Floyd Landis Wins TT, Takes the Yellow JerseySan Jose, CA February 22, 2006 – 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.”
Don Fitzgerald of Clayton participated in the Amgen Tour of California by riding in the motorcade during the San Jose time trial and presenting the leader jersey. A two-time cancer survivor, Fitzgerald was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in January 2000 and cancer of the tongue in September 2003. Throughout the course of his recovery, Fitzgerald attended a participant group at The Wellness Community. He continues to participate in the Life after Cancer group and is a newcomer leader helping people who are coming to The Wellness Community for the first time.
“The Wellness Community was truly my guiding light following treatment to recovery,” said two-time cancer survivor Don Fitzgerald of Clayton. “The organization provided me with support, camaraderie and a place to not only share my feelings but also gain knowledge from ‘fighting the same war.’ I encourage everyone going through the painful cancer journey to get involved in programs like Breakaway from Cancer. Realizing you’re not alone in the battle has a significant, positive impact on your health.”
Launched in December 2005 as a partnership between Amgen, The Wellness Community and George Hincapie, the Breakaway from Cancer initiative is a complementary component of Amgen’s title sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California. The initiative includes a series of free workshops designed to help people who are affected by cancer learn about new treatments, side effects, support networks and educational resources.
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
For full results, official times, archived footage, photos and play-by-play from today’s stage of the Amgen Tour of California, please visit the official race website at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com. For images from today’s stage and the week, please go to www.gettyimages.com. A one-hour race recap will be broadcast on ESPN2 tonight at 10 p.m. PST.
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