Santa Rosa, USA - Fly V Australia's Phil Zajicek finished a grueling stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California safely in the front group of favourites a,ong side pre-race favourites; Levi Leiphiemer, Lance Armstrong, David Zabriskie, Michael Rogers and Peter Sagan.
The route from Davis to Santa Rosa include 4 catorgorised climbs with over 2,000 meters of vertical climbing to be negotiated. The race commenced under cool conditions that soon after the start turned nasty with the temperature dropping markedly as well as steady ice cold rain falling.
The pre-race plan was to have a rider in the expected early break. Jay Thomson obliged and grab his chance in the 5 man break of the day that gained a maximum advantage of 6 minutes over the peloton.
Jay's group was ultimately caught y a group of around with 30 kilometers remaining. A puncture at the bottom of the final climb of the day took Jay out of contention.
Top GC hope, Phil Zajicek was in the front group of favourites and Bernie Sulzberger, Aaron Kemps and Ben Day were in the second group.
At the end of the stage Phil placed well and is now 10 seconds behind the race leader.
Tomorrow's stage 3 from San Francisco to Santa Cruz poses significant challenges with two climbs that will create a selection of favourites.
At the conclusion of stage 3 it is expected that the General Classification will have started to take shape.
Photo credit - Michael Crook