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Britain's Ben Swift wins shortened Tour of California Stage 2

The route was decreased from 133.2 miles to 76 miles and went from Nevada City to downtown Sacramento because of continuing wintry weather. Tuesday's Stage 3 is 121.9 miles from Auburn to Modesto.

May 17, 2011|By Diane Pucin
  • Ben Swift (far left) outsprints his rivals to win Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California on Monday.
Ben Swift (far left) outsprints his rivals to win Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour… (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images )

Monday's stage: It was scheduled to be 133.2 miles from Squaw Valley to Sacramento and travel over the Donner Pass, snow again affected the race. Because of the continuing wintry weather that caused Sunday's Stage 1 to be canceled, Stage 2 was shortened to about 76 miles and began in Nevada City with a finish in downtown Sacramento.

Winner: Ben Swift, 23, of Britain and the Sky ProCycling team, won the slippery sprint finish near the state Capitol. The weather continued to be uncooperative with a downpour hitting downtown Sacramento just as the peloton arrived to ride circuits around downtown. Swift earned his fifth stage win of this young season by holding off Slovakia's Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Cannondale and Australian Matt Goss of HTC-Highroad.

Leader's jersey: Swift is also the first owner of the leader's jersey. Among the overall general classification favorites, three-time champion Levi Leipheimer of RadioShack is in 24th place while his teammate Chris Horner is in 16th; and 22-year-old on-the-rise Tejay Van Garderen of HTC-Highroad is 40th, and they are all 10 seconds behind the leader. The 2010 Tour de France runner-up, Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, and the Leopard Trek team is in 78th place, 25 seconds behind Swift.

Quote of the day: "I identified five stages that I like," Swift said. And he couldn't have even known what Monday's stage was going to be like since it was changed so suddenly. With six more stages left, Swift seems to like the race.

STAGE 2 RESULTS

1. Ben Swift, Britain, 2:47.02

2. Peter Sagan, Slovakia; same time

3. Matt Goss, Australia, same time

4. Kevin Lacombe, Canada; same time

5. Juan Jose Haedo, Argentina; same time

OVERALL STANDINGS (including time bonuses)

1. Ben Swift, Britain; 2:47.12

2. Peter Sagan, Slovakia; four seconds behind

3. Matt Goss, Australia, six seconds behind

4. Kevin Lacombe, Canada; 10 seconds behind

5. Juan Jose Haedo, Argentina; 10 seconds behind

Tuesday's stage: This day is planned as a 121.9-mile trip from Auburn to Modesto. It will be a mostly flat ride suited to the strong sprinters such as Garmin-Cervelo's Thor Hushovd of Norway, a world champion; HTC-Highroad's Goss and three-time world sprint champion Oscar Freire of Rabobank. There will be no King of the Mountain points offered, and the stage probably will have no impact on who will be the overall champion when the race ends Sunday.

— Diane Pucin

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