Landis still leads Amgen Tour of California heading into final stage
With more than 1.2 million fans already having lined the scenic route to support the riders in the Amgen Tour of California as it heads into its conclusion in Redondo Beach tomorrow, California resident Floyd Landis of the Phonak Hearing Systems Team remains the overall leader, with T-Mobile Team?s Olaf Pollack (GER) taking today?s stage six win in a sprint to the finish in Thousand Oaks.
Including an appearance by Lance Armstrong riding in the Discovery Channel team car, thousands of spectators lined today?s start in Santa Barbara and the finish line in Thousand Oaks, home of race title sponsor Amgen, where the three finishing circuits ended with Pollack taking the win in the field sprint to the line.
An early breakaway of seven riders left the field on a small rise at two miles into the stage. The break gained just over 2' on the up and down course through
At the KOM climb out of Ojai, 14 riders were led by Levi Leipheimer (USA) and his Gerolsteiner teammate Fabian Wegmann (GER). Wegmann took the California Travel and Tourism KOM points followed by Leipheimer, with race leader Landis just behind in fifth over the fan-lined climb. The 14 were reabsorbed by the main field on the descent just before the feed zone.
Sebastian Lang (GER) continued Gerolsteiner's aggressive race tactics by attacking just past the Clif Bar sprint in
With Lang 12'07" down on Landis, Landis? Phonak team allowed Lang a 3'15" advantage, but after an ill-timed rear wheel puncture at mile 70, Lang lost 1' of his lead. Lang struggled to regain his rhythm and the gap came down rapidly until he succumbed to the field just before entering the finishing circuits.
A bevy of attacks followed, with Krauss gaining a
?The crowds have been comparable [to the Tour de France]; it?s been amazing. Sometimes I forget if I?m in the Tour de France or the Amgen Tour of
?I have seen and witnessed a truly amazing event,? said Pat McQuaid, president of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the international governing body of cycling. ?It?s important for us to have a race such as this? it would be one of my ambitions to include this on the Pro Tour.?
George Hincapie (USA) of the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team kept his lead in the Clif Bar Sprint Competition and will wear the Clif Bar Sprint Jersey. With no KOM points on offer in tomorrow?s race, Leipheimer effectively wins the California Travel and Tourism King of the Mountain Jersey. Tom Peterson (USA) of Team TIAA-CREF will wear the Union Bank Best Young Rider Jersey into the final stage, and Lang?s solo breakaway earned him the Adobe Most Aggressive Jersey.
The climactic conclusion of Stage Seven in