Stage 7: Hincapie wins the Rose Bowl & Leipheimer retains his California Crown
ROUTE DETAILSDay: Sunday, Feb 24
Start: Santa Clarita
Start Time: 12:00 PM
End ETA: 3:27-4:01 PM
Stage 7 Results | Video | Press Release
High Road's George Hincapie took the stage win from the remnants of a day-long breakaway. Leipheimer finished in the lead pack about a minute later.
While official results were still pending, there appeared to be no change in the top overall spots, with Slipstream-Chipotle's David Millar and Christian Vande Velde filling out the podium.
Sunday's stage, a 93-miler from Santa Clarita to Pasadena's Rose Bowl, was held in often-heavy rain. As has been the pattern since Leipheimer took the yellow leader's jersey, a small breakaway of unthreatening-riders was allowed to stay away most of the day. Astana kept the gap manageable until the sprinters' teams worked to reel it in in the final miles.
On Sunday, a 9-man break was away for much of the day and the peloton was not able to catch it, quite. The best-placed rider in the break was Hincapie, who started the day 7:30 down on Leipheimer. The break began to fall apart as it entered Pasadena and began six 5-mile laps on a demanding circuit around the Rose Bowl.
Bissell's Tom Zirbel attacked from the break with about 22 miles to go, and, until the final lap, held off the pack and the remnants of the break: Hincapie, Rock Racing's Michael Creed, CSC's Jason McCartney and Health Net-Maxxis rider Rory Sutherland.
The group came back together on the final lap, then Hincapie outsprinted Sutherland for the win, followed by McCartney. Excerpted from
Stage 7 Profile
Partly Cloudy, 48 F
Fri - Mostly Sunny. High: 55 Low: 38
Sat - Rain/Wind. High: 55 Low: 27
Sun - Mostly Sunny. High: 55 Low: 33
Mon - Sunny/Wind. High: 52 Low: 34
Tue - Sunny. High: 57 Low: 40
Full Forecast at Yahoo! Weather
(provided by The Weather Channel)