Defending Amgen Tour Champion Levi Leipheimer in Twelfth Place

SANTA ROSA, CA –  The second stage of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California brought excitement to the thunderous crowds at the finish in Santa Rosa, home to the BMC Racing and three-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer (USA) of Team RadioShack, who is currently in 12th place overall. After a challenging day of cycling through stormy conditions, Brett Lancaster (AUS) of Cervélo TestTeam took the stage win, as well as the overall lead in the General Classification.

Covering 109.5 miles/176.2 km, the stage began with a series of attacks with little result until mile 12 when the first break formed and included Karl Menzies (AUS) of UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis, Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) of Fly V Australia, Andrew Randell (CAN) of SpiderTech Powered by Planet Energy, Thomas Rabou (NED) of Team Type 1 and Michael Friedman (USA) of Jelly Belly Presented by Kenda. With the break of five riders, which would end up leading the race for the majority of the day, pulling away to create a minute-and-a-half gap over the pack, Menzies took the first sprint in Winters, followed by Rabou and Randell.

As the riders steadily approached the Oakville Grade (Cat. 3), the third KOM of the day, at 84.1miles/135.4 km and 1.9 miles long, Friedman once again dropped off the pace, leaving four riders to lead the breakaway. With weather conditions working against them, this proved to be a decisive climb for the riders, splitting apart the bunch with challenging circumstances and several crashes. With the end of the stage drawing near, a group of 12 riders, including Leipheimer, pulled away from the pack to form a chase group. After tackling the final KOM of the day, Trinity Grade (Cat. 2), the original break, the chase group and additional riders came together to form a lead group of approximately 25 riders, led by Team RadioShack. In a competition that came down to a very close finish in Santa Rosa, Lancaster took the stage win to the cheers of thousands of fans.

The top-three general classification leaders after today are Lancaster in first, Sagan in second and Menzies in third.

“Now that we have moved past the only day of rain anticipated for the 2010 Amgen Tour of California, we are looking forward to clear skies and beautiful weather for the rest of the race,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports, presenter of the race. “Davis and Santa Rosa have been such great partners and the record crowds on the course today really prove the enthusiasm and appetite there is for professional cycling in California. We are looking forward to another great day tomorrow as we return to two iconic cities that really embody the spirit of the state – San Francisco and Santa Cruz.”

Amgen created the national Breakaway from Cancer initiative in 2005 as a complementary component to its sponsorship of the inaugural Amgen Tour of California. Through Breakaway from Cancer, Amgen and its four nonprofit partners are dedicated to empowering patients with education, resources and hope.
For access to resources or to learn more, visit www.breakawayfromcancer.com

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