Olympic and World Champion Paolo Bettini Wins Stage Four of Amgen Tour of California
First-ever Olympic and World Champion win on
Olympic and World Champion Paolo Bettini (ITA), riding for Quick Step-Innergetic, made cycling history when he edged out T-Mobile Team's Gerald Ciolek (GER) in a dramatic photo finish to win Stage 4 of the 2007 Amgen Tour of California. For the first time ever, a reigning Olympic and World Champion won a race held on U.S. soil.
"Day by day, I am discovering California on this course and it is beautiful," said Bettini. "Here in California the courses are good for me. They are difficult, but not too difficult... The fans here are incredible, just incredible."
Levi Leipheimer of the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team finished the longest stage of the eight-day race, at
"Today was the postcard of the Amgen Tour of
Under clear skies and roaring crowds who packed the finish in downtown
The ride from
Leipheimer, the overall leader since the Prologue in
?I?m pretty confident. I feel good. I feel like I'm the best rider in the race,? said Leipheimer at a post-race press conference.
After a very active opening few miles today in which Colavita/Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light's Alejandro Acton (ARG) launched repeated attacks, three riders broke away from the peloton after
Credit Agricole's Christophe Laurent (FRA) soon bridged the gap to join the breakaway and was followed two miles later by Navigators Insurance Cycling Team's Hilton Clarke (AUS), San Luis Obispo hometown favorite Lucas Euser of Team Slipstream powered by Chipotle and Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team's Sean Sullivan (AUS).
This group of seven stayed clear of the peloton until about ten miles from the finish. Fulfilling his declaration to claim the California Travel and Tourism King of the Mountains (KOM) competition after an 80-mile breakaway on Stage 2, Laurent pulled on the ?sunshine jersey? today as the race?s most consistent climber after winning two of the three KOMs today.
?The King of the Mountains Jersey was not in the front my mind before the race, but it is always in the back of my