After a delayed start on a short stage, racing finally got under way on the 2011 Amgen Tour of California as the riders raced through cool weather on an all downhill stage from Nevada City for a sprint finish through scattered rain in Sacramento.
Spoilers after the fold.
A four man breakaway of Laszlo Bodrogi, Timon Seubert, James Driscoll and Santa Cruz favorite Ben Jacques-Mayne early in the stage earned camera time for Team Type 1, Netapp and Jamis-Sutter Home and Bissell. The peloton reeled them in on the outskirts of Sacramento.
In spite of threatening rain, a good sized crowd greeted the peloton as they circled downtown Sacramento. Britain’s Team Sky drove their train through rain slick streets, pushing back challengers and delivering Ben Swift for his first place finish across the finish line with some amazing team work. Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Matthew Goss (HTC-Highroad) followed right afterwards for their 2nd and 3rd place finishes.
Ben Swift will wear the Amgen Tour of California Golden Jersey for Stage 3 tomorrow as the cyclists race 120 miles from Auburn in California’s gold country and to the Central Valley town of Modesto. Barring any unforeseen disasters (American River flash flood? earthquake? alien invasion?), the race will begin at 10:15 AM with an expected finish between 3 PM and 3:30 PM.
Complete results, photos, and links out at Steephill.TV/Tour-Of-California.