2009 Stage 2 Play by Play15:20:57 Stage 3 departs from San Jose for a 104.2-mile jaunt to Modesto, including a pair of sprints and two KOM climbs, the first of which will be the menacing Sierra Road (category 1). Join us at 11:30 AM PT for our pre-race show hosted by Frankie Andreu and JoE Silva with live race coverage beginning at 12 PM PT. Thanks for riding with us. I'm Rick Scott sending you peace, love & cycling bliss from Santa Cruz.
15:14:34 A President's Day for all, Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California departed Sausalito in cold and soggy conditions with a picturesque 115.9-mile route to Santa Cruz that included a pair of Herbalife Sprints, two challenging California Travel & Tourism King of the Mountains climbs, and a toll-free passage across the Golden Gate Bridge, a first for this race. A ten-man escape departed early and stayed away until the second KOM on Bonny Doon Road. Quick Step's Carlos Barredo shot the first salvo, but back in the bunch Astana's Levi Leipheimer launched from the field and stormed up the long steep climb on a mission. He caught and passed Barredo. Thomas Peterson (Garmin-Slipstream), who had bridged with Jason McCartney (Saxo Bank) to Barredo, hung on for the ride of his life glued to Leipheimer's wheel. Sun welcomed the two leaders into Santa Cruz with a manic chase group a minute in arrears. Leipheimer, who had put enough distance between himself and overall race leader, Francisco Mancebo (Rock Racing), to claim the yellow jersey for himself, did not contest the sprint, allowing the 22-year-old Peterson to win the stage.
14:01:13 Armstrong crosses in the group. Leipheimer gained a 6-second time bonus for 2nd place. Mancebo is about to cross the line having lost the yellow jersey to Leipheimer.
14:00:03 Peterson jumps to take the stage. Leipheimer doesn't challenge. Here comes the chase group.
13:59:16 Can Leipheimer and Peterson hang on?
13:58:57 Here comes the peloton!
13:58:33 The crowd is amped in Santa Cruz awaiting the finish. 1 km to go for Leipehimer and Peterson. The gap is down to 40 seconds.
13:57:48 The gap is 55 seconds as the stage has crossed the 5-hour mark.
13:57:09 The Armstrong group of 24 riders are back 1:20.
13:56:41 Leipheimer and Peterson are 2 km to the finish.
13:55:31 It's a ride to the finish today; no finishing circuits.
13:54:50 McCartney has been swallowed up by the Armstrong group.
13:54:22 The sun is welcoming the riders into town.
13:53:48 Huge crowds are out on the roads into Santa Cruz. Leipheimer continues to drive Peterson right into town. The Armstrong chase is 1:05 back.
13:52:02 Leipheimer has enough of an advantage to claim the yellow jersey if things hold as they are at the moment. There is also a 10-second time bonus for the stage win. McCartney is 50 seconds back. The Armstrong group is 1:15 down.
13:50:05 Rumor has it that Tom Danielson (Garmin-Slipstream), who was in the Armstrong group, flatted and is now trying to make his way back to the group.
13:48:36 McCartney is 15 seconds back of the Leipheimer Express.
13:47:07 Leiphimer grits his teeth and drops into a time trial tuck. Peterson is there enjoying the ride some 1:22 ahead of a group led by Lance Armstrong.
13:45:09 18 riders in the Armstrong group while ahead Leipheimer and Peterson drive to the finish.
13:43:21 The Armstrong group has caught Barredo and Nibali. They are one minute back in a group of 11.
13:42:39 Peterson has grabbed a hold of Leipheimer's wheel.
13:41:48 Leipheimer descends a bit ahead of Peterson and McCartney.
13:41:12 Nibali is about to nail back Barredo. The Italian shoots right around the Spaniard.
13:38:26 The California Travel & Tourism KOM points went to Leipheimer, Peterson, McCartney, Barredo and Nibali.
13:37:01 20 km to the finish. McCartney has rejoined Leipheimer and Peterson.
13:35:03 Leipheimer and Peterson are over the KOM and have begun their descent.
13:34:34 Leipheimer is riding like a man possessed looking for as much time as possible over the yellow jersey, Mancebo.
13:33:20 Leipheimer catches Peterson and McCartney and the three Americans soldier on together. McCartney drops off Leipheimer's pace.
13:32:04 Leipheimer catches and passes Barredo.
13:31:23 Thomas Peterson(Garmin-Slipstream) and Jason McCartney (Saxo Bank) have caught and passed Barredo.
13:29:15 Sorry for the lack of pictures. Barredo is still ahead with a pair of riders (Jason McCartney and ?) in pursuit followed by Leipheimer, who is presently riding alone. The Armstrong group is back 2:50. Basso is in that bunch.
13:25:43 After they eventually summit, they'll have 13.3 miles to the finish in Santa Cruz.
13:24:30 Leipheimer is up out of the saddle rocking and rolling his way up the KOM.
13:22:35 Leipheimer passes Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) and Cameron Evans (OUCH) on Bonny Doon Road.
13:21:25 Leipheimer has dropped his companion, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) and is riding up the climb in the rain alone. This is clearly a move to win the overall, not the stage.
13:18:52 Barredo called up his team car for a bit of food.
13:17:08 Barredo continues to climb like an angel even though a fan in a red devil suit ran up alongside the Spanish rider.
13:16:04 Leipheimer is going for it. He looks back at the Liquigas rider and turns back, jumps out of the saddle and continues his ascent. Their gap is 50 meters on the field.
13:13:49 A Liquigas rider is chasing Leipheimer.
13:13:17 Leipheimer is riding away from the peloton alone.
13:12:52 Leipheimer has attacked!
13:12:35 Armstrong is the Astana rider setting the tempo up the climb in the field.
13:11:59 Barredo powers up the climb solo. Back in the bunch, Astana has assumed the lead, which closed the gap down to 2:55.
13:10:10 Quick Step's Carlos Barredo has dashed away from his breakmates on the climb. You could tell he was planning this move back when they were approaching the climb. He's a gifted climber.
13:07:27 The roads are wet again and more precipitation looms. The peloton has now turned onto the start of the climb.
13:06:10 The field is at mile 94.5, still 3:55 behind the break.
13:05:26 The ten-man break is on the climb.
13:04:06 Rock Racing is amassed at the front of the peloton leading them to the climb. Garmin-Slipstream and Team Columbia-Highroad are moving up.
13:02:04 The break is a mile from the start of the KOM climb.
13:00:57 Rick Scott acting as your chaperon today at the Amgen Tour of California. You can feel the anticipation thickening as the riders near the final California Travel & Tourism KOM of the day, the category 3 climb of Boony Doon Road. The gap is down to 3:55.
12:58:29 Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) up in the break is calling for his team car. He lives in Santa Cruz and his family awaits his arrival. Hopefully his brother, Andy, wasn't seriously injured.
12:56:40 The break is up to 4:20.
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12:54:55 24 miles and change to go as the break maintains a lead of 4:15. Rock Racing still in the driver's seat of the peloton in support of the yellow jersey, Francisco Mancebo.
12:54:34 24 miles and change to go as the break maintains a lead of 4:15. Rock Racing still in the driver's seat of the peloton in support of the yellow jersey, Francisco Mancebo.
12:51:24 The riders are clearly preparing for the KOM coming up on Bonny Doon Road. The team cars are being asked to move aside for an ambulance to move through, probably carrying Andy Jacques-Maynes.
12:49:05 The California sun is finally shining upon the riders.
12:46:55 The advantage is 4:15 for the break.
12:46:27 Riders, including Armstrong, are starting to shed their rain capes in anticipation of a dry finish. Andy Jacques-Maynes, twin brother of Bissell teammate Ben, was involved in the crash earlier and has dropped out of the race. He's on his way to the hospital.
12:43:35 The break is creeping up to 5 minutes. Armstrong is back talking to his Astana team car.
12:42:44 30 miles left in Stage 3. Rick Scott here happy to have you with us on this President's Day holiday. It's dry in Santa Cruz where the stage will conclude, but the riders are still amidst the showers that has dampened them on and off all day today.
12:37:01 The gap is 4:15. Thankfully all the riders involved in the crash are back riding.
12:34:35 Quick Step and OUCH had riders in the crash with one rider ending up under a parked car. The mess happened on a straight flat road.
12:31:46 83 miles in with less than 20 miles until the KOM summit. The climb is about 7.3 miles long.
12:28:18 Supposedly 15 riders were involved in a crash, including Armstrong, who is back on his bike and riding with assistance form loyal teammate Chechu Rubiera. It's pouring down in buckets again.
12:24:11 The break is now up over 5 minutes.
12:23:42 Fans are lining the streets in Santa Cruz. Rumors abound that Lance Armstrong was involved in a crash, but we're waiting for confirmation.
12:22:16 Before the race started I took a walk to scope out the new Amgen Tour of California apparel. Plenty of great-looking items are available including jerseys, hats, jackets and sweatshirts. Take a peak at the offerings at www.amgentourofcaliforniastore.com. Today there is a special on t-shirts. Enjoy a 25% discount by entering the code TSHIRTS09 at checkout.
12:21:49 78 miles in with 36 miles to go along with one nasty KOM before the finish in Santa Cruz.
12:19:09 The gap is back up to 4:07.
12:18:38 Just received some hype from Team Type 1's press hound, Sean Weide, about their man in the break, Valeriy Kobzarenko, a former Russian National Road Race Champion.
12:13:12 The view on the coast is an interesting mix of duality with the sky over the ocean a beautiful blue while the sky over the land an ominous gray.
12:11:04 The California Travel & Tourism KOM on Bonny Doon Road (category 3) comes at the 102.6-mile mark. The peloton, powered by Rock Racing, appears to be anxious to close the gap to the 10-man break before the climb.
12:08:27 About 43 miles to go with 74 in the bank during Stage 2.
12:07:00 The LIVESTRONG crew has cancer survivors chalking up the roads in Santa Cruz. Have questions or comments for Frankie Andreu & Memphis JoE Silva? Email them at email@example.com. Tell them Rick Scott sent you.
12:02:00 The men in the break 3:05 ahead of the peloton are McCartney (Saxo Bank), Cozza & Thomas Peterson (Garmin-Slipstream), Carlos Barredo (Quick Step), Stef Clement & Grischa Niermann (Rabobank), Markus Zberg (BMC), Cameron Evans (OUCH), Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell), and Valeriy Kobzarenko (Team Type 1).
11:59:35 Apparently McCartney (Saxo Bank) flatted in the break around the time Cozza had his bike change. The stage is over the 3-hour mark with at least another couple of hours ahead.
11:56:24 The route continues to roll along the Pacific Coast Highway.
11:55:04 Cozza has rejoined his breakaway companions.
11:53:26 Blue skies are peaking through the clouds despite the light rain that has again begun to fall.
11:51:42 Cozza is talking to his team car and is asking for a bike change.
11:50:42 The first California Travel & Tourism KOM points went to Steven Cozza (Garmin-Slipstream), Jason McCartney (Saxo Bank), Valeriy Kobzarenko (Team Type 1), Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) and Carlos Barredo (Quick Step).
11:49:27 The rain is back as the gap drops to 3:35. The peloton has visibly lifted the pace to commence the chase in earnest.
11:44:06 64.2 miles into the 115.9 that makes up Stage 3 of the 4th Amgen Tour of California from Sausalito to Santa Cruz. We're quite a way away from the second and last California Travel & Tourism KOM on Bonny Doon/Pine Flat Road, which is a category 3 climb (2135 feet).
11:39:09 The gap remains over 4 minutes.
11:37:48 Pictures are back! The ten-man break remains in tact.
11:29:56 Apparently former World Champion Oscar Freire (Rabobank) found the tempo set by Rock Racing on the climb to be a bit too difficult. He came off the group, but is working his way back on the descent.
11:23:40 Still flying in the dark. Sigh...thanks for your patience.
11:19:33 The gap is around 4:05 as the riders head back towards the Pacific Coast Highway en route to the finish of Stage 2 here in Santa Cruz. I'm Rick Scott, your eyes and ears at the 2009 Amgen Tour of California. Great to have you with us for this President's Day treat.
11:14:42 The peloton is over the summit and is on the descent along with the ten-man break.
11:11:10 Thomas Lövkvist (Team Columbia-Highroad) flatted on the climb. His teammates are helping him back to the bunch still driven by Rock Racing.
11:08:28 Still without race radio or video from the motos and the air. Sorry, kids.
11:02:52 The break has summitted the first KOM. Hang tight for the results.
10:56:48 We're 5 km to the summit of the KOM and the gap is up to 4:15 for the break.
10:55:10 Please pardon the interruption of our video images, but a mix of weather and altitude are to blame. Thanks for your patience.
10:53:38 The break and the peloton are still on the category 2 California Travel & Tourism KOM separated by approximately 3:30.
10:51:15 The crowd is gathering in Santa Cruz as the weather improves in this coastal town. Come on out if you are near.
10:49:59 Before the race started I took a walk to scope out the new Amgen Tour of California apparel. Plenty of great-looking items are available including jerseys, hats, jackets and sweatshirts. Take a peak at the offerings at www.amgentourofcaliforniastore.com. Today there is a special on t-shirts. Enjoy a 25% discount by entering the code TSHIRTS09 at checkout.
10:46:35 Giant redwood trees line the climb of Tunitas Creek Road. Barredo, a terrific climber, is setting tempo for the break. The rain has actually halted in Santa Cruz where the stage finishes today. Is that even a little sunshine peaking through the clouds?
10:42:18 39 miles in the bank with 77 miles to go.
10:40:18 The peloton is simply riding tempo on the climb putting no effort into chasing the break up the road.
10:38:08 No one in the break is a real threat in the GC. The closest is Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell), who is back 5:06 of Mancebo.
10:34:48 The showers have let up for the moment. Let's hope they remain dormant for the rest of the day, but don't bank on it.
10:31:20 The riders are on the Tunitas Creek Road KOM climb, which takes them away from the glorious Pacific Coast Highway.
10:30:06 In the GC, Francisco Mancebo (Rock Racing) is in yellow with 1:02 over two-time defending Amgen Tour of California champion Levi Leipheimer (Astana). The Spaniard's lead over the American is larger than any lead ever held in the history of this race.
10:27:44 To remind you, the ten men in the break are Jason McCartney (Saxo Bank), Steven Cozza & Thomas Peterson (Garmin-Slipstream), Carlos Barredo (Quick Step), Stef Clement & Grischa Niermann (Rabobank), Markus Zberg (BMC), Cameron Evans (OUCH), Valeriy Kobzarenko (Team Type 1) and Santa Cruz native Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell). Rick Scott manning the keys for you. Thanks for joining us.
10:22:41 We're about 34 miles into the stage as the break nears the first KOM. It's a tough climb that includes steep sections with grades between 9-11 percent. Inviting on a cold wet day, eh?
10:19:25 Just found out that the Tour Tracker isn't getting accurate GPS info. The correct time gap for the break is 3:25.
10:16:29 The gap is hovering around 1:49 ahead of the Rock Racing-led peloton.
10:14:44 The break is working well together as they pedal along the coastline overlooking the majestic Pacific Ocean.
10:12:51 The peloton has given the break a longer leash as the gap is up to 2:30.
10:11:16 The first California Travel & Tourism King of the Mountains climb of the day comes at the 46.7 miles on Tunitas Creek Road, a category 2 climb of just over 6 miles long that rises 1562 feet.
10:07:59 No, you're not watching a race in Belgium. It's Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California. Cold rain continues to pelt the peloton on this President's Day holiday in the U.S. Hope you enjoyed the images earlier of the riders crossing the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
10:05:16 We're about 27 miles into the 115.9 miles to be covered today from Sausalito to Santa Cruz.
10:02:54 The break didn't bother to contend the sprint. Earning the points and the time bonuses (3 seconds, 2 seconds and 1 second) were Barredo, McCartney and Kobzarenko. Levi Leipheimer flatted and is clamly riding back to the group through the cars.
10:01:01 The break is up 2 minutes on the peloton.
10:00:10 Hayden Roulston of Cervelo Test Team has also abandoned.
09:57:36 Amgen's Breakaway from Cancer nonprofit partners play leading roles in every aspect of cancer care to help people affected by the disease. The four partners are the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, the Patient Advocate Foundation, Prevent Cancer Foundation and The Wellness Community. To learn more, please visit www.breakawayfromcancer.com.
09:57:12 The weather has already claimed quite a few victims of mechanicals and flat tires. Word arrives that Michael Grabinger of Fly V Australia has abandoned.
09:54:22 The ten-man break is up 1:30 as they approach the second Herbalife Sprint of the day in Half Moon Bay.
09:49:36 We're over 21 miles into Stage 2, which was designed to be the crown jewel of this year's Amgen Tour of California. Unfortunately the weather is simply not cooperating. It would have been a gorgeous ride today through spectacular scenery had conditions been blessed with California sunshine.
09:45:20 Rock Racing is at the front of the peloton for their yellow jersey-clad leader Francisco Mancebo, who won the stage yesterday after a truly epic and heroic 100-mile breakaway.
09:41:38 The Herbalife Sprint points went to Grischa Niermann (Rabobank), Valeriy Kobzarenko (Team Type 1) and Markus Zberg (BMC).
09:38:55 The break is approaching the sprint line with a gap of 1:25.
09:37:40 The temperature is a very wet 48 degrees. If you have comments or questions for our video commentators Frankie Andreu and Memphis JoE Silva, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
09:36:03 The ten man break is riding up an unrated climb.
09:33:57 The first Herbalife Sprint of the day comes at 17.3 miles in Pacifica.
09:33:06 The gap is at 45 seconds for the break.
09:31:54 Valeriy Kobzarenko (Team Type 1), Jason McCartney (Saxo Bank) and Thomas Petersen (Garmin-Slipstream) have bridged to the break. The gap is only 20 seconds at around 10 miles into the 115.9 miles on tap today.
09:27:52 Rick Scott thanking you for your patience. Once again, Mother Nature induced technical difficulties continue to wreak havoc here in Santa Cruz where Stage 2 will conclude later today.
09:25:18 The break consists of Steven Cozza (Garmin-Slipstream), Gischa Niermann (Rabobank), Santa Cruz native Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell), Markus Zberg (BMC), Cameron Evans (OUCH), Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) and Stef Clement (Rabobank).
09:21:29 A seven man break has 25 seconds advantage on the peloton.
08:53:53 Stage 2 is underway and the peloton has already ridden across the Golden Gate Bridge. Tech problems are keeping me from writing the play by play for you. Please hang tight.