Stage 7Time: 13:54:45
You can check out the stage 6 recap here
The final stage of the Amgen Tour of California begins at 1:00 PM.
Today is the last stage of the Amgen Tour of California. Thanks Adobe and Google for the technology that made this happen. And thanks to all of you for your great support during this inaugural Tour.
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The race for the sprinters jersey should be exciting today. Three riders - George Hincapie of Discovery, Olaf Pollack of T-Mobile, and JJ Haedo of Toyota United - are all within 10 points of each other.
There are three sprints today, on laps 3, 5 and 7. So it's up for grabs...
By the way, everyone needs water bottles, right? Buy one or two from AEG, and support the race! Click here.
Also, today's the last chance to enter to win a FELT racing bike.
By the way, the thunder-bat prankster in the peloton yesterday was Phonak's Miguel Angel Perdiguero. If you want to see it, watch the end of the video 'the catch' from yesterday.
If anyone has trouble with the play by play not updating, please make sure you've upgraded to the latest version of Flash. Flash 7 may not refresh as often as it should.
15 minutes to start. The crowds are large and the atmosphere is charged. Floyd Landis is no doubt looking forward to wrapping this one up. His team will work to protect him in the crowded, fast-moving circuit race today.
Today's stage is 76.5 miles long, for a total Tour mileage of 596.2 miles.
The riders are being introduced now, and moving to staging. Looks like we have a whole brass band out to salute the flag this morning, too.
7 minutes to start. George Hincapie just signed a horde of autographs, shook hands with some folks, and now is signing in for the race.
The top 5 American racers are very popular guys today. The crowd is giving them great ovations.
A moment of silence was just observed for a CHP officer lost in the line of duty...
And now the national anthem.
And they're off folks. Today's course goes up a short, steep climb at the south end of the course, then down a steady descent to the sprint line. Should be fast!
At the north end of the course there are two turns that are sharper than 90 degrees. The peloton is slowly sorting itself out as we get started.
The riders are rolling up Catalina Ave right now. Speeding up a bit and stretching out to single file.
The peloton is rolling along Esplanade now, with the beach on their right. It's about 60 degrees and a light, variable breeze.
Glen Chadwick of Navigators just attacked at 2.2 miles. The peloton was going 44 MPH up Esplanade! Slowed to a mere 22 MPH up the climb though.
The peloton has made the two left turns to head down Palos Verdes BL now. They're about halfway through lap 1. This street is a bit bumpy. And just as I said that we have about 6 riders down.
Tom Peterson, Best Young Rider went down but is back up. One rider avoided the crash by ridering across the grass median. We've got at least two or three riders still down. MAR Sebastian Lang is still down. We hate to see this folks.
Lang is back up and getting back on his bike. Way to go Sebastian! We had 8 riders down there. The field neutralized itself during the crash but the break is still going.
So everyone is back up. Lang is pedaling gamely. There's a 4-man break that didn't neutralize during the crash. Ettiquette would dictate that everyone slow up while the folks who crashed get back up. And the peloton did so. The break may not have known.
Lang is really suffering folks, talking to his team manager. Looks like his wrist may be injured. The break has riders from Navigators and three other teams.
The break is now 2:20 ahead at 7.1 miles. It includes Glen Chadwick (Navigators), Aaron Olsen (Prodir), Davide Frattini (Colavita) and Scott Zwizanski (OSN Kodak).
Tom Peterson just caught back up with the field after the crash. The peloton remains neutral. The break is working well together. Just to clarify, this is an unofficial neutral. That's why the break hasn't slowed.
Peterson had to pull over to get a shoe replaced. A teammate has waited. The contenders are going to spend the rest of the race at the front, that's for sure. And riders in the peloton will probably have some words for the breakaway if they catch them.
The break continues to pull hard and work well. The peloton is speeding up a bit. Phonak, CSC and Discovery are at the front, covering their leaders.
Koldo Gil of Suainer Duval has abandoned. I believe he was involved in that crash...
The peloton just navigated the same part of the course where they crash hit last time. They made it unscathed.
The break is 4:40 ahead at the 13 mile mark. The peloton is starting to chase, though, and I doubt they'll show any mercy at this point.
At mile 14 or so the break is 5:20 ahead.
The peloton is still not hammering that hard. They're really letting the break go away.
The break is now 6:45 ahead. Sebastian Lang, yesterday's Adobe Most Aggressive Rider, has had to abandon. He made a really, really gutsy attack yesterday and kept things interesting. It's really a shame.
The break is working its way up the climb. The peloton is still rolling along. There's some discussion going on at the front. Brian Chadwick, in the break is now the golden jersey wearer. He entered the race 6 minutes down.
Sorry, Chadwick is 6:32 behind. The break is 6:45 ahead. So he is the leader right now. That will force Phonak's hand, no doubt.
And there goes the peloton. At 16.1 miles in the peloton is now single file. The gap is up to 7:50.
Patty just spoke with the director of one of the guys in the break. He said that it's bike racing and crashes happen. 7:50 is the largest lead of the race, and given the size of the circuit the break and the peloton are basically racing pursuit.
Davitamon Lotto is at the front pulling the peloton.
Ed Beamon of Navigators said that the team strategy today was to attack the hill out of the gate. It's worked, with his rider Chadwick now the overall race leader. The pack is chasing hard.
The crash was apparently caused by a waterbottle thrown onto the road. Not sure where it came from.
Lead's up to 7:50. The peloton isn't that organized right now, but the first sprint is coming. We'll see what happens after that.
Coming up to the sprint...
The peloton is basically single file now.
The peloton is back on the Esplanade, heading for the climb.
We're at mile 25 now. The peloton actually looks like it slowed as it headed for the climb.
The gap is down to 6:25 at the 28 mile mark, which means Landis has his golden jersey back.
The peloton is 26 miles into the stage. The field is headed onto Palos Verdes Bl again. They're single file again. Looks like CSC is pulling right now. Davitamon and Phonak are pulling hard. Leaning waaaay over as they turn onto Catalina.
The sprint results for the lap 3 sprint are: Scott Zwizanski (Kodak), Davide Frattini (Colavita) and Glen Chadwick (Navigators).
The leaders have six laps to go now.
Lead is now down 5:20.
We're at mile 31.5 now. DVL is still at the front, pulling hard.
The gap is down to 5:15. The peloton just made the hard turns onto Catalina. Pros make those turns look so easy...
The peloton is basically one huge paceline now. Mike Creed of TIAA Cref just abandoned.
4 KM to go to the sprint.
At 33 miles the gap is down to 5 minutes even.
The peloton is entering the feed zone now. We've got a light overcast now, with temperatures of 60-65. The lead is down to 4:50.
The last few riders in the peloton are getting gapped at every turn. That's why it's better to be further up. They have to burn energy to close that gap each time, getting more and more tired.
Gap is down to 4:40 now. The peloton is making time on the leaders, but are they making enough?
Ed Beamon told us he's wondering why CSC is leading the chase. But really it's up to Phonak to chase - and Landis is right now about 5 riders back.
Toyota is definitely biding their time. They've not done much work at the front so far.
Leaders have 5 laps to go. No good characters today - just Mr. Horn Helmet...
Here comes sprint number 2...
The peloton has 5 laps to go. The leaders have a lead of 4:30.
The peloton is now 39 miles into the stage. They're working HARD. The leaders are headed up the climb now. Then it's back down Palos Verdes Bl.
At the second sprint results are Glen Chadwick (Navigators), Scott Zwizanksi (OSN Kodak) and Davide Frattini (Colavita). There's a $1000 payout for each sprint, so the leaders are getting a pretty good haul today.
The gap is still 4:30. The peloton may be running out of time, but Phonak is probably content with keeping Landis in the Golden Jersey. As long as the gap is under 6:30 he's still the leader.
The peloton is now only 4:00 back. They may catch up sooner than later, actually...
The break is still going. The four riders are Olsen, Chadwick, Frattini and Zwizanksi. Chadwick jumped away about 2 miles into the race.
45 miles into today's stage.
With 4 laps to go, the leaders are back up to 4:20 ahead. They'd slowed down a bit, but they're accelerating again. On a course like this, the four-man break has the advantage of more easily navigating the tight turns. But they obviously lack the horsepower of the peloton.
Gap is down to 4:15. I just got my 999th request to interview/video/photograph the Specialized Angel. Sorry everyone. I have a press pass, but I can't get into Specialized Heaven.
Gap is down to 4:10 now. The peloton is 5k from the sprint now. The break built their huge advantage when the main field went neutral. Discovery and Phonak probably don't feel much incentive to catch because the break isn't a threat to the sprint jersey or the GC.
The Davitamon Lotto team is doing most of the work. They want to set up Fred Rodriguez for a sprint. They have no chance of that if they don't reel in the break.
In case you haven't figured it out, cycling is a very, very team-oriented, tactical sport.
Greg Henderson is getting his handlebars retaped at 38 miles per hour. I wonder if they do paint too?
Lead is 3:45 now. The peloton is 51 miles into the stage.
Henderson is back in the field with shiny new handlebar tape.
Gotta point out there is a helicopter hovering almost directly over my head. Sure, NOW we have a helicopter...
The lead is down to 3:20. At this rate they're making up about 2 minutes per lap, so they will catch the break shortly before the finish. Davitamon Lotto is still at the front, pulling hard, with very little help.
The gap is down to 3:10. Toyota United is STILL sitting in the pack. Probably waiting to see if DVM can pull them back into it.
Michael Rogers of T-Mobile just took a turn at the front of the peloton. Other than that it's all Davitamon Lotto. Again, we have a break of Olsen, Chadwick, Frattini and Zwizanksi that's about 3:10 ahead. Chadwick started the break at mile 2.
The gap is down to 3:05. The lead break is starting to look a little wobbly. They've got to be tired now. They're currently going 40 MPH.
We're 56 miles into it now. Temperature is up to 56 degrees.
Final sprint results: Glen Chadwick (Navigators), Scott Zwizanksi (OSN Kodak) and Davide Frattini (Colavita). Rider number 46 is out of the break because he had a rear wheel flat. He's trying to catch up, drafting team cars. The break waited for him.
Olsen is back in the break. The leaders decided they needed his huge engine. Good choice.
Greg Henderson just had a shoe change.
Two laps to go for our four leaders. At the last check they were 2:40 ahead, but it has probably shrunk after Olsen's flat. Henderson is back in the field, now with new handlebar tape AND new shoes.
CSC has come to the front. The lead is down to 2:08. With two strong teams pulling, the gap may close a lot faster. CSC still wants a win by Rodriguez. They were thwarted yesterday by an early sprint by Gerolsteiner rider Haselbacher.
The peloton has the lead under 2:00 minutes at the 58 mile mark. CSC, T-Mobile and DVM are all pushing it hard. Toyota is still biding their time. So is Discovery.
Discovery and Toyota are betting that CSC, DVM and T-Mobile can pull them back into it. Then they'll have fresh legs to lead out Hincapie and Haedo.
Looks like a good bet so far. The lead is now down to 1:20.
The gap is down to 1:15 now. Remember, Hincapie and Haedo are within 10 points of each other. If Haedo won the sprint and Hincapie got no points, they'd be in a tie for the green jersey.
That would actually get Haedo the title, because he will have won 3 stages, compared to Hincapie's 2.
At 68 miles the gap is down to 1:05. We'll see if Discovery and Toyota's gamble pays off.
Discovery might launch a counter attack as soon as they catch the leaders. Hincapie is not the explosive field sprinter that Haedo is. If they counter attack they might get enough of a gap to win the stage. The gap is shrinking fast...
One lap to go. Bell lap! Gap is down to 45 seconds and the peloton is charging hard.
The gap is down to 35 seconds. The leaders are looking back now.
The break includes Olsen, Chadwick, Frattini and Zwizanksi. It was started at mile 2 by Chadwick. The gap is now 30 seconds.
Scott Zwizanksi has launched an attack off the front of the break. The peloton is charging hard with a lot of folks at the front, but they're looking a bit disorganized. Scott has maybe a 50 meter gap on the break.
The gap to the leader is 27 seconds. Zwizanksi is laboring a bit. It was a gutsy move but I'm not sure he can hold it. A Gerolsteiner rider has just attacked from the peloton.
Here comes the peloton, catching the break on the hill. Zwizanksi is caught too. 4 miles to go.
It's all one group now. Hincapie is at the front pulling, along with Fabian Wegmann of Gerolsteiner. The break is over.
The peloton is going 48 mph. Tom Danielson of Discovery counterattacked but was reabsorbed. CSC has 4-5 riders at the front.
Discovery is moving up in the peloton now, with CSC. Current speed is 34 mph as the peloton moves up the hill one last time, and then turns down Pearl St.
2 miles to go. It's all Discovery and CSC at the front right now.
1k to go. CSC is at the front again.
Here they come! CSC and Discovery, with T-Mobile. CSC is in front. Toyota is pushing!
It's T-Mobile rider Olaf Pollack first, Toyota United Haedo second, then Andre Greipel of T-Mobile at the line!
Floyd Landis is the winner of the inaugural Amgen Tour of California. Leipheimer wins the KOM jersey. Still waiting on the sprinters jersey.
Floyd Landis has a huge smile on his face as he's congratulated by teammates and friends. Levi looks pretty happy about his KOM too.
Looks like Olaf Pollack has won the green jersey by winning the last stage. That's unofficial, folks...
Thanks again to our sponsors, Adobe and Google - your technology made this first year possible.
Congratulations Floyd Landis and team Phonak on a great race, and to all of the other competitors who made this first year Tour so riveting.
And thank YOU everyone, for your great e-mails, for tuning in, and for making this year such a success. Please continue to send feedback to ATOCINFO@gmail.com. We're already planning next year and can use your help.
It's officlal: Olaf wins the sprinters jersey. And Glen Chadwick wins the Adobe Most Aggressive Rider jersey for today. Best overall team for the Tour is Team CSC.
Signing off, until next year folks. Check back for official standings and the recap this evening.