Tuesday May 17 2011
Henderson wins Stage 3
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
Sky wins sprint finish for a second straight day
As the Amgen Tour of California finally found passable weather for a start, Auburn rolled out the red carpet for the hundreds of world-class cyclists Tuesday morning. The normally docile streets of Downtown Auburn were teeming with people. At 10:30, cheers went up and cowbells rattled as the riders took off down Lincoln Way for the start of Stage 3. After 120 miles of rainy, windy riding, Greg Henderson out-sprinted the rest at the finish line in Modesto. Henderson took the overall lead, just ahead of Sky Racing teammate Ben Swift, who won Monday’s Stage 2 in Sacramento. The peloton made three leisurely loops through Old Town and Downtown before leaving Auburn via Auburn-Folsom Road. Riders kicked into attack mode once they headed south out of Auburn on their 120-mile journey to the Stage 3 finish in Modesto. Jan Barta, from Team NetApp, jumped ahead in an early breakaway and took the first sprint bonus in Downtown Folsom. Barta remained in front and scored another bonus at the intermediate sprint in Ione. United Health Care rider Christian Meier joined the breakaway group and took the intermediate sprint prize in Oakdale. The Tour of California was an eight-stage race, but the Stage 1 at Lake Tahoe was cancelled because of snow and ice on the roads. Monday’s Stage 2 was shortened and the starting line was moved from Squaw Valley to Nevada City because of the heavy snow. The race continues through Sunday.