Results from the 2011 Amgen Tour of California Stage 3 from Auburn, CA to Modesto, CA. Spoilers below the fold.
Today was another sprinters stage as the racers rode 120 miles out of Auburn and across agricultural fields, where the cyclists were exposed to strong crosswinds. Yesterday, Ben Jaques-Maynes from Santa Cruz for Bissell took turns pulling a break; today, his twin brother Andy Jaques-Mayne was in the breakaway with Christian Meier (United Healthcare), William Dickeson (Jelly Belly presented by Kenda), Jan Barta (Netapp), Mike Creed (Kelly Benefits / Optum Health), and James Driscoll (Jamis / Sutter Home). Driscoll, who also rode the break in yesterday’s Stage 2, wore a special red Most Courageous Rider number on his jersey.
A number of riders flatted north of Oakdale as the peloton began to close the gap against the break which was swallowed by the peloton outside of Modesto. After the racers entered the finish city, a few — including Jens Voigt — tumbled onto the pavement as the action got fast and furious.
Team Sky lined up to deliver yesterday’s winner Ben Swift to the finish line, but things got a little confusing and Sky’s leadout man Greg Henderson ended up taking the stage instead.
JJ Haedo (Saxo Bank) followed Henderson for 2nd place, with Thor Hushovd taking 3rd right next to Haedo on this Norwegian Constitution Day.
In the GC, Teammates Henderson and Swife are tied with the same time; Henderson will wear the race leader’s Golden Jersey for Stage 4 tomorrow. Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) is in third place. The top US rider is Taylor Phinney in eight place, whose mother Connie Carpenter Phinney was in town to watch the race.
More –> Steephill.TV/Tour-Of-California.
Wednesday: Livermore to San Jose with an uphill finish on Sierra Road. The weather should be a little warmer, with probable rain in the morning and winds out of the west.