the climb, and I knew I had so much left. I really saved a lot and then before halfway up the climb, he told me I had ten seconds. I knew that was enough to win. It hurt, but I did it??
A 180-degree wind shift after the first 30 minutes of racing put the later riders at a disadvantage. The final rider of the day, Leipheimer rode hard into the wind to best last year's time of 4:53.43 by about 4 seconds for the 1.92 mile-course (3.1km), which ended with a steep climb to the
"This gives me the opportunity to wear the leader's jersey into my hometown of Santa Rosa," added the jubilant 33 year-old who stated in the pre-race press conference that doing so in this race one year ago had provided him with one of the best days of his career. "This race ranks up there with some of the best on a very short list in the world. It looks good for American cycling."
Early in the day, the seventh rider to start, neo-pro Jason Donald (Team Slipstream presented by Chipotle), from
Other pre-race favorites included Discovery Channel Pro's George Hincapie, who finished ninth (4:57:238) and Ivan Basso, who finished 23rd (5:03:351) in his return to racing, and Team CSC's Bobby Julich, who finished 22nd (5:03:221), and Dave Zabriskie, who finished 14th (4:59:169).
Title sponsor Amgen is continuing its complementary Breakaway from Cancer initiative in 2007.
?Our mission is to serve patients. Since our founding in 1980, Amgen has used the power of pioneering science to fight serious illness,? said George Morrow, executive vice president, global commercial operations, Amgen. ?The Amgen Tour of
Amgen created the Breakaway from Cancer initiative in 2005 as a complementary component to its title sponsorship of the inaugural Amgen Tour of California. As a result of last year's Breakaway from Cancer effort, Amgen provided more than $1 million to The Wellness Community (TWC), an international non-profit organization dedicated to providing free support, education and hope to people affected by cancer. This year, the initiative expanded and also benefits the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), the oldest survivor-led cancer advocacy organization in the country. Patrick Dempsey, whose mother is a two-time cancer survivor, is also the initiative?s spokesperson and attended today's race.
?I'm excited to be in