Results tagged “Toyota-United” from spare cycles

Stage 2: A Close Victory for Haedo

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JJ Haedo Sprints to Victory - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Statesboro Start - (c) Ken Conley Millen Sprint - (c) Ken Conley

Tour de Georgia Stage 2 Photo Gallery

JJ Haedo sprinted right through the middle of the pack to take a close, close victory of High Road's Greg Henderson. A bandaged hand from a recent break seemed to be no impediment to Haedo, who is a familiar rider atop the podium at the Tour de Georgia. Ivan Dominguez put in a good effort to take third and protect his leader's jersey. Despite talking about how heavy the yellow jersey is, his Toyota United team has done a good job of holding onto it. Justin England spent a lot of time off the front in a breakaway that kept the other teams working and Toyota United rested. In a bit of a surprise, England didn't get the Most Aggressive Award, and instead it went to Marco Polo rider Pollock, who bridged up to England.

Slipstream put in a lot of work for young rider Tyler Farrar. Farrar took the first intermediate sprint to make up for his stage 1 deficit (due to a flat), but Haedo, Henderson, and Dominguez controlled the sprint today.

The best move of the day probably goes to Health Net's Frank Pipp. With no KOMs tomorrow, or Stage 4's TTT, Health Net gets to fly the KOM jersey for three straight stages -- all for a puny Cat 4 on the South Carolina side of the river.

Tour de Georgia Stage 2 Photo Gallery

Dominguez takes Stage 1

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Dominguez Wins - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley
Tybee Lighthouse - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Stage 1 Photos

With his baby due any moment, Ivan Dominguez must have decided that getting a stage win early was important. Dominique Rollin set him up well for the sprint and Dominguez's jump was well-timed -- despite not being able to see the finish line until 100m to go. Dominguez now has the overall lead at the Tour de Georgia, but he noted that "it's heavy" and that he'd prefer one in green. His teammate Stevic was already out on the road today trying to sweep up as many sprint points as he could to protect Dominguez.

In an odd break during the day, Danielson, Julich, and Horner jumped off the front. Julich and Horner are easy to understand as they haven't been tapped as team leaders, but Danielson's jump either means his lieutenants failed to cover or that that he isn't their leader... or maybe he was just having fun. Either way, the break didn't hold and Nydam, Meier, Van Ulden,and Pipp had the honor of being the last break on the road. Nydam's effort put him in the familiar position of donning the Most Aggressive Rider jersey at the end of the day.

Today's stage was beautiful, brief, and flat. Chris Baldwin joked with a CSC rider before the stage that the route was a criterium. The KOM jersey won't be donned until tomorrow after riders are sent over a small climb on the finishing 5 mile circuit.

Stage 1 Photos

Dominique Rollin Wins - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley
Bixby Bridge - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Stage 4 Photo Gallery

Dominique Rollin took the stage, sprinter's lead, and most aggressive award with a well-timed attack from a break that the Astana was content to leave hanging 2-3 minutes off the front of the peloton for most of the stage. Rollin's exuberance after the stage made up for the gloom, rain, and snot that marked the faces in the rest of the peloton. "It was a crappy day," in the words of Danny Pate.

It was the longest stage in Tour of California history, clocking in at just over seven hours, and the riders spent it in un-Californian conditions. The winds were high enough to shake my car on Highway 1 near Bixby Bridge and sandblast my skin. The rain got worse rather than let up and a dozen riders abandoned on a day that most seemed just interested in surviving. Jackson Stewart left with hypothermia after putting himself into the virtual KOM lead. Sprinters Ivan Dominguez and Henrich Haussler also abandoned as did Slipstream's Tom Danielson. The peloton may have little legs with which to race tomorrow's decisive time trial. I'll have to see if my camera equipment survives the night -- my autofocus was on the fritz at the stage finish.

Stage 4 Photo Gallery

2008 Tour of California Teams

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Tour of CaliforniaThe teams were announced today and the list should provide many storylines: polar opposites Slipstream and Rock Racing, Hincapie leading Team High Road against Leipheimer/Astana, Gerolsteiner in its final year, Health Net defending their NRC crown, Scott Moninger directing Toyota-United against his former team BMC, etc...

  • Astana (LUX)
  • Bissell Pro Cycling Team (USA)
  • BMC Racing Team (USA)
  • Bouygues Telecom (FRA)
  • Crédit Agricole (FRA)
  • Gerolsteiner (GER)
  • Health Net Presented by Maxxis (USA)
  • High Road Sports (GER)
  • Jelly Belly Cycling Team (USA)
  • Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast (USA)
  • Quick Step (BEL)
  • Rabobank Cycling Team (Netherlands)
  • Rock Racing (USA)
  • Saunier Duval-Scott (ESP)
  • Team CSC (DEN)
  • Team Slipstream Powered by Chipotle (USA)
  • Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team (USA)

Last year the Tour of California overall was been dominated by Discovery vs. CSC, but with the spread of Discovery's American talent to High Road and Slipstream, as well as the CSC's loss of Zabriskie and Vande Velde to Slipstream, this should be a more balanced competition. This could even be the year of Slipstream's ascension in American tours.

Press Release

Favorite ToM rider: Justin England

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Justin England has been my favorite rider this Tour. He's like Dave Zabriskie, except completely unshy. England was the first rider to start at the Branson time trial, and he got the crowd completely jazzed up by hamming it up with facial expressions and asking the crowd to cheer louder.

Today's start was a similar experience. School kids assigned to cheer on Toyota United showed up at the team bus. England was the first off the bus and immediately had the kids squealing as he shouted, "I can't hear you!" England and Chris Wheery worked their way through the excited kids, signing dozens of autographs. England later hammed it up in the high-five line as he approached the start -- he was the only rider I saw criss-cross the starting area to make sure he gave high-fives to kids waiting on both sides.

The kids had no idea who the cyclists were. They don't know who Levi Leipheimer is. They were just happy that people were rewarding their efforts to show support. It was great to see that riders like England -- and his team Toyota United -- recognized this, unlike, say, some more famous teams.

Ivan Dominguez has had plenty of first-place finishes racing in the US this year, including Stage 7 of the Tour of California. He can now add the inaugural stage of the Tour of Missouri to that tally.

Tour de Georgia Stage 2

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Getty Photos/Doug PensingerToyota-United and CSC have two of the best sprinters at the TdG -- Ivan Dominguez and JJ Haedo -- but both decided to mix things up by sending a rider off the front with a couple kms to go. Dave Zabriskie went first by attacking on the climb but got reeled in. Ivan Stevic of Toyota United then took his chances and held off the pack for the victory -- no need for the Cuban Missile today. JJ Haedo took the sprint for second.

Tour of California: Stage 4

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Haedo again! Wow, and to think that after his first victory Bob Roll was still having trouble pronouncing Haedo and now the rider has two of the five stage victories so far. I know that this is early in the season for the pro teams, but second-place Freddie Rodriguez and the other big pro sprinters have got to be feeling a little stung, especially as Haedo rode Fast Freddie's wheel to victory out of the final bend.

The live text feeds for this race were crazy to follow The hilly Pacific Coast Highway provided endless opportunities for riders to attack and there seemed to be an endless barrage of attacks. The peloton wasn't letting most of the attacks last very long, but a ten-man breakaway managed to sneak away that was whittled down to a two man break of Discovery's Gusev and Navigators' Chadwick. It was Toyota and CSC that reeled in Gusev and Chadwick with about 6km to go so that their sprinters would have a chance -- Toyota's effort was the most rewarded. A partial list of riders who attempted a breakaway includes: Horner, O'Grady, Barry, Danielson, Voigt, Raisin, Creed, Bak, Zampieri, Savoldelli, Pinotti, McCormack, Ekimov, Kreipel, Gusev, Chadwick, Lewis, Johnson, Frattini, and Marino. Don't even ask me to count how many breakaways there were.

The race organizers definitely didn't expect the queen stage of this Tour to be so fast. The official site lists the finish ETA at 3:22-4:19 PM. The actual finish time was about 3:10, which is a screaming pace (25mph) for such a long and undulating stage. Apparently the Broom Wagon collecting riders abandoning got full enough that it had to dump riders off at a feed point.

In the stages mini-KOM battle, Leipheimer outbattled Kohl for the first KOM point, which may mean that Levi is interested in walking away with a KOM jersey before all is said and done. Levi gained one point on Kohl and is now trailing 20-15.

CSC has three stages left to pull something off. CSC rider Lars Bak was voted Most Aggressive for his presence in five breakaway attempts, but Chris Horner's presence ruined the break with the best chance. CSC also did a lot of work up front near the end protecting Julich/Zabriskie and trying to setup Stuart O'Grady for the sprint, but was unable to place.

Stage links: * VeloNews Stage 4 Summary * Stage 4 Results * Daily Peloton Stage 4 Rider Comments * Levi Leipheimer Stage 4 journal * Graham Watson Stage 4 photos * Grassy Knoll Stage 4 media

Stage profile (from offical Amgen Tour of California Site):

stage 4 profile

Tour of California: Stage 1

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The collective wisdom today was that today would be a finish for sprinter's and that Freddie Rodriguez would make a go of it. The pre-race analysis was correct, but I don't think anyone put Juan Jose Haedo of Toyota on their short list of potential winners. The sprint setup was led by Fast Freddie's Lotto Davitamon team, which couldn't keep the pace fast enough. T-Mobile took over going into the final bends and seemed to have the advantage, but, as the sprinters emerged from the small dip before the finish, it was Haedo who was far in front of the rest of the pack and took the win easily (online video ). T-Mobile's Davis took a distant second and CSC's Stuart O'Grady third. Toyota is a brand new team and this is a very big first victory.

Kodak's Jackson Stewart made a go of it today. Stewart's name was already getting ingrained in my head as he was the first rider up the hill during the prologue and also one of the two Kodak/Sierra Nevada riders that was at the introduction of the San Jose stage routes. Stewart and Jean Marc Marino of Credit Agricole broke away from the pack today and built up a lead of over three minutes. Discovery's Gusev and McCartney attacked the peloton on the final climb before Santa Rosa, which pretty much spelled the end of Stewart's/Marino's breakaway as their lead was slashed. Stewart and Marino were caught as the peloton reached Santa Rosa.

If it's any sign of the popularity of the Tour of California, I'll note that both CyclingNews and Amgen's official Tour site had trouble keeping their live update feeds running. Amgen's site was completely knocked out and CyclingNews was up and down. The crowds were reportedly huge in Levi Leipheimer's hometown of Santa Rosa -- possibly in the 30,000-50,000 range -- and Leipheimer's home crowd got to see him don the leader's jersey for another day as he was able to finish with the pack and maintain his overall lead.

No Flickr photos from me for this stage. I had to pass on this stage as four hours of driving for a probable sprint finish was a bit too much and I'm already taking time off work to watch Stage 2 and 3 in person.