Floyd Landis Wins the Inaugural Tour of California
The 2006 Pro Cycling season has started off with a BANG! The inaugural AMGEN Tour of California just swept thru the Golden State in true Pro Tour Style. The promoters at Medalist Sports,upped the ante and gave the sport a huge boost by hosting the greatest season opener anyone could ask for. The peloton was composed of the toughest cyclists on the planet with names such as Oakley Factory Pilots George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Nathan O’Neill, Viatcheslav Ekimov, Mark McCormack, Cadel Evans, Bobby Julich, Chris Horner, Aaron Oleoson, Saul Raisin, Stuart O’Grady, Paolo Savoldelli and many, many more. In the eight days of the Tour of California, the organizers reported crowd estimates surpassing one million spectators for the 600-mile, eight-stage race that began in San Francisco and concluded in Redondo Beach. The course visited 10 host cities, offering cyclists challenging terrain and showcased the best talent on two wheels. Overall favorites such as Landis, Julich, and Hincapie kept an eye on each other thru the critical sections each day with plans to wear the coveted "Golden jersey" (overall race leaders jersey).
In stage two from Martinez to San Jose, Discovery’s George Hincapie tested his rivals by keeping himself in the front of the main group throughout the day. On the final catagory one ascent (super steep climb), Hincapie focused into the climb with his High Definition Optics® (HDO®) and attacked at the top, dropping the sprinters and remained in front all the way to the finish line and took over the race lead.
The following day, Floyd Landis had plans of his own for the stage three San Jose Time Trial. Testing out his newly revised yet, very strange looking Time Trial position on his BMC TT bike, which obviously worked well, as Floyd clocked the fastest time of the day (30 seconds ahead of second and 1:30 over third) earning himself the overall lead in the race.
In Stage 4, Hincapie came back to show he was still the strongest rider taking another win by culminating the stage with a dashing sprint to the finish line. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to take the race lead from Landis, who remained in the "Golden Jersey" through the final stage to take the overall win.
Congrats to goes out to Floyd and his Phonak/I SHARES team for a job well done!! Floyd, Have a great spring and good luck in your preparations for July at the Tour de France.
Final general classification:
(Oakley Athletes in Red)
Floyd Landis (USA) 22.46.46
David Zabriskie (USA) 0.29
Bobby Julich (USA) 0.34
George Hincapie (USA) 0.45
Nathan O’Neill (Aus) 1.08
Young riders classification:
(Oakley Athletes in Red)
Thomas Peterson (USA) 22.56.21
Taylor Tolleson (USA) 10.42
Craig Lewis (USA) 10.46