February 24, 2007
Haedo doubles up at ToC Stage 6
But CSC, the world's top-rated squad, wasn't ready to concede. They pushed the pace all day, trying to spring Jens Voigt, and eventually getting Stuart O'Grady, 5th overall 1:20 behind Leipheimer, into a break with 8 others, including Slipstream's Danny Pate, T-Mobile's Michael Rogers, and Quick Step's Bram Tankink.
The gap rose to more than 3 minutes, and Discovery put all hands into the chase, including George Hincapie, who didn't yet realize he had broken his wrist early in the stage in an accident with teammate Tony Cruz. The news is bad for Hincapie, the US road champion: He's expected to miss the spring classics, a group of races in which he's traditionally excelled.
As the break approached the finishing laps of Santa Clarita, O'Grady took monster pulls, but couldn't hold off the peloton, which made the catch with less than 5 kilometers to ride, apparently locking up Leipheimer's overall win. It was a titanic battle between CSC and Discovery Channel.
Gerolsteiner made a move to set up Robert Förster in the last kilometer, but left him on his own too soon. The sprinters enveloped Förster, with Freddie Rodriguez getting tangled with the Gerolsteiner rider. Meanwhile, Juan José Haedo puled an almost McEwen-like act, appearing right against the storm fencing and just outkicking the likes of Thor Hushovd, Greg Henderson, Paolo Bettini, and Luca Paolini. T-Mobile's Henderson was 2nd, with Bettini 3rd.
The win was the 4th for Haedo over the race's 2 years.
Credit Agricole's Christophe Laurent locked up the overall king of the mountains title, despite the efforts of Quick Step's Jurgen Van De Walle, who outscored Laurent at 3 of 4 KoM primes on the day.
Haedo is strongly placed for the points classification, and Levi Leipheimer looks to have sewn up the overall, with just 77.5 kilometers left to race on Sunday.
1) Juan José Haedo, Argentina, CSC, in 3:56:04
2) Greg Henderson, New Zealand, T-Mobile, same time
3) Paolo Bettini, Italy, Quick Step-Innergetic, s.t.
4) Thor Hushovd, Norway, Crédit Agricole, s.t.
5) Fred Rodriguez, USA, Predictor-Lotto, s.t.
6) Robert Förster, Germany, Gerolsteiner, s.t.
7) Luca Paolini, Italy, Liquigas-Bianchi, s.t.
8) Alex Candelario, USA, Jelly Belly, s.t.
9) Alejandro Acton, Argentina, Colavita-Sutter Home, s.t.
10) Russell Downing, Great Britain, Health Net-Maxxis, s.t.
1) Levi Leipheimer, USA, Discovery Channel, 22:17:56
2) Jens Voigt, Germany, CSC, at :21
3) Jason McCartney, USA, Discovery Channel, at :54
4) Bobby Julich, USA, CSC, at 1:06
5) Stuart O'Grady, Australia, CSC, at 1:16
6) Christian Vandevelde, USA, CSC, at 1:24
7) Michael Rogers, Australia, T-Mobile, at 1:32
8) Ben Day, Australia, Navigators, at 1:38
9) Franco Pellizotti, Italy, Liquigas-Bianchi, at 1:41
10) Ryder Hesjedal, Canada, Health Net-Maxxis, at 1:57
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