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Tour of California 2009 — Stage 8 Report, Full Results, Photos – Leipheimer Scores 3rd Win

by pedalmag.com

February 21, 2009 (Pasadena, CA) – Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana has won his third consecutive Tour of California as Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank won the final Stage 8 from Rancho Bernardo to Escondido, 155.8 km/96.8 miles, which included the highest point ever reached at the Tour – the 18.72km/11.7 mile Palomar Mountain at 1,705m/5,123 ft., with a 7% average grade, 4,200 feet of climbing and 21 switchbacks. Schleck and Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas escaped on their own from an earlier break that was caught by the peloton with Nibali settling for second. As the peloton arrived George Hincapie (USA) Columbia – Highroad took the sprint for 3rd.

Amgen Tour of California Report

After nine challenging and epic days of cycling through more than 750-miles of scenic California roads, and a thrilling fight to the finish, Levi Leipheimer (USA) of Astana was crowned champion of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California, solidifying a three-peat for the California resident. With a week-long total time of 31 hours, 28 minutes and 21 seconds, Leipheimer accepted the highly coveted title of race champion in front of massive cheering crowds in Escondido, which brought the race total to 2 million fans along the race route from Sacramento to Escondido. In a nine-day battle against the best field ever assembled to compete in the United States, which included Tour de France winners, Olympic medalists and World Champions, Frank Schleck (LUX) of Saxo Bank claimed the Stage 8 win.

“I’ve been trying to think about how to articulate this and it’s tough,” said Leipheimer. “To win it once, that was huge. To win it twice, that was almost a little bit of a surprise and almost felt like luck. But now, to have won the Amgen Tour of California three times, it’s the sweetest victory of all. I think we proved that we were the best team in the race. There is no question about that.”

          David Zabriskie (USA) of Garmin-Slipstream finished in second place overall at 36 seconds behind Leipheimer, and Michael Rogers (AUS) of Team Columbia-Highroad finished third at 45 seconds behind.

In one of the most difficult stages of the 2009 race, the 96.8-mile route from Rancho Bernardo to Escondido included one sprint and four King of the Mountain (KOM) climbs, including the “˜above categorization’ ascent of Palomar Mountain, the highest point ever reached in the Amgen Tour of California at 5,123 feet. The ascent unfolded over 11.7 miles and included 21 switchbacks at an average gradient of seven percent.

The Queen stage of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California began with an early breakaway of nine riders, which was split up a half hour later. Soon after, a second breakaway formed, which included Schleck and inaugural Amgen Tour of California winner Floyd Landis (USA) of Ouch Presented by Maxxis. Chased and eventually caught by the top-three riders in the general classification, Leipheimer, Rogers and Zabriskie, the breakaway included most of the top riders in the peloton.

Lined with fans, some of which had camped out for two nights to secure their spot to watch the cyclists compete in the final day of the race, Mount Palomar made the final stage of the race an extremely challenging course.  Schleck opened up a gap on the descent, but was then joined by three additional riders to make a group of four. With Lance Armstrong (USA) of Astana setting a fast pace at the front of the field, the gap began to close. After riding in the breakaway for most of the day, Schleck battled Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) of Liquigas up to the finish line to take the final stage with the roar of cheering fans in Escondido in the background.

“The riding was furious today and I said, “˜I’m just going to go for it again’,” said Schleck. “On Palomar, that is where I attacked and got up to Andy (Schleck), and then he set a really hard pace. Really, for a guy like me, it took a big effort today for sure.”

Results

1. Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 3:48:39 (41:334 km/h)
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas 0:02
3. George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia – Highroad 0:40
4. Rory Sutherland (Aus) OUCH Presented By Maxxis
5. Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank
6. José Luis Rubiera (Spa) Astana
7. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Astana
8. Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank
9. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana
10. Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
11. David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin – Slipstream
12. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank
13. Valeriy Kobzarenko (Ukr) Team Type 1
14. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team
15. Glen Chadwick (NZl) Rock Racing
16. Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Columbia – Highroad
17. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step
18. Gustav Larsson (Swe) Team Saxo Bank
19. Jeremy Vennell (NZl) Bissell Pro Cycling
20. Thomas L̦vkvist (Swe) Team Columbia РHighroad
21. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
22. Jurgen van de Walle (Bel) Quick Step
23. Iñigo Cuesta (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam
24. Trent Lowe (Aus) Garmin – Slipstream
25. Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
26. Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Rock Racing
27. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin – Slipstream
28. Enrique Gutierrez (Spa) Rock Racing
29. Floyd Landis (USA) OUCH Presented By Maxxis
30. Addy Engels (Ned) Quick Step
31. Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana
32. Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank 3:54
33. Serge Pauwels (Bel) Cervélo TestTeam 8:41
34. Dominique Rollin (Can) Cervélo TestTeam
35. Will Routley (Can) Jelly Belly Cycling Team

36. Weert Kevin De (Bel) Quick Step
37. Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
38. Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank
39. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin – Slipstream
40. Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank
41. Tom Zirbel (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling
42. Ian McKissick (USA) BMC Racing Team
43. Christopher Horner (USA) Astana
44. Jason Mccartney (USA) Team Saxo Bank
45. Steve Morabito (Swi) Astana
46. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
47. Brian Vandborg (Den) Liquigas
48. Chris Baldwin (USA) Rock Racing
49. Markus Zberg (Swi) BMC Racing Team
50. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Columbia – Highroad 15:11
51. Michael Barry (Can) Team Columbia – Highroad
52. Marco Velo (Ita) Quick Step
53. Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step
54. Nick Reistad (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team
55. Steven Cozza (USA) Garmin – Slipstream
56. Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team
57. Karl Menzies (Aus) OUCH Presented By Maxxis
58. Tyler Hamilton (USA) Rock Racing
59. Kiel Reijnen (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team
60. Timothy Johnson (USA) OUCH Presented By Maxxis
61. Frank Pipp (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling
62. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin – Slipstream
63. Tyler Wren (USA) Colavita / Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light
64. Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Colavita / Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light
65. Pedro Horrillo (Spa) Rabobank
66. Brett Lancaster (Aus) Cervélo TestTeam
67. Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step
68. Bradley White (USA) OUCH Presented By Maxxis
69. Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Liquigas
70. Ben Day (Aus) Fly V Australia
71. Mauricio Ardila (Col) Rabobank
72. Matthew Wilson (Aus) Team Type 1
73. Matthew Crane (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team
74. Andy Guptill (USA) Colavita / Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light
75. Thomas Peterson (USA) Garmin – Slipstream
76. Hayden Roulston (NZl) Cervélo TestTeam
77. Davide Frattini (Ita) Colavita / Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light
78. Christopher Jones (USA) Team Type 1
79. Aaron Olson (USA) Colavita / Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light
80. Jeffry Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team
81. Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
82. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana
83. Grégory Rast (Swi) Astana
84. Alexandre Moos (Swi) BMC Racing Team
DNF Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank
DNF Adam Hansen (Aus) Team Columbia – Highroad
DNF Svein Tuft (Can) Garmin – Slipstream
DNF Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step
DNF Kjell Carlström (Fin) Liquigas
DNF Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas
DNF Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam
DNF Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervélo TestTeam
DNF Cameron Evans (Can) OUCH Presented By Maxxis
DNF Jonathan Patrick McCarty (USA) OUCH Presented By Maxxis
DNF Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling
DNF Robert Gunn (USA) Fly V Australia
DNF Freddy Rodriguez (USA) Rock Racing

Final GC

1. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 31:28:21
2. David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin – Slipstream 0:36
3. Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Columbia – Highroad 0:45
4. Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank 1:10
5. Thomas L̦vkvist (Swe) Team Columbia РHighroad 1:29
6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas 1:37
7. Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana 1:46
8. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 1:54
9. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin – Slipstream 2:24
10. José Luis Rubiera (Spa) Astana 2:48
11. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step 2:57
12. Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 3:19
13. Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Rock Racing 3:37
14. Jurgen van de Walle (Bel) Quick Step 4:15
15. George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia – Highroad 4:19
16. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank 5:44
17. Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank 6:08
18. Gustav Larsson (Swe) Team Saxo Bank 6:25
19. Iñigo Cuesta (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam 6:56
20. Enrique Gutierrez (Spa) Rock Racing 7:55
21. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Astana 8:16
22. Christopher Horner (USA) Astana 10:14
23. Floyd Landis (USA) OUCH Presented By Maxxis 10:26
24. Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 10:47
25. Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank 11:09
26. Jeremy Vennell (NZl) Bissell Pro Cycling 12:22
27. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin – Slipstream 13:02
28. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana 16:30
29. Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale 17:18
30. Weert Kevin De (Bel) Quick Step 17:57
31. Glen Chadwick (NZl) Rock Racing 18:44
32. Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 19:12
33. Dominique Rollin (Can) Cervélo TestTeam 19:15
34. Rory Sutherland (Aus) OUCH Presented By Maxxis 20:11
35. Hayden Roulston (NZl) Cervélo TestTeam 20:51
36. Tom Zirbel (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling 21:23
37. Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step 21:46
38. Thomas Peterson (USA) Garmin – Slipstream 23:23
39. Valeriy Kobzarenko (Ukr) Team Type 1 23:46
40. Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank 23:56
41. Jason Mccartney (USA) Team Saxo Bank 24:18
42. Addy Engels (Ned) Quick Step 26:48
43. Frank Pipp (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling 26:56
44. Steven Cozza (USA) Garmin – Slipstream 27:35
45. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team 28:53
46. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 29:53
47. Ian McKissick (USA) BMC Racing Team 30:20
48. Markus Zberg (Swi) BMC Racing Team 30:57
49. Alexandre Moos (Swi) BMC Racing Team 35:02
50. Will Routley (Can) Jelly Belly Cycling Team 35:13
51. Steve Morabito (Swi) Astana 36:53
52. Brian Vandborg (Den) Liquigas 37:33
53. Trent Lowe (Aus) Garmin – Slipstream 37:42
54. Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank 38:42
55. Serge Pauwels (Bel) Cervélo TestTeam 39:22
56. Chris Baldwin (USA) Rock Racing 40:15
57. Timothy Johnson (USA) OUCH Presented By Maxxis 40:36
58. Grégory Rast (Swi) Astana 40:52
59. Mauricio Ardila (Col) Rabobank 42:24
60. Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Colavita / Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light 42:25
61. Matthew Wilson (Aus) Team Type 1 42:51
62. Christopher Jones (USA) Team Type 1 43:34
63. Bradley White (USA) OUCH Presented By Maxxis 43:48
64. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Columbia – Highroad 46:29
65. Michael Barry (Can) Team Columbia – Highroad 47
66. Brett Lancaster (Aus) Cervélo TestTeam 47:17
67. Pedro Horrillo (Spa) Rabobank 47:24
68. Nick Reistad (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team 47:32
69. Davide Frattini (Ita) Colavita / Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light 47:45
70. Marco Velo (Ita) Quick Step 47:48
71. Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 48:15
72. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin – Slipstream 48:17
73. Matthew Crane (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team 49:10
74. Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step 49:21
75. Kiel Reijnen (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team 49:32
76. Ben Day (Aus) Fly V Australia 50:47
77. Jeffry Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team 51:13
78. Karl Menzies (Aus) OUCH Presented By Maxxis 51:59
79. Tyler Wren (USA) Colavita / Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light 53:55
80. Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Liquigas 56:29
81. Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team 1:00:35
82. Aaron Olson (USA) Colavita / Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light 1:01:23
83. Tyler Hamilton (USA) Rock Racing 1:03:56
84. Andy Guptill (USA) Colavita / Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light 1:09:46










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