Slipstream rider Steven Cozza leads the bunch through downtown Sacramento
After almost five hours in the saddle, the pack powered into the state Capitol, lead by the CSC and Slipstream teams. As the group hit the first of the three Capitol laps, CSC’s Juan Jose Haedo suffered a mechanical and was dropped from the main field. Luckily he was able to catch back on and get back into the group before the sprint started.
The stage two podium: Haussler, Boonen, Cipollini
By the time the field approached the finish line for the stage sprint, the peloton was strung out in a long line, lead by the Quick Step team. Mark Cavendish, the young Briton from the High Road team, hoped to surprise the field and shot out of the bunch with approximately 700 meters to go. Sprinting frantically, Cavendish couldn’t hold on, and was eventually swamped by a hard-charging field with about 100 meters to go to the finish.
The jerseys after stage 2: Tauler (Sprint), Ciolek (Young Rider), Farrar (Leader), Stewart (King of the Mountain), Nydam (Most Aggressive)
In a familiar early season scene, Quick Step’s “Tornado” Tom Boonen unleashed a fearsome acceleration and took the stage ahead of Gerolsteiner’s Heinrich Haussler and the 41 year old Rock Racing fossil, Mario Cipollini. Haussler was the hard luck runner-up today after finishing third the day before, but was rewarded with the sprinter's green jersey for his efforts. And if ever there was to be a stage that the “Lion King” could have won in the 2008 TOC, it would have been the long, flat run in of stage two in front of the “Governator,” Arnold Schwartzenegger.
The "Governator" pumped up the crowd
Due to time bonuses, Slipstream’s Tyler Farrar took the leader’s jersey off the shoulders of Fabian Cancellera, and was ecstatic to be the race’s new leader. “I was a bit nervous, but I like this kind of weather, this is when I do the best. It’s huge for me and the team to have the jersey. Hopefully we can keep the jersey within the team for the rest of the week. Everything went as we hoped it would go, my teammates were amazing.” As the Tour heads into the hills on Wednesday, Farrar will most certainly give up the jersey, but explained that it could very well go over to one of his teammates on the climbing stage to San Jose. “Tom Danielson is going like a motor cycle right now and Millar is going good too, so we could very well have the jersey after tomorrow as well.”