Stage 4 press conference quotes:  



Levi Leipheimer (USA), General Classification Leader


On today’s race:

“My guys have put in a hard day’s work today.  I guess we had this coming since it has been two years of beautiful weather, so it’s like having three bad days rolled into one today.  This day probably ranks in the top three worst days I’ve ever had on a bike.”

On tomorrow’s time trial:

“In this kind of condition, everyone feels the same.  What can you say after riding seven cold hours in the freezing rain, but I did my best to take care of myself and I’ll do my best tomorrow.”

On the weather conditions today:

“In training, you can control it better.  I’d never do this for seven hours on my own.”

Dominique Rollin (CAN), Stage 4 Winner 

Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team

On today’s race:

“With 40 kilometers to go, I started looking around and realized I was the strongest guy in the break; that the peloton wouldn’t be able to catch me.  I think I got impatient towards the end.  I just wanted to prove that I could do it, so with 20 kilometers to go, I took a pull and managed to get three or four meters from the pack.  I thought I’d give it a try and see if anyone reacted, but nobody followed for the first kilometer and then nobody followed after that, so from there, I knew I could win.” 

On the weather conditions today:

“Even though I didn’t like the weather today, it seems the worse it is, the better I am.  The wind just kept coming, but I was able to get across.  Last time I raced in such tough weather, I won the stage, so I guess it’s not that bad.”

On his training program:

“This win proves that I’ve been doing well lately and that my training program has been working.  To be able to stay away from a guy like George (Hincapie), and hold on to that lead after such a hard day, just proves that I can be up on the podium.”

George Hincapie (USA), Second Place, Stage 4

High Road

On the weather conditions today:

“It was definitely pretty epic today as far as conditions go.  It was brutal out there; there was a headwind the entire time, but we just kept rolling through.  At the end, you felt the effects of the day, but in terms of the breakaway, we rode steady.  We had enough in our legs that if the field had ridden harder, we’d have gone harder.”

On today’s competition: 

“Dominique (Rollin) really surprised me; he just kept going strong.  I was surprised that we (the breakaway) stayed out there; I don’t know what happened to the peloton.  When Dominique went, everybody just sat up.  I thought we would keep him out there for 10 or 15 seconds and then tire him out for the sprint, but he kept going.  We didn’t win today, but we put on a great show.  I knew I wasn’t going to win, so for me, it wasn’t a big deal if I ended up second or third.”

On the race overall:

“Honestly, I haven’t had this much fun on a bike in a while.  I love being able to race and be aggressive; that’s what it’s all about.  The Amgen Tour of California is the biggest race in the U.S.  These guys have everything in the world to prove.  I remember when I was a young rider in a big race; this is the one shot to prove yourself.”

On his team (High Road):

“Our team has had a bit of bad luck; the other day I crashed and three of our guys had a stomach virus, so our luck hasn’t been great.  But this is a good team and we are motivated.”  

Gavin Chilcott, Team Manager

Team BMC

On weather conditions today:

“I can tell you that today was a busy day for all the teams.  Not only was the weather a factor, but the time was a factor as well.  It took nearly seven hours to reach the finish, and the wind chill factor certainly took its toll.  I think the riders were on even more of a precarious edge than they may have realized.  I’m sure the riders will take home some valuable lessons in terms of managing resources on a long stage.  Even the best riders in the world were taking a long time to figure out clothes, vests, food, etc.”

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Referring to Jackson Stewart (USA) of Team BMC’s withdrawal from the race:

“It’s an interesting experience for a rider to have to make that decision (to drop out of the race) on the road.  You go from being in control of your plan, to loosing control of your temperature, and then ultimately loosing the ability to finish the race.  I’m sure it was a really soul-searching moment for him to decide that he couldn’t go on.  It’s a big moment for a rider, because when you are out there and it’s cold and you can’t operate your breaks, it feels pretty bad; but as soon as you warm up, it feels different.”

On how today’s conditions affected the riders:

“All of the factors in play today made it an epic day.  The wind was constant, the temperature never got above 55 degrees and there was no sun.  Also, the riders didn’t go hard today; there wasn’t a lot of attacking.  They kind of went through the stage in the most efficient way possible.  I wonder if they would have had an easier time if there had been more aggression.  A lot of these factors singularly wouldn’t have put a lot of riders in distress, but the constant burden to keep warm took its toll.”

On tomorrow’s time trial:

“We had two epic days in a row.  Yesterday was a really big stage, and I think that we’re going to see some unexpected results tomorrow due to this.  Tomorrow’s time trial gets a bit more interesting, which might not have been the case had we not climbed Mt. Hamilton yesterday and had we had better weather today.  I think we are going to see what teams supported their riders and who had time to recover.”  

Kevin Livingston, Competition Director, Amgen Tour of California

“I’d say the looks of these guys kind of tells the story of the day.  The conditions were pretty bad; we’d have like to have better weather for them, but these guys are tough.  This is what they do for a living.  They rolled out to the start line this morning prepared and ready to go to work.”

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2008 Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 Quotes

Page  PAGE 2

Stage 4

Seaside to San Luis Obispo

February 21, 2008