Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tour of California Stage 2: The Finish

After hitting some slow-moving traffic on highway 17 into Santa Cruz for what looked to be a minor landslide (yeah, it had been raining that much), I made it to the finish with a bit of time to spare. Here's some pictures from the finish.

What's everybody looking at?

Oh, we're watching the race on the bigscreen.

I found a spot right on the railing about 250 meters from the finish line. Then we had an instantaneous downpour.

Perfect spot to watch the finishers come in.

Oh sweet, we instantly moved 50 meters closer to the finish! The signs were set up wrong.

They should be here any minute. I've got a lot of people's attention because I'm following Twitter updates and can announce Levi rode away and caught the break and should be coming in first.

And sure enough, Levi coming through first, with Thomas Peterson on his wheel.

Levi knew Peterson was going to take the win on this one by coming around at the last minute, but he wasn't concerned with the stage win - he just wanted to be in the overall leader's jersey at the end of the day.

Best shot of Levi (Leipheimer, that is) on the day.

Headed for the line.

Barely 20 seconds later, the first chase group comes in.

This group is led by David Zabrieski.

Lance Armstrong, another Astana rider, and Kim Kirchen a little further back.

Robert Gesink from Rabobank right in the middle of this one.

Frank Schleck, Grisha Niermann, Astana rider on what must be a backup bike (no race #), and Ivan Basso.

Second chase group comes in.

Floyd Landis (far) and Gustav Larsson.

The remaining riders came in scattered groups, with the remnants of the peleton 17 minuted behind the leaders. Definitely a brutal day on the bike.

Still to come, the awards ceremony and some other odds and ends:

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