As always, Chris Horner was a happy guy at the start…the only difference between Sunday and his typical pre-race jovial self? He was only a few hours away from overall victory at the Tour of California.
The day’s break: Bradley White (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling), Jan Barta (Team NetApp), Jose Fernando Antogna (Jamis-Sutter Home), and Mike Friedman (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth).
While the race finished in a bunch kick, the stage was anything but easy. Here the field climbs Balcom Canyon.
Beef and Contador – forever linked.
Following the main climb, there was of course…a descent.
Then back up…
RadioShack and the sprint hopeful teams kept things under control at the front of the race.
Needs no explanation.
While a sprint seemed a formality, there were quite a few riders intent on spoiling the sprinters’ party.
As a result, the field lined out significantly…the pedal was firmly pressed to the floor.
The fight for the front was fierce, but in the end, HTC-Highroad took control, and it was Leigh Howard who gave Matt Goss a perfect leadout to take the win.
Matt Goss wins!
The final jerseys: Mountains – Pat McCarty (SpiderTech), Points – Peter Sagan, Overall – Chris Horner, Young – Tejay Van Garderen, Courageous – Jan Barta (NetApp).
Horner first, Leipheimer second, Danielson third.
Garmin-Cervelo took the top spot in the team classification and used their podium bubbly to douse a poor podium girl.
1 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad 2:56:39
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
3 Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Procycling
4 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team
5 Kevin Lacombe (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10
6 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
7 Jure Kocjan (Slo) Team Type 1 – Sanofi Aventis
8 Ken Hanson (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda
9 Anibal Andres Borrajo (Arg) Jamis – Sutter Home
10 Juan Josй Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank Sungard
11 Shawn Milne (USA) Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling
12 Timon Seubert (Ger) Team NetApp
13 Alexander Candelario (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies – OptumHealth
14 Christian Meier (Can) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
15 Leigh Howard (Aus) HTC-Highroad
Final General Classification
1 Christopher Horner (USA) Team RadioShack 23:46:41
2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team RadioShack 0:00:38
3 Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:02:45
4 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:03:18
5 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Highroad 0:03:23
6 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:03:26
7 Rory Sutherland (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 0:04:12
8 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:04:33
9 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:04:50
10 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:06:16
11 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Leopard Trek 0:06:22
12 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:06:39
13 Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Team Type 1 – Sanofi Aventis 0:08:37
14 Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:08:39
15 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:08:50