Spain’s Francisco Mancebo who races for Rock Racing won the first stage of the Tour of California on a brutal soggy Sunday and claimed the leader’s Yellow jersey, as well as the Sprint, and KOM jerseys, as the prologue winner Fabian Cancellara of Team Saxo Bank withdrew because of the flu. Once Cancellara pulled out Team Astana moved to the front and controlled the front of the peloton trying to bring back the break.
Rock Racing’s Mancebo led much of the cold, rain-soaked, wind-swept stage and held on at the finish to beat Belgian Jurgen Van de Walle and Italian Francesco Nibali and finish ahead of a group that included American Astana riders Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer who had worked very hard to try to close the gap. Lance Armstrong suffered a flat tire, and crash, and still was able to finish up with the leaders. Lance stated on his Twitter feed “holy hell that was terrible” and continued “maybe one of the toughest days I’ve had on a bike purely based on the conditions. i’m still freezing.”
Cancellara, who started the day in the Yellow jersey after winning the individual time-trial prologue in dominating fashion in Sacramento, withdrew in the midst of the stage because of a fever from the flu.
The 173.2km stage started in Davis, CA. and was raced in cold, wet, and windy conditions
that contributed to a spate of crashes.
Bicycle.net had an exclusive discussion with a source close to the management of the Amgen Tour of California who stated “that they are considering moving the date of the tour to the summertime.
Photo by: VeloImages and Bicycle.net