2009 Prologue Play by Play16:03:38 Stage 1 starts tomorrow at 12 pm PT in Davis with a 107.6-mile pedal to Santa Rosa, Leipheimer's hometown. En route the peloton will face two Herbalfe sprints and three California Travel & Tourism King of the Mountains climbs. Live coverage begins here at 11:30 AM PT with our pre-show and the play by play will once again be penned by me, Rick Scott. Thanks for riding with us today. Sending you peace, love & cycling bliss from Sacramento at the fourth Amgen Tour of California.
15:57:38 What a lovely way to spend Valentine's Day in the California state capitol of Sacramento for the launch of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California. The crowd to watch perhaps the best field ever to race on American soil was immense. They were treated to a sweet taste of what's to come in the week ahead while watching a 2.4-mile Prologue. Two-time World Time Trial Champion Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) won his second consecutive Amgen Tour of California Prologue with a time of 4:32.909. He bested two-time Amgen Tour of California champion Levi Leipheimer (Team Astana) by 1.204 seconds and David Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream) by 2.648 seconds.
15:51:08 Leipheimer takes 2nd place. Cancellara is in yellow with Zabriskie, the USPRO Time Trial champion claims 3rd place. The winning time is 4:32.909.
15:49:39 Landis finishes around 88th place as the road is getting wet now. Only Leipheimer is left to finish.
15:48:51 Michael Rogers takes 3rd as the Australian TT Champ shows strong form for Team Columbia.
15:47:48 Basso finishes in 64th. Cancellara on top followed by Dave Z. and Big Thor.
15:46:25 Leipheimer looks super intense shooting fire from his eyes. Cancellara takes the lead with a time of 4:32.909.
15:44:57 Armstrong crosses in 7th after a terrific ride. Floyd Landis makes his start. He won the first edition of the Amgen Tour of California. Levi Leipheimer is last to start as defending champion.
15:43:33 Olympic gold medal time trialist Fabian Cancellara is on course as is Ivan Basso. David Zabriskie takes the lead! His time is 4:35.557.
15:41:56 Hincapie just missed the lead! He's now in 2nd back of Hushovd with Boonen down to 3rd.
15:41:02 Tom Boonen now holds second place by 0.3 of a second.
15:40:11 Lance is off and the crowd erupts! Today will be a great test of his form although he prefers longer time trials.
15:38:55 Reigning USPRO Road Race Champ Tyler Hamilton is on course for Rock Racing. He won the gold in the time trial at the 2004 Olympic Games. Lance Armstrong is about to start.
15:36:55 No! Hushovd claims the top spot now with a time of 4:36.41. George Hincapie is on course for Team Columbia-Highroad.
15:35:50 Zirbel rips a 4th place finish for the moment. Renshaw is still on top folowed by Tuft and Cavendish. Will their times hold up?
15:33:46 It's cold and the skies are darkening. The meat of the order is soon to make their start. Stay with us. Robert Gesink, winner of a stage last year and two-time winner of the Best Young Rider here, is now on course.
15:31:51 Thor Hushovd is up next for his new Cervelo Test Team. He's a former winner of the sprint competition at the Tour de France.
15:30:19 Tom Zirbel is on course for Bissell. He's a terrific time trialist.
15:29:20 Haedo roars towards the finish line. He stands up to get all the power out of his legs. His time is good for 15th place at the moment.
15:27:18 The biggest stars are soon to make their start. Stay with us here at the Prologue of the Amgen Tour of California. I'm Rick Scott. Thanks for tuning in. Frankie Andreu and JoE Silva are calling the action to go along with the video.
15:25:15 J.J. Haedo rolls off the start ramp for Saxo Bank. He's won more stages at this race than anyone at five. He's won a stage each year of the race and will look to keep the streak alive this year.
15:23:37 Former World Champion Oscar Freire is on course wearing the famous number 51.
15:22:33 Sutherland nears the finish. The Australian resides in Southern California near Escondido, where the race finishes a week from tomorrow. His time is around 5 minutes, well down of the leaders.
15:19:12 Rory Sutherland is on course for Ouch. He's won the National Racing Calendar the past two seasons.
15:18:11 Get your Amgen Tour of California gift pack special today at www.amgentourofcaliforniastore.com. Today only the gift pack is on sale for $50, a $250 value.
15:16:21 Baldwin's time is good enough for 45th.
15:15:19 Chechu nails 27th place for the moment.
15:14:32 Andy Schleck is next to finish. 4:52 and change is about 52nd place.
15:13:13 Farrar is in the finishing straight. It is a long drag race to the line. His time is good enough for 5th place at the moment.
15:11:39 Chechu Rubiera is on course for Astana. Former U.S. Time Trial champ Chris Baldwin prepares to make his debut with Rock Racing.
15:10:09 Andy Schleck is considered to be a future Grand Tour winner. He was sensational in the mountains last year at the Tour de France where he won the Best Young Rider competition.
15:08:40 Tyler Farrar makes his start. He was 2nd last year in the Prologue. Andy Schleck awaits his turn next.
15:06:54 Mark Renshaw has the time to beat at 4:36.962 with Tuft and Cavendish less than a second back.
15:05:28 Andy Jacques-Maynes finishes in 9th place for the moment.
15:04:27 Rick Scott typing the words for you in Sacramento at the 2.4-mile Prologue of the Amgen Tour of California. Stay tuned to find out who will claim the first yellow leader's jersey of this year's race.
15:01:22 Ben's brother Andy Jacques-Maynes is on course for Bissell. The other team of brothers in the race are the Schleck brothers, who ride for Saxo Bank.
14:58:51 O'Grady finishes almost 8 seconds back of Renshaw.
14:57:30 O'Grady is coming into the finishing area.
14:56:21 No change on the leader board. Renshaw, Tuft and Cavendish still on top.
14:54:58 Here comes Astana's Yaroslav Popovych to the start.
14:53:39 Thomas Lovkvist of Team Columbia is on course. He wore the white jersey as Best Young Rider in the Tour de France last year. On deck is Saxo Bank's Stuart O'Grady.
14:51:39 Sastre finishes in 61st place for the moment just under 5 minutes. Tom Danielson is in the start house for Garmin-Slipstream. The American has been working on a new time trial position, but his strength is in the hills.
14:48:17 Sastre is rockin' number 81 looking sharp in the Cervelo black kit with white and red trim. The course is flat so don't expect the brilliant climber to be much of a factor today.
14:46:15 Pat McCarty is on course for Ouch. Jeff Louder is next for BMC followed by Sastre, who now leads the Cervelo Test Team.
14:44:05 Frank Pipp of Bissell rolled off the start. Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre is about to make his Amgen Tour of California debut. He's been battling the flu all week and expects to suffer this week.
14:41:31 McCartney crosses the line down about 9 seconds.
14:40:20 If you're watching the video feed and have questions for Frankie Andreu and JoE Silva, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you.
14:38:11 Jani Brajkovic, a whisp of a man, yet one amazing rider, is ready to start for Team Astana. He won the Tour de Georgia a couple years ago.
14:35:40 American Jason McCartney is up next riding for Saxo Bank. Top 3 remains Renshaw, Tuft and Cavendish. Rick Scott here, your eyes and ears in Sacramento at the Amgen Tour of California. Thanks for joining us for the Prologue.
14:33:18 Team Columbia-Highroad's Michael Barry is preparing to start.
14:30:05 The finish line area is chalked in yellow with messages written by cancer survivors who were give chalk by the LIVESTRONG organization.
14:26:43 The website to go to for your official Amgen Tour of California merchandise is www.amgentourofcaliforniastore.com.
14:24:42 We have a new best time. Team Columbia-Highroad's Mark Renshaw finished in 4:36:962 to best Tuft by a whisker. Cavendish moves down to 3rd.
14:23:20 Frank Schleck blasted past the 1 km to go flag and nears the finish.
14:22:17 Took a walk through the festival before the race started and people were scooping up a ton of Amgen Tour of California clothing. Get yours today at the store on this site. Today's special is the Gift Pack Promotion. It retails for $250, but is available today only for $50. It'll make a sweet Valentine's Day gift for your love.
14:17:51 Garmin-Slipstream's Steven Cozza just rolled off the start ramp. He rode super aggressively in last year's race.
14:15:40 Top of the leader's board reads Tuft, Cavendish and Ben Jacques-Maynes. Soon to start are Frank Schleck and Chris "Red neck" Horner. Can't tell you how Horner got the nickname. Ask Lance Armstrong, the man who gave it to his Astana teammate.
14:11:37 In the start house now is Scott Nydam, BMC's climber who won the King of the Mountains jersey last year. He's a regular training partner of two-time defending Amgen Tour of California champion Levi Leipheimer.
14:09:42 It's a long straight ride into the finish and Sevilla crossed almost 10 seconds back of the leader. His time to shine will be in the mountains.
14:07:26 Cavendish flew to the second best time thus far, down only 0.714 of Tuft.
14:05:28 Big Jens Voigt in on the course, the warrior from Saxo Bank. Rock Racing's Oscar Sevilla is soon to start.
14:03:51 The crowd is thickly lining the course many people deep. Great to see so many people out to watch the start of the 4th Amgen Tour of California.
14:02:13 Cavendish hit the 180 a wee bit too fast and nearly hit the deck.
14:01:24 Rollin rocks across the finish line huffing and puffing down 5.789 seconds of the leader board to claim 5th place for the moment. Here comes Cavendish to the start.
13:59:11 Mark Cavendish and Jens Voigt are just a couple of the stars that will start shortly.
13:57:22 Top 3 places thus far are Tuft, Ben Jacques-Maynes and Brad Huff.
13:56:12 Last year's Herbalife Sprint jersey winner Dominique Rollin just rolled down the start ramp. He won Stage 4, which helped land him a place on the new Cervelo Test Team for this season.
13:53:20 The sun is shining, but the wind is pretty fierce. Temps are in the low 50s.
13:52:08 Rick Scott in Sacramento bringing you the play by play. Frankie Andreu and JoE Silva are the men at the mic on the video side. Yes, JoE spells his name that way.
13:50:20 Svein Tuft of Garmin-Slipstream just blazed a new best time of 4:37.64. He won medaled at the World Championship Time Trial last season.
13:48:13 Thus far, Ben Jacques-Maynes has the time to beat at 4:38:538.
13:46:17 Gustav Larsson of Saxo Bank just started. He won the silver medal in the Olympic Time Trial in Beijing last summer.
13:44:29 Please bare with us with we work out the bugs.
13:43:02 The course has a short little rise and drop in the first half mile, a fast 180-degree turn and then is flat the rest of the way.
13:38:17 Ben Jacques-Maynes is on the course now for Bissell.
13:37:20 A huge crowd is lining the course today in the shadow of the Capitol Mall.
13:35:34 Sorry for the audio problems, but the technical difficulties are presently being addressed. The race is underway. Rock Racing's Glen Chadwick was the first rider to start the 2.4-mile Prologue.
11:49:58 Happy Valentine's Day from Sacramento where we're awaiting the start of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California Prologue. I'm Rick Scott and we're glad you've joined us. The sun is shining and the roads are drying. It's cool and the wind is deceptively strong. The first rider goes off at 1:30 PM PT. Stay with us for all the live action.
06:02:37 Stay tuned, the 2009 Amgen Tour of California begins February 14 at 1:30 PM.