Stage 1 Play by Play16:04:43 Stage 1 of the 3rd Amgen Tour of California witnessed a long, courageous breakaway from BMC's Jackson Stewart, a Santa Rosa resident, who escaped after 17 miles and was caught over 60 miles later by a supercharged peloton hungry to save the day for the sprinters. The 97-mile/156-km ride from Sausalito to Santa Rosa featured three Herbalife Sprints and one category 3 King of the Mountains climb. Stewart pocketed all the prizes along the way before the peloton gobbled him up as they approached the finishing circuit in Santa Rosa. In the end, CSC's Juan Jose Haedo unleashed a fierce sprint to take the victory by a few bike lengths, his fifth ever Amgen Tour of California stage win. High Road's Gerald Ciolek was 2nd and Gerolsteiner's Heinrich Haussler took 3rd. CSC can also celebrate that Fabian Cancellara hung onto the golden leader's jersey. High Road's Bradley Wiggins and Team Slipstream's Tyler Farrar retain their GC positions as well. Stage 2 begins in Santa Rosa tomorrow at 10 PST with a 116 mile/186-km stage to Sacramento. The riders will face two King of the Mountains climbs along with two Sprints. Frankie Andreu & Joe Silva will be back on the air broadcasting live on this site tomorrow starting at 9:30 AM PST. I'll be back then as well. I'm Rick Scott and we hope you enjoyed today's Stage 1 of the 2008 Amgen Tour of California. Thanks for spending your President's Day with us.
15:32:37 Plenty of sharp-looking Amgen Tour of California merchandise available this year through our online shop, including jerseys, T-shirts and sweatshirts. Today we've got a special on hats. To get a 20% discount today on hats, enter the merchandise code "HAT2008" at checkout.
15:30:44 Stay tuned for the official results and GC, which will be posted on this site as soon as they are available. There will likely be a new leader of the Amgen Tour of California.
15:29:08 There was a crash and George Hincapie went down, but he's back up riding across the line on his own power. Haedo won by a few bike lengths with Cavendish 2nd.
15:26:54 Bettini is driving now for Boonen, but Haedo takes it!
15:26:18 Quick Step rides are peeling off one at a time. Cancellara is there as well.
15:25:03 A few more corners to go. Quick Step is there with Slipstream just behind.
15:24:00 CSC shut it down.
15:23:36 A BMC rider flew around the pack and is driving away from them.
15:22:22 Quick Step is at the front single file now.
15:21:10 CSC is up front as is Horner and Leipheimer of Astana, who are looking to stay out of trouble. There's goes the bell. One lap to go.
15:19:09 Cancellara is riding just in front of Haedo, who has won more Amgen Tour of California stages than anyone (4), including here last year.
15:15:47 It's a nervous time and the riders are strung out in a long line as they start the 2nd lap of three. 10 km left to go.
15:13:31 The pack is snaking their way around the course on their first of three circuits.
15:11:56 Slipstream, Quick Step and CSC are still prominent at the front of the peloton in support of their sprinters. We're nearing the 4-hour mark of the race.
15:10:08 Three laps of a 5 km circuit remain. The crowd is electric. The pace is lightning fast and there are lots of corners for the riders to whip around.
15:07:30 There are still three separate groups on the road as the leaders come into town to hit the circuits here in Santa Rosa.
15:04:55 Slipstream and CSC are taking turns with Quick Step at the front. They are flying and have already waved the motorcycle camera to get out of their way. Cancellara is surrounded by CSC riders who are protecting their leader.
14:59:40 There has been a split and there are now three groups. Not sure if it'll come back together as the pace quickens with only 20 kms left.
14:57:56 Less than 25 kms remain and the riders look relaxed as they approach Santa Rosa. At the front, Slipstream and CSC are at the helm.
14:55:26 Slipstream is riding for their sprinter Tyler Farrar, who was 3rd yesterday in the prologue. He's gained some time out on the road today and there are 10, 6 and 4-second time bonuses up for grabs at the finish.
14:52:04 Stewart is done and the peloton is still cooking on their way into town.
14:50:49 Stewart took flight just 17 miles into the stage and has officially been named the stage's Most Aggressive Rider by the media.
14:49:14 The gap is 30 seconds. The pack is rapidly approaching their prey lusting for blood.
14:47:52 The pace has heated up and so have the riders. The armwarmers and vests are gone from most riders. The catch is certain to come soon. Stewart has less than a 2-minute advantage.
14:44:59 Stewart's lead is 3:20, but the impetus has gone out of his pedaling while the pack is flying behind him. Quick Step has a big presence, probably for Boonen although Bettini might want the stage as well.
14:40:23 Stewart is holding on to a 3:30 advantage, but the peloton is chasing hard led by CSC, Slipstream, Toyota-United and Quick Step.
14:38:15 The sun is shining brightly, but Stewart is looking doomed. At worst, he'll be on the podium tonight as the King of the Mountains and is certainly the Most Aggressive Rider of the stage.
14:34:34 Stewart, who lives in Santa Rosa, just took on a few bottles to hand off to teammates once he gets caught by the peloton, which looks very likely.
14:32:12 As per usual, a big crowd awaits the riders here in Santa Rosa. Once they arrive into town, they'll have three laps of a 5 km circuit with lots of turns. Stewart is still fighting to hang onto his advantage while Slipstream lifts the tempo at the front of the group.
14:29:22 On the KOM, officially it was our breakaway hero Stewart followed by Quick Step's Kevin Seeldraeyers and Jens Voigt of CSC.
14:23:38 Plenty of sharp-looking Amgen Tour of California merchandise available this year through our online shop, including jerseys, T-shirts and sweatshirts. Today we've got a special on hats. To get a 20% discount today on hats, enter the merchandise code "HAT2008" at checkout.
14:20:31 A Quick Step rider accelerated to take the 2nd spot of the KOM with the peloton strung out behind him. The riders are flying down now the decent about 7:30+ after Stewart. They've got about 30 miles left to ride.
14:17:55 Stewart's advantage is down to 9+ minutes, but he has collected the maximum KOM points and all three Herbalife Sprint time bonuses. Tyler Farrar was 2nd in the final Herbalife Sprint, helping his own cause in the GC battle.
14:13:37 The heads up state are now at the front on the KOM. George Hincapie is up there for High Road. Chris Horner is there for Astana. Slipstream is up there and so is Tom Boonen for Quick Step.
14:09:30 Slipstream and Quick Step are still at the front and Astana have finally shown themselves today. The air is thickening with tension.
14:06:56 Stewart snatched the third Herbalife Sprint and is now on the KOM climb on Coleman Valley Road. The Specialized angel is there to help him fly up the hill.
14:02:46 Slipstream riders are all over the front driving the pace. Quick Step is up there also as perhaps Tom Boonen is going to test his sprint in the 3rd Herbalife Sprint.
13:53:40 The third Herbalife Sprint comes at the 59-mile/95-km mark with 3, 2 & 1 second time bonuses again up for grabs. Shortly afterwards, the climber's finally get their opportunity on the ascent of Coleman Valley Road, a category 3 King of the Mountains climb at the 64-mile/103-km point.
13:46:01 More teams are sending riders up front to help. It looks like the United Nations as Rabobank, Slipstream and Rock Racing have joined CSC, Toyota-United and BMC at the head of the peloton. Despite their combined efforts, Stewart's lead has grown to 13 minutes.
13:39:09 Stewart is maintaining his 12-minute advantage. CSC and Toyota-United are still at the front of the pack while Stewart's BMC teammates police the front as well. Check out Frankie Andreu & Joe Silva broadcasting live on our site right now.
13:32:36 Part of Amgen's title sponsorship of the race is their Breakaway from Cancer initiative. You can text the word "Donate" to 222377 to make a $2.00 donation to help make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and support cancer research. All entrants will receive discounts valid at the Amgen Tour of California online store and you'll automatically be entered to win daily prizes and a 2009 Amgen Tour of California VIP Getaway.
13:30:53 The riders are about 45 miles/73-kms into the stage and are in the feedzone now while Stewart continues to ride away from the field in earnest.
13:27:56 High Road executed a perfect lead-out for Mark Cavendish to take the 2-second time bonus with Team Slipstream's Tyler Farrar earning one second.
13:25:53 Today's Stage 1 is sponsored by Herbalife. Last year, the finish became a scrum when Gerald Ciolek hit the deck in the finishing circuits in Santa Rosa, which took down a large portion of the peloton. We don't want to see anything like that happen today.
13:21:19 CSC and Toyota-United are at the front driving the chase in unison. If you've got comments or questions, you can email us at ATOC2008@yahoo.com. We'd love to hear from you as we hope you're enjoying today's coverage.
13:15:53 Toyota-United's Ivan Dominguez and his lead-out man, Henk Vogels, have moved to the front so it appears Dominguez is going to go for the sprint. Stewart just hit the line to take the maximum bonus.
13:11:43 The peloton has eased up to eat and take natural breaks. The second Herbalife Sprint comes at the 44-mile/71-km mark again with 3, 2 and 1 second time bonuses. Stewart will obviously pocket the first bonus.
13:07:31 Today we've got an online special on sporty Amgen Tour of California hats. To get a 20% discount, punch in today's merchandise code "HAT2008"during the checkout.
13:03:18 A rider from the other top sprinter's squads – Quick Step, High Road and Cippo's Rock Racing - have come forward to lend CSC a hand in pursuit of race leader Jackson Stewart.
12:59:59 CSC is still driving the front while one of Stewart's BMC teammates sits up there monitoring their progress.
12:52:55 Scratch that. Third place in the Herbalife Sprint went to Mario Cipollini. Cippo is certainly here ready to race and mix it up in the sprints.
12:50:47 With Stewart the virtual leader of the Amgen Tour of California with his 12+-minute advantage over the peloton, CSC has assumed the front to start the chase.
12:47:56 Stewart's advantage is over 11 minutes, while the peloton races for the Herbalife Sprint. Cavendish takes it on the line ahead of Fast Fred Rodriguez. The Brit earns a 2-second time bonus while Rodriguez gains a single second.
12:45:00 It's a mix of sun & clouds today with cool temperatures, but rain is in the forecast for tomorrow. High Road is now moving their riders towards the front as the pack nears the first Herbalife Sprint. They've got a few young fastmen in Gerald Ciolek, Mark Cavendish and the leader in the Young Rider competition, Edvald Hagen.
12:38:27 Today we've got an online special on great-looking Amgen Tour of California hats. To get a 20% discount, punch in today's merchandise code: HAT2008.
12:35:59 Stewart continues to time trial away while the peloton still has a bunch of CSC riders at the front in support of their GC leader, Fabian Cancellara.
12:30:56 On behalf of the Amgen Tour of California web team, I'm Rick Scott. BMC's Jackson Stewart is about 3 km away from the first Herbalife Sprint while the peloton lags more than 5 minutes behind.
12:26:45 With his advantage growing, Stewart will likely earn the 3-second time bonus in the first Herbalife Sprint.
12:16:59 Stewart has amassed a 5-plus minute advantage at the moment. He's working hard while the peloton rolls along easily.
12:14:10 For those following the race on our GPS tool, please bare with us as it's not functioning properly at the moment.
12:11:59 This is our first look at Leipheimer this season in his red, white & blue Astana kit as USPRO Road Race Champion. Saunier Duval and Credit Agricole have moved up to the front of the peloton.
12:09:03 The peloton should hit the first Herbalife Sprint at Point Reyes Station in 10-15 minutes. Stewart is still away on a solo flight putting minutes on the pack, which has yet to turn a pedal in anger today. The riders are eating, chatting and pedaling at a comfortable tempo.
12:00:45 Stewart is off the front again and has a 55-second gap on the peloton. He's a Californian and has ridden well here in the past.
11:55:43 Here in Santa Rosa, the first women's Amgen Tour of California criterium is about to get underway, which includes some of the top American pro teams.
11:53:44 BMC's Jackson Stewart caught and passed Spinelli, but he's been caught by the CSC-led peloton.
11:51:21 The weather is a bit cool and overcast. Riders started in vests and armwarmers with some even sporting kneewarmers. Kelly Benefit's Justin Spinelli is having a go, riding off the front solo.
11:48:21 Jens Voigt is at the front prominently displaying the effects of a nasty crash he had last week at the CSC training camp in Agoura Hills, California. The team was there for two weeks and called it their best camp ever. They hope to go back to Agoura Hills next year.
11:40:18 The peloton is rolling along still in a relaxed mood. They should hit the first sprint zone where points are up for grabs in the Herbalife sprint competition. The field is loaded with some of the best sprinters in the world including Tom Boonen, Oscar Freire, Paolo Bettini, J.J. Haedo, Mark Cavendish, Gerald Ciolek, Fred Rodriguez and Ivan Dominguez.
11:33:03 World Champion Paolo Bettini is riding at the front as is the Lion King himself, Mario Cipolini, back from retirement and in the Rock Racing kit. Today their kit is black with red & white, different than the black & lime green skinsuits they wore yesterday.
11:26:54 The official race has begun. CSC is upfront along with Astana, High Road, Rabobank and Quick Step setting a comfortable tempo.
11:17:21 Today we've got an online special on great-looking Amgen Tour of California hats. To get a 20% discount, punch in today's merchandise code: HAT2008.
11:09:29 The riders are off on a 7.7-mile neutral start in Sausalito. High Road's Bradley Wiggins is in the Herbalife Sprinter's jersey reflecting his 2nd place finish in yesterday's prologue.
11:03:52 If you've got video capabilities, you can watch the race live right here on our site with commentary from Frankie Andreu and Joe Silva. We'd love to hear from you as well. If you've got comments or questions, you can email us at ATOC2008@yahoo.com.
10:57:10 Part of Amgen's title sponsorship of the race is their Breakaway from Cancer initiative. You can text the word "Donate" to 222377 to make a $2.00 donation to help make a difference in the lives of cancer patients. All entrants will receive discounts valid at the Amgen Tour of California online store and you'll automatically be entered to win daily prizes and a 2009 Amgen Tour of California VIP Getaway.
10:45:26 Welcome back to the 2008 Amgen Tour of California. I'm Rick Scott and we're glad you're spending President's Day with us. Stage 1 starts today in Sausalito with CSC’s Fabian Cancellera in the golden leader’s jersey after he smashed the field in the opening prologue yesterday in Palo Alto. The peloton rolls off at 11 AM PST on a 97-mile rolling ride to Santa Rosa, home of defending race champion Levi Leipheimer. Along the way, the sprinters will have a go at three sprint lines. At the 65-mile mark, the climbers can flex their legs on the category 3 Coleman Valley climb. The day will likely be settled in a thrilling sprint finish and we've got some of the best sprinters in the world here hungry for the win. Stay with us for live race coverage coming up soon.
09:38:56 Good morning. Stage 1 coverage will begin at 10:30.