Stage 2

Santa Rosa to Sacramento

February 19, 2008


 Tyler Farrar (USA), General Classification Leader

Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30                                                                                                                                            

On today’s race:

“Today played out exactly how we hoped it would.  We didn’t know what the breakaway situation would be, but we were lucky with the bonuses being late in the stage.  The team was amazing today.  They delivered me perfectly to every bonus sprint, which made my job really easy.”


On today’s win:

“This win probably tops any win I’ve ever had; it’s a pretty big deal for me.  I’m ecstatic to be racing in America, and to be wearing the Amgen Leader Jersey is a big deal for me and for the team; everyone is really happy.”


On tomorrow’s race:

“Tomorrow will be a hard day with the mountain climbs, but we have a few riders who are well positioned.  My hope is that I’ll be handing the Amgen Leader Jersey to one of my teammates tomorrow.” 


On racing in the rain today:

“I actually don’t mind the rain.  I generally excel in these types of conditions.  You can’t dwell too much on what can happen; if you do that, you can’t do your job.”


On the level of competition in the race:

“If you look at the field of riders competing in the Amgen Tour of California, it just goes to show that this race is on par with the best races in the world.  You can’t get any better than the riders we have here.  It’s actually a bit surreal for me to be racing against some of the greatest athletes in cycling.  Sometimes I have to pinch myself.  To have guys of such high caliber backing me up is a huge encouragement.  In particular, getting to race with Mario (Cipollini) is pretty cool.  He was my hero when I was a kid, so it’s a little crazy.”


On the teams overall objectives:

“This was an objective we had going in to race (capturing the Amgen Leader Jersey).  We knew I was riding well, as well as the team as a whole, so we knew it was a possibility; it’s just great having it playing out like this.  This is probably biggest day in Slipstream history.  It just shows that we’re doing what we set out to do.  It shows that we are one of the top teams in the world and we can compete on any level.”


Tom Boonen (BEL), First Place, Stage 2


On today’s race:

“Today was pretty hectic.  It’s always hectic with weather like this, especially when you are doing circuits.  During the last kilometer, I got in front and everything was a little bit of a mess, but then I saw everything open up so I started sprinting and got to the line just in time.  This sprint today was one of my best ever.”


On the weather today:

“Weather like this always affects the race.  Nobody likes to race like this.  It’s much more dangerous, which makes it more stressful.  It doesn’t make it easy to stay safe.  I like to win, but I don’t like the rain.  I don’t like descending and I don’t like sprinting in it.”


On racing in America:

“Racing in America seems less stressful; people approach the race differently.  The environment is very positive, so it’s nice to race here.”


On the Amgen Tour of California:

“The Amgen Tour of California is important for the team and for our sponsors.  I think we’ll be coming back for the next couple of years.”


Heinrich Haussler (GER), Second Place, Stage 2


On today’s race:

“I was really far back during the last corner, but I got lucky because the final sprint was such a long distance.  It was really hectic out there with all the riders and the rain.  I got lucky with the gap in the last 300 meters and was able to come through.”                                                                                                                                             


Mario Cipollini (ITA), Third Place, Stage 2

Rock Racing                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

On today’s race:

“It was a difficult sprint and I felt like I couldn’t use maximum power.  I didn’t even know what position I was at one point.  I didn’t feel like staying in front, so I just sat back and let everyone pass.”


On coming back after a three-year retirement:

“I think my training program worked really well, and I demonstrated that in the Prologue and today.  I’ve achieved a lot in my career, but I really don’t look at this as my profession anymore, it is my passion.  Today is like a victory for me.  For me, being 41 (years old) and competing against guys who could be my children after three years of retirement is rewarding, it means I’m still in shape.  I never back down from a challenge, especially one that is almost impossible to achieve, so I’m happy to be here and performing so well.”


Gerald Ciolek (GER), Union Bank of California Best Young Rider Jersey Winner (Stage 2)

High Road                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

On wearing the Best Young Rider Jersey:

“I would like to wear this to the end of this great race.”


Scott Nydam (USA), Tachyon Most Aggressive Jersey Winner (Stage 2)

Team BMC                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

On today’s race:

“Today’s stage was long.  The length was difficult, but our goal was to build off yesterday.  It’s a big stage and it kind of grinds on you, but I know the climate and I’ve ridden these roads a dozen times, so I knew what to expect as soon as we hit the right-hand turn.  I knew if I went early I’d have time to recover; maybe get some flexibility, but I wasn’t expecting to have as much time as I did.  I went first through the corner and I ended up in front because of the wet roads. 


On tomorrow’s race:

“Tomorrow is when the fireworks will go off.  I was already thinking about tomorrow’s climbs during today’s stage, which made me hold back.  We have some strong riders in good general classification position and a number of cards to play.  We’ve been aggressive thus far and I’d image we’ll stay that way.


On training for Levi (Leipheimer):

“Training with Levi has really helped me reform my racing style.  He’s really helped me develop the mentality it takes to be a great cyclist.  We’ve done the Trinity Road climb a dozen times together and today was probably the best opportunity to showcase that.  We have great synergy, and he has been really supportive in my much-needed acceleration.”


On the crowds today:

“It was electric today.  I remembered from last year that there were a number of people that came out to the finish, so we knew it was going to be big.  To have a circuit finish in a big city was great.  The whole circuit course was lined with people, and to hear everyone cheering us on was inspiring. 


Andrew Messick, President, AEG Sports                                                                                                                                   

On the race overall:                                                                  

“Over the first three days, we’ve drawn 425,000 spectators, which is pretty fantastic.  All of the stages have been packed with spectators, and we are delighted with the overall response to the race and athletes.  As the race progresses, we are seeing everything we hoped for, including the emergence of new, young American talent like Tyler (Farrar); seeing cyclists who are in their prime like Levi (Leipheimer) and Tom (Boonen); and world-renowned cyclists showing us what the best of the best looks like, like Mario (Cipollini).  It’s all happening at our race and that is fantastic.”


Jim Birrell, Race Director                                                                                                                                                                  

On tomorrow’s race:

“We think there will be a new lead change with tomorrow’s Mt. Hamilton climb.  People may underestimate it, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.”