SANTA CRUZ, CA – In a stage that exemplified the beautiful scenery and challenging terrain of California that make the state the perfect setting for a professional cycling race, Stage 3 of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California covered 113.3 miles/182.3 km of scenic California roadways. In an epic battle for the stage win along a picturesque route that began in iconic San Francisco and ended at the famous beach boardwalk in sunny Santa Cruz, David Zabriskie (USA) of Garmin Transitions took the stage win and also secured the overall lead heading into Stage 4 tomorrow.

The next sprint in Half Moon bay was taken by Karl Menzies (AUS) of UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis, followed by Alexander Kristoff (NOR) of the BMC Racing Team and Cavendish. As the riders continued on from the sprint a five-man break formed, which included Andy Jacques-Maynes (USA) of BISSELL), Will Routley (CAN) of Jelly Belly Presented by Kenda, Eric Boily (CAN) of SpiderTech Powered by Planet Energy, Davide Frattini (ITA) of Team Type 1 and Ryan Anderson (CAN) of Kelly Benefit Strategies. With fans lining the street shoulder-to-shoulder on the lead up to the first King of the Mountains competition (KOM) on Tunitas Creek Road (Cat. 2 – 1,562 ft.), Frattini took the KOM win, followed by Anderson.

Team RadioShack, with assistance from the Cervélo TestTeam, drove the field for most of the day and eventually swallowed up the break en route to the final climb of the day. With the end of the race drawing near, several teams began to make their move and created a breakaway that consisted of three riders – Levi Leipheimer (USA) of Team RadioShack, Michael Rogers (AUS) of HTC-Columbia and Zabriskie. With just under 20 miles to go on the route to Santa Cruz, the riders faced the largest climb of the day, Bonny Doon/Pine Flat Road (Cat. 2 – 2,135 ft.). After many unsuccessful attempts by several teams to pull the break back, Zabriskie took the stage win in an all out sprint to the finish before thousands of fans at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

“Today proved to be another competitive day of racing in the 2010 Amgen Tour of California,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports. “The level of competition was impressive, the views were breathtaking, the crowds were enthusiastic and the stage finish was as good as they come. As we head into Stage 4 tomorrow, the riders are going to continue to face challenging terrain that showcases the beauty of California, and we all are looking forward to seeing how it unfolds.”