Photography by Darrell Parks – www.darrellparks.com –
The fans came out in droves to cheer on the riders, as they battled through the difficult final stage.
A star-studded break went up the road early in hopes of putting pressure on Horner and Leipheimer. The large, high powered break included: Andrew Talansky (Team Garmin-Cervelo), Ben Swift and Chris Froome (Sky Procycling), George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team), Francesco Bellotti (Liquigas-Cannondale), Grischa Niermann (Rabobank Cycling Team), Alexander Efimkin (Team Type 1-Sanofi Aventis), Pat McCarty (Team Spidertech Powered By C10), and Rob Britton (Bissell Cycling). McCarty raked in the KOM points and sealed the classification.
Despite the huge amounts of talent in the first group, they weren’t able to concern RadioShack too much, especially when Horner’s team received help from Leopard Trek.
There were innumerable characters along the side of the road on Saturday.
The gruppetto formed early and did their best to wade through the thick waters of an incredibly mountainous day.
On the final climb of Mount Baldy, the work of young RadioShack rider, Matt Busche, did more than enough to get rid of almost all of the contenders. With Busche on the front, the lead group dwindled down to only: Busche, Leipheimer, Horner, Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank), and Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek). When Busche pulled off, Horner and Leipheimer took over and put paid to the chances of both Ten Dam and Schleck.
The duo of Leipheimer and Horner proved indomitable this week. Can they take the Californian magic to France in July?
Leipheimer, Horner, and Ten Dam were the first three on the day’s podium, whilst the overall podium was: Horner, Leipheimer, Danielson.