Wild Stage 1 of Amgen Tour of California finish in Santa Rosa today

filed under: Wine Country Living posted on February 18th, 2008

Juan Jose Haedo of Team CSC repeated his 2006 Stage 1 victory in this the 3rd running of the Amgen tour of California, and the 3rd year that the race has had a stage finish and start in downtown Santa Rosa.   It was an exciting finish including a crash in Railroad Square by then-leader George Hincapie as well as a big lead change in Occidental near the end of the nearly 100 mile race today.  Tomorrow Stage 2 will run from Santa Rosa to Sacramento.   For up to the minute coverage of the Tour of California, the Press Democrat is running a special on-line section.  Santa Rosa’s own Levi Leipheimer exhorted the crowd at the finish to join his website, www.letleviride.com  to fight the disqualification of his new team Astana’s in the 2008 Tour de France.

On February 13th, the Amaury Sports Organization (ASO) barred Team Astana from competing in any race or event organized by the ASO in 2008. The ASO owns premiere cycling events like Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Tours, and the famed Tour de France.

The ASO cited the doping scandals of last year’s Tour de France as justification.

There can be no comparison between the Astana team of 2007 and the new Astana. The entire organizational structure has been rebuilt under the direction of the team’s new General Manager, Johan Bruyneel, who has thoroughly cleaned house. What’s more, Astana has adopted the rigorous doping controls developed by anti-doping expert Dr. Rasmus Damsgaard, and Astana now spends more money on anti-doping controls than any other team in the pro peloton.”

The Amgen Tour of California brings a lot of excitement to Sonoma county.  30,000 people attended the wild finish dowtown Santa Rosa today.

For some  excellent photos of today’s tours, and other links, head to Spare Cycles.

posted by Pam Buda // Comments Off on Wild Stage 1 of Amgen Tour of California finish in Santa Rosa today