Tour of California - 2.1
USA, February 19-26, 2006
Results & report
Stage 4 - February 23: Monterey to San Luis Obispo, 210.7km
Commentary by Kristy Scrymgeour, with additional reporting from Mark Zalewski
Complete live report
Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage
of the Tour of California. Today is Stage 4 of the tour and starts in the beautiful
coastal town of Monterey. The route heads south hugging the coast for 210km
before reaching the finish in San Luis Obisbo. This is known to be one of the
most scenic drives in the US, traveling for miles along undeveloped beaches
and gorgeous clifflines. The first mountain sprint of the day is at the famous
The road will be undulating all day taking in a couple of
hard climbs. No mountains to speak of but not exactly an easy day. Bjarne Riis
(CSC Team Director) said a couple of days ago that whoever took the jersey after
yesterdays time trial would keep it until the end, but it certainly won't be
an easy four days for the Phonak Team. They'll have their work cut out for the
protecting the lead of Floyd Landis through some tough terrain yet.
Yesterday Riis said, ”Landis was untouchable today and there was nothing we
could do. Dave [Zabriskie] did well in this time trial, but faded a bit towards
the end. We were definitely expecting to take this one, but were beaten by a
better performance. It now looks as if the overall standings may have been decided,
but we still have a couple of exciting stages ahead of us,” said Bjarne Riis.
We are 15 minutes from the start of
the stage and yet again, another large crowd is gathered to welcome the riders
to California and send them off for another day of racing.
Our reporter Mark Zalewski has been
catching up with a few people at the start. He ran into Floyd Landis who said
he is feeling good today after the effort yesterday. He said he's seen a bit
of the course today and he's not too worried. Confident that his team can protect
The riders are off. Before the real
race start, riders will ride 14km neutral through Monterey. The clock will start
as they enter the Carmel Highlands.
A great place to watch the race today
would be at Big Sur. Not only will it be a great place to see the first mountain
sprint, but the view there is breathtaking.
The race will reach Big Sur at approximately
The neutral zone is not exactly easy.
Its twisty and turny and climbs straight out of town up steep hills. The Phonak
team have already gathered at the front in preparation for the day.
Preisdent of the UCI, Pat McQuaid
turned up at the race today and we caught up with him before the start. He said
he is very impressed by the race so far. "I just got in yesterday, but I've
been walking through the team cars this morning and from what I've heard so
far, you can tell that its going well. If the riders are happy, you know its
a good race."
We asked McQuaid if he's been following the race and
he said "Of course. I've been following it on Cyclingnews." He added that he
stayed 30km south of hear last night and has seen a bit of the course. From
what he's seen, its quite hard.
This neutral zone is just all up and
down. I guess that will get the legs warmed up.
Our first reader email of the day
is from Gimena Friedick, wife of Mariano from team Toyota United. She says,
"Go Mariano! Go Toyota United!!"
The race has just turned onto Hwy
1. School kids line the roads again to see the colourful men in lycra go past.
Quite a sight.
They are on a long wide downhill section
coming up to the race start.
Another nice day for the riders today.
Not a cloud in the sky and a little bit warmer than the last couple of days
being a bit further south.
Not much wind either as of yet. It
can get quite windy along the coastline though so we'll see what happens as
they day goes on.
We heard from Zabriskie (CSC) who
was a little disappointed with his ride yesterday. He wasn't feeling the best
but he still came very close to pulling of a win. He said, "I wanted very much
to win today but Floyd was simply better than me. I felt like I was lacking
something at the end, which is also where I lost most time. It was my first
time trial since the Tour last year and I felt far from 100% even though I got
an OK result."
Phil Zajicek's dad Mark has written
in. He is flying in tonight to watch the last couple of stages and wanted us
to let Phil know that he'll bring a fresh pair of legs with him.
Also a shout out to all the young
riders from the mother of Jonathan Vaughters (TIAA CREF DS).
OK, the race has started and already
there has been a few attacks. They're starting early today. We can see CSC,
T-Mobile, Colavita up there. Looks like about eight rider off the front at this
point. They have about 100m on the field.
Its all back together but the pace
Six riders are up the road now. But
they've been caught too.
A Gerolsteiner rider attacks. The
phonak team are ready and jumping on every move.
Another group of eight has formed
now and are moving along quickly.
Caught now and a counter attack. Looks
like TIAA CREF. Followed by Prodir Saunier Duval.
The new break is seven riders as they
ride along this gorgeous road which drops down to a rugged rocky cliff line
on their right.
The field is really strung out in
single file in chase.
There is not much wind. The break
has been caught and another rider has attacked. It looks like Credit Agricole.
Discovery and Davitamon Lotto are
on the front There is another attack to try to bridge to this solo rider, it
has been shut down immediately.
They are putting it in the gutter
to chase this. Slightly uphill.
Another attack, two riders.
Those two have been swallowed up and
passed as another attack goes but one guy sits up and waits. The other keeps
going but the bunch is coming back. Another counter. This is going to happen
for a while now until a break eventuates.
Zach Grabowski crashed earlier. He
is out of the race. Two other Colavita-Sutter Home riders are still off the
back. They has been waiting to help Zach back up but he has pulled out.
Grabowski was the only non TIAA CREF
rider that was in the running for the "best young rider" jersey. I guess TIAA
CREF will have it wrapped up now.
The bunch is all together now, but
attacks continue along the winding road. Its undulating all the way and they
are heading over a huge bridge over a gulley. Two Discovery riders have attacked
with a member of the Mexican National team.
10:56 PST 23km/187.7km to go
They've been caught
now and another counter happens. The road is going up now. About a 6% grade.
A Gerolsteiner rider has attacked.
Its David Kopp. He has a good gap.
The field is strung out now as they
climb this hill. More attacks. A group of four up the road.
The field totally single file in chase
as they descend.
The field is all together again.
Another attack as they come off the
descent, whilst at the back Steve Zampieri (Phonak) has a flat.
A few riders try to bridge and are
catching him. Five in that lead group now with the field chasing.
We have Chris Brewer writing in from
ahead of the course. He says, "I can tell you it's perfect weather but the first
135k is pretty difficult, then it flattens out just below the Hearst castle.
Roads are in good condition, too."
They have been caught and there is
a counter attack. Those in the break are Viatcheslav Ekimov (Discovery), Rene
HAselbacher (Gerolsteiner) and Lars Bak (CSC). These three teams are really
putting the pressure on Phonak today.. Rider number 74, Andre Greipel (T-Mobile)
has bridged too.
The field is coming back up to them
though and they have been caught but another attack goes.
People have been writing in about
the time cut yesterday. It was supposed to be 15% which would have cut Simoni
and others but this is more of a discretionary rule and the Commisaires can
decide to let them start the next day.
Five riders away now and they're working
very well together. It looks like Prodir, Gerolsteiner, T-Mobile...... no, they've
11:12 PST 34km/176.7km to go
to the sprint now at Big Sur.
Discovery is setting the pace. There
is a small attack.
When they get to Big Sur, they have
the first sprint of the day and only 7km later they have the first of three
KOM sprints. It might be after these two that a break will actually get away.
Its really beautiful, tree covered
parkland here. I think its called the Andrew Molers State Park. The field is
one again catching the breakaway group and they'll probably keep it together
for the sprint now.
But another solo rider goes! A very
nice attack that caught the field napping.
Bastiaan Giling (T-Mobile) took out
the sprint, followed by Jose-Manuel Garcia (Toyota United) and Vladmir Gusev
They are seeing 5km to the KOM now,
a small group is off the front. Seven riders.
11:22 PST 42km/168.7km to go
We are on the climb
now. The seven have been caught but two remain up the road.
The pace is high. They are all out
of the saddle and climbing. A small group of four have a small gap. Discovery
is up there and T-Mobile. Obviously Bernhard Kohl (T-Mobile) will be trying
to get points to add to his KOM points.
Its single file again up this climb
and they are all together at the front now. Its very fast. Its a fairly gradual
climb. Gerolsteiner lead.
A Gerolsteiner rider has a small gap,
Getting close to the top now. They
are all together and a Phonak rider leads with T-Mobile right on his wheel.
11:26 PST 44.9km/165.8km to go
1km to the KOM
Gerolsteiner have attacked. A CSC
rider on his wheel.
Three riders have a lead on the field
now as they near the top.
200m to the top.
The three riders still have a lead.
Gerolsteiner takes it from T-Mobile. They descend straight away at 78km/h.
The field have all crested the KOM.
Levi Leipheimer took the KOM, followed by Bernhard Kohl (T-Mobile), Jean Marc
Marino (Credit Agricole) and Alexandre Moos (Phonak).
The three top riders still have a
gap on the field.
Levi Leipheimer, Bernhard Kohl (T-Mobile),
Jean Marc Marino (Credit Agricole) are all away, but a group of seven riders
comes flying past them and one rider goes off the front solo. He's flying. Three
riders in chase.
Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner) is one
Correction to the KOM. It was Tom Danielson who took third place
over the top.
The climb did a lot of damage to the
bunch. Quite a few groups off the back. Its likely that it will come back together
Its still single file as they go up
another small roller.
Its looks like most of the dropped
riders are back with the group now. Still a small group off the front. An attack
from the field.
It really doesn't seem like the rider
will get a chance to appreciate the view today, they have really attacked this
stage from the beginning.
11:44 PST 52km/158.7km to go
Two riders have a good gap. We still have two distinct groups that have not
regrouped after the climb.
The two riders have been caught by
the main field and attacks continue.
Stuart O'Grady (CSC) and David Kopp
(Gerolsteiner) are off the front now and have a 13 second gap. The first main
bunch has a 15" gap over the second bunch at this point.
The break has been caught and another
break is up the road. Torsten Heikmann (Gerolsteiner) and Michael Barry (Discovery).
They have 10 seconds.
We have a chase group of five chasing
the lead two.
11:52 PST 62km/148.7km to go
Another two chase
the five and then the field.
The leaders have been caught by the
chase group of seven and we have nine riders in the lead.
The riders in the break are Torsten
Heikmann (Gerolsteiner), Michael Barry (Discovery), Jens Voigt (CSC), Koldo
Gil Perez (Prodir Saunier Duval), Saul Raisin (Credit Agricole), Anfre Greipel
(T-Mobile), Michael Creed (TIAA CREF), Dominique Perras (Kodak Gallery Sierra
Nevada), and Andrew Bajadali (Jelly Belly).
It seems most teams have a team member
in the break. Davide Frattini (Colavita Sutter Home) is also in that break.
Phonak has kept the whole team back to set tempo on the front of the field.
The break has now been caught. All
groups are back together.
12:14 PST 78km/132.7km to go
The bunch has slowed
down now after that early action as the race leaders decided it was time for
a nature break. We are 78km into the race. Still a long way to go. We are now
coming into the town of Lucia. Its about 63 degress. Very calm and beautiful
Apparently there are a few sections
of rough gravel road up ahead. We might see a few punctures. The road continues
to go up and down but we don't see another KOM sprint until the 109km mark,
so we have another 30km or so before that. In between we have the feed zone.
The riders are going through the gravel
section right now. Its about 500m long and pretty messy.
Sven Krauss (Gerolsteiner) has attacked.
Its a crafty place to attack because there is a lot of gravel on this small
descent and the bunch had to slow down a bit.
12:21 PST 83km/127.7km to go
He has a good lead
and the road is a lot smoother now. The bunch is single file down the descent
in chase. He has 12 seconds.
The one thing about break aways today
is that its hard to get out of sight. The road winds around a lot but it keeps
jutting in and out along the coast and you can see across the juts.
Tim Johnson (Health Net/Maxxis) and
Davide Frattini (Colavita Sutter Home) are bridging to Krauss.
12:25 PST 86km/124.7km to go
The bridging riders
can see Krauss and the field can see the bridging riders. Even the ocean is
calm today. Not much wind at all. We are in the Las Padres National Forest.
At the back of the field, some of
the riders are out of the time cut on the road so they'll have some work to
do for the remainder of the race. Peter Lopinto (Kodak Gallery Sierra Nevada)
has pulled out of the race.
All riders have been caught now.
We've had an email from Randy Shafer.
A well known race official in the US. He explains time cuts. "The officials
don't set the time cuts, those are
done by the organizer. The officials
extend them "...after consultation
with the organizer" since the organizer
is the one who decided that a
particular time cut for a particular stage
suits their needs."
12:30 PST 90km/120.7km to go
More attacks now.
A few riders go off the front but T-Mobile are keeping it together for the KOM
sprints coming up.
Jasen Allen (Kodak Gallery Sierra
Nevada) and Todd Herriot (Colavita Sutter Home) have abandoned the race.
Another attack. We have eleven riders
up the road and four riders bridging.
Riders in the break are Lars Bak (CSC),
Steve Zampieri (Phonak), Chris Horner) Davitamon Lotto), David Kopp (Gerolsteiner),
Aaron Olsen (Prodir Saunier Duval), Paolo Salvodelli (Discovery), Tim Johnson
(Health Net), Ben Brooks (Navigators), Mick Rogers (T-Mobile), Mark McCormack
(Colavita Sutter Home), and Lucas Euser (TIAA CREF). The gap is closer to 30
12:41 PST 98km/112.7km to go
The break has been
caught and there is a counter attack by a Gerolsteiner rider. He has an advantage.
The rider is David Kopp and he is
joined by Lars Bak (CSC). They are at 12". Hayden Roulston (Health Net) has
bridged to the break. A couple of others are trying to bridge.
Marco Pinotti (Prodir Saunier Duval)
is also trying to bridge.
The gap is now 20". The three leaders
have three other guys chasing and then the field. The three chasers look like
they might be caught soon.
Ignore that. The six riders are together
Two more riders are attempting to
bridge now. We have 5km to the KOM.
12:51 PST 106km/104.7km to go
Floyd Landis is
getting a wheel change. A teammate gave him his wheel so that Floyd can get
straight back on.
He is back on now.
The two chasers have caught the lead,
so we have a lead group of 8 riders now.
Chris Horner (Davitamon Lotto) is
trying to bridge now.
Horner has caught the break along
with Jean Marco Marino (Credit Agricole), and Francois Parisien (TIAA CREF).
Three other riders are trying to bridge as they get to 500m from the KOM. It
kicks up a bit here.
The three riders are Andre Greipel
(T-Mobile), Glen Chadwick (Navigators) and Davide Frattini (Colavita Sutter
The leaders are over the top of the KOM now. A very sharp
So to recap, we have a break of ten
riders who are ten seconds ahead of a chase group of three, with the peloton
another 25" behind them. Most teams have a rider in the break. Phonak have stayed
back again to set tempo in the chase.
13:03 PST 112km/98.7km to go
The winner of the
KOM was Marco Pinotto (Prodir), followed by Chris Horner (Davitamon Lotto) and
Jean Marc Marino (Credit Agricole). Not long until the next KOM sprint.
These two KOM's are very close together
with a steep descent in between so not much time for recovery. After this though,
the road flattens out a lot.
13:05 PST 114.7km/96km to go
1km to the KOM now
Well, we've just had a reader correct
our leaders list, they said, "I think the TIAA CREF rider is Craig Lewis, since
Francois is having a cafe con leche here in Girona right now." Sorry about that!
13:08 PST 116km/94.7km to go
The gap is up to
a minute now. Lars Bak won the KOM.
Correction to the KOM results. It
was Marco Pinotti (Prodir), Chris Horner (DVL), then Jean Marc Marino (Credit
Craig Lewis (TIAA CREF) has just requested
service from his team car, whilst at the very back of the field Gustavo Artacho
(Colavita Sutter Home) has abandoned the race.
Kathy Raisin has written in, "Go Saul
Raisin! All your Georgia fans and family are cheering loudly here!"
Craig Lewis (TIAA CREF) is an amazing
rider. He was the one hit by that car in Tour de Georgia a couple of years ago
and now he's riding with the big guys. Quite a talent. He had a puncture before
and he is back on.
The break is working well together.
They are taking about 5 second turns on the front. McCormack just rolled off
for Kopp to take over. It looks like they have a tail wind. Many locals have
been writing in to say that there is often a tailwind this way.
The gap is 1'05".
Somebody wrote in to ask if they closed
HWY 1 for this. They close the roads around the race. Its called a rolling enclosure.
Police man the back and the front of the race so that no cars can get through
until the full race has passed.
13:27 PST 129km/81.7km to go
The roads are very
flat now and the race is at sea level rather than looking down at the ocean.
The gap has gone up to 1'10".
Chris Horner (Davitamon Lotto) looks
to the the highest on CG out of these breakaway riders. He is 2'17" down on
Landis, so the Phonak team just have to keep the gap below that.
They are all still taking even pulls.
A lot of the riders are feeding from their cars right now taking advantage of
the flat straight roads.
Lots of Floyd fans have been writing
in. "Floyd's two sisters and friends flew out to CA to watch him race during
this entire week. The rest of his family and friends are cheering him on back
here in the Amish Country (PA)," wrote The Umbles.
Mark McCormack's neighbour Dale Stephanos
has written in on behalf of his riding buddies. "Nice to see him in the break."
The gap is 1'15". A few rolling hills
again now. Back in the bunch Phonak is on the front. If riders look to the right
now, they'll see sea lions lying around watching the race go by.
13:36 PST 137km/73.7km to go
Its flat now but
you can see Hearst Castle up in the hills of in the distant. 5km to the sprint
Glen Chadwick's wife has also written
in. "Go Chady," she says, "we're all following the live coverage here in Belgium
to see how you're doing!! I'm proud of you baby!"
13:41 PST 143km/67.7km to go
We are 1km from
the sprint. Craig Lewis (TIAA CREF) has been dropped from the break.
People have been trying to tell me
that Vladmir Gusev is higher than Chris Horner on GC but they are wrong. Vladmir
sits in 30th place, over 10 minutes down.
Andre Kreipel (T-Mobile) won the sprint,
followed by Lars Bak (CSC) and Chris Horner (Davitamon Lotto).
There has been a crash in the peloton.
Arquimides Lam (Mexican National Team) and Tyler Wren (Colavita Sutter Homes)
went down. Rene Haselbacher (Gerolsteiner) also went down but he's already back
with the bunch.
There was confusion earlier as to
whether Tom Danielson was in the break. It looks like he is in fact in the break,
making him the highest placed rider up there. He is 1'49" down on Landis.
One reader has written in to say that
what we were seeing before were elephant Seals not sea lions. It is one of a
couple of breeding areas for the Elephant Seals on the West Coast. Thanks for
The gap has come down to 48" now.
The field can see the break now as
we are on a long flat section. The peloton is strung out and they have pulled
the cars out of the gap.
The soigneur for the Health Net Maxxis,
Kim Budde, has just written in. She says, "We're behind the race in our team
van heading to the finish. Thanks for the aweome coverage, I'm keeping up on
my blackberry! How about a hand for Nathan in the TT yesterday!"
The break is falling apart now and
falling back to the field gradually.
Ken Reid from Canine Companions for
Independence has written in. "Floyd Landis has done some fund raising for Canine
Companions for Independence. We provide trained dogs to assist people who have
disabilities. From the staff, volunteers, and clients of CCI: Hang tough and
bring it home, Floyd!"
Lars Bak (CSC) and Jean Marc Marino
(Credit Agricole) tried to keep this break going and were up ahead for a couple
of kilomters. Some of the remaining break members have caught them again and
the group of eight have about 23" on the field.
14:06 PST 160km/50.7km to go
The field is not
chasing very hard at this point. The gap is 25".
Six riders still in the break are
Chris Horner (Davitamon Lotto), Lars Bak (CSC), Vladmir Gusev (Discovery), Jean
Marco Marino (Credit Agricole), Glen Chadwick (Navigators), and Mark McCormack
(Colavita Sutter Home).
A lot of riders have had to abandon
in this race. The broom wagon had to stop at the feed zone and let riders out
because they didn't have enough room.
The field is reeling them
in now. The break doesn't seem that hopeful. The gap has fallen to 15" and the
guys in the break are looking back a lot in anticipation of getting caught.
Gusev and Chadwick refuse to give
in though. They have a small gap on their own. The rest of the break members
have been caught.
The two leaders have increased their
lead to 21 seconds.
14:14 PST 165km/45.7km to go
On a bit of a descent
now. Just over 50km to go in the race.
Th riders have been moving at an average
of 43.2km/h (27m/h) so far in this race.
The gap is up to a minute now. Its
flat again now and they can see the ocean again. There's a little bit of a cross
wind now. They are working well together in the break. Discovery are near the
front of the field keeping an eye on things to protect Gusev.
14:22 PST 173.7km/37km to go
The break riders
have their team cars up with them now, which is allowed when the gap gets over
The race is approaching Morro Bay
now, you can see it in the distance. When they reach Morro Bay, riders will
head inland towards San Luis Obispo. Gusev has just pulled off and Chadwick
is pulling through. This is a good break because the field will be happy to
let this go.
14:25 PST 176km/34.7km to go
We are in Cayucos
now. Phonak is on the front setting tempo back in the peloton.
The gap is at 1'50" now and growing.
14:29 PST 179km/31.7km to go
Landis has over
six minutes on Chadwick and Gusev who sit 26th and 30th on CG. Their gap is
now up to 2'10".
The gap has increased once again and
is now 2'25". The break is still working very well together and the field is
setting tempo but not getting too worried about chasing too hard.
The average speed has gone up a little
bit to 44km/h (27.5m/h).
CSC and Toyota United have riders
on the front right now. Toyota seem to be working pretty hard on the front.
They'll want to bring this back for a field sprint for JJ Haedo. Health Net
are also up there. They are interested in going for stage wins now. Phonak is
getting an easy ride. This break is good for them because its not too much of
a danger and they can let the other teams who want stage wins, do the work.
14:40 PST 184km/26.7km to go
The view is still
gorgeous looking out at the Pacific Ocean, now we'll be turning inland towards
San Luis Obispo through rolling green hills.
The gap has come down slightly to
1'55". The field is seeing 25km to go.
And falling.......1'45" now.
Just looking ahead the finish has
quite a technical finish with three turns quite close together. There is a few
undulations as well so its going to be interesting.
The latest time check is 1'05".
14:52 PST 195.7km/15km to go
15km remaining in
the race now.
Glen Chadwick is a 29 year old Australian
rider. Last year he rode on Team Cyclingnews based in Belgium. He still lives
there now racing for Navigators.
The gap is falling. This is going
to be close! With the sprinters teams on the front though, these guys are going
to have a tough time holding this lead. Its 35" now.
Gusev is leading now driving hard
but the field is closing in on them.
Toyota United are on the front. Health
Net is on mass at the front now too.
14:58 PST 201.7km/9km to go
Chadwick is back
on the front of the break. Floyd Landis looks comfortable in the field. He has
his team around him keeping him safe.
Ten kilometers to go.
Gusev looks over his shoulder to see
if the field are coming. They have 30 seconds.
Health Net/Maxxis and Toyota United
are still on the front of the field.
There will be time bonuses on the
finish line again. Nobody is close enough to move into the lead just from time
bonus seconds though.
Landis is up there the front of the
field sitting on the wheel of one of his teammates. They are sitting on the
back of the Health Net train. Its important for Landis to stay up near the front
to stay safe more than anything.
The time gap is now 22".
Dropping again, 16 seconds now.
The field can see the break now, they're
on an incline. The guys in the break are out of the saddle making a last effort
but its too late. They're gone.
15:06 PST 205.7km/5km to go
5km to go. The crowd
is big. Its about two or three deep for the last kilometer of the race. The
field is flying now. Totally strung out with Health Net on the front.
15:07 PST 206.7km/4km to go
Toyota United is
also up there. People are moving around trying to get position. They all know
how narrow some of the corners are at the finish. Positioning is vital.
4km to go. CSC is now on the front with 5 riders.
15:08 PST 207.7km/3km to go
They are at 3km to
go at the hard turns. Rider down Its a Phonak rider. Not Floyd.
Its a Jelly Belly rider actually.
CSC still on the front.
The are just over a little climb.
CSC still up there. We have riders rolling off having done their work.
15:09 PST 209.7km/1km to go
Left turn now. 1km
to go. Its narrow here.
A hard left turn now. All accross
the road. CSC and Health Net are both up there. Her comes the left hand turn.
They're swinging wide. The crowd screams.
Sprinting now. 50m. T-Mobile!!!
Davitamon Lotto in second.
its JJ Haedo again who takes the win.
A Davitmon Lotto guy in second.
What a week for Juan Jose Haedo and
the Toyota United Pro team.
Fred Rodriguez in second and Andre
Korff (T-Mobile) in third.
Thanks for tuning in again to our
Live Coverage. We'll be back tomorrow for Stage 5 from San Luis Obispo to Santa
1 Juan Jose Haedo (Toyota United Pro)
2 Freddy Rodriguez (Davitamon Lotto)
3 Andre Korff (T-Mobile)
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