May 2012

By Barry Boyce
CR Cycling Historians



Amgen Tour of California website

[ Photo by Doug Pensinger ]

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20th Century Timeline

Race Snippets

Top 20 Classics




Prologue - Saturday, February 14, 2009: Sacramento, 3.9 km/2.4 mi ITT
Saxo Bank’s Fabian Cancellara returned to the ToCal and took the prologue stage win for the second year in a row.  Cancellara navigated the 3.9 km course in 4’32.9” to beat Levi Leipheimer by 1.2”.

Stage 1 – Sunday, February 15, 2009: Davis - Santa Rosa, 173.2 km/107.6 mi
Brutally cold temperature and constantly heavy rain did not deter Rock Racing’s Francesco Mancebo.  The Spaniard attacked early in the stage and stayed away to win the stage.  Mancebo took over the race leader’s jersey.

Early in the stage the race leader Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) retired from the race.  A victim of the cold weather, Cancellara suffered with a fever and sore throat and abandoned in the feed zone. 

Race radio problems affect the chase in the peloton.  “We didn't know any of the time gaps," said race leader on-the-road Leipheimer.  The poor communications hindered the organization of the chasing peloton. 

Stage 2 – Monday, February 16, 2009: Sausalito - Santa Cruz, 186.6 km/115.9 mi
A well timed attack just over 20 km from the finish gave defending champion Levi Leipheimer the breakaway he needed to take control of the race.  Garmin-Slipstream’s Tom Peterson was the lone rider to join Leipheimer.  In Santa Cruz Peterson gained the stage win and Leipheimer gained enough time to take the overall GC race lead.

Stage 3 – Tuesday, February 17, 2009: San José - Modesto, 167.7 km/104.2 mi
Cervélo TestTeam executed a perfect lead-out on the wet roads leading into Modesto to give Thor Hushovd a huge stage win ahead of Oscar Freire.

Leiphimer held onto the race lead after being slowed by a crash earlier in the stage.

Stage 4 – Wednesday, February 18, 2009: Merced - Clovis, 187.7 km/115.4 mi
Finally a sunny day of racing in California, Columbia-Highroad’s Mark Cavendish held off a fast closing Tom Boonen for the stage win.  Levi Leipheimer maintained his 24” overall lead on Michael Rogers.

Stage 5 – Thursday, February 19, 2009: Visalia - Paso Robles, 216.1 km/134.3 mi
For the second stage in a row Mark Cavendish held off Tom Boonen for the stage win.  Race leader Levi Leipheimer sprinted in with the pack to maintain his lead in the General Classification. 

Stage 6 – Friday, February 20, 2009: Solvang - Solvang, 24 km/15 mi ITT
Levi Leipheimer has proven to be unbeatable in the Solvang Time Trial.  Levi blasted the 15 miles course in 30’41” to beat David Zabriskie by 8 seconds.  The stage win further solidified Leipheimer’s hold on the General Classification.

Stage 7 – Saturday, February 21, 2009: Santa Clarita - Pasadena, 143 km/88.9 mi
A frantic day of aggressive racing saw AG2R’s Renaldo Nocentini jump away from a small breakaway group and sprint to the stage win.

Stage 8 – Sunday, February 22, 2009: Rancho Bernardo - Escondido, 155.8 km/96.8 mi
Team Saxo Bank’s Frank Schleck rode away from Vincenzo Nibali to take the final stage win of 2009.

Astana’s Levi Leipheimer proved himself to be the “King of California” becoming the first triple Tour of California champion. 

x Final General Classification


Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana



David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin-Slipstream



Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Columbia-Highroad



Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank



Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team Columbia-Highroad



Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas



Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana



Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank



Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Slipstream



José Luis Rubiera (Spa) Astana


The Grand History of the Amgen Tour of California


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