What started as a very stormy day...
Ended up being an amazing race!
It was a day for the GC leaders to remain safe, and rested during the 131 mile, 5 hour ride down the Pacific Coast Highway. And a day for some guys with no chance of winning the GC to jump forward and capture a King of the Mountain, Sprint or Stage victory to take home. All photos courtesy of the San Luis Obispo Tribune
Here are the boys riding to the finish in SLO. What a great turnout to welcome them in!
There was another long breakaway, that eventually, right at the last minute, got swallowed up and the World Champion Paolo Bettini lunged his bike forward to win by, what I believe must have been an inch, and take home his first ever win in America. Poor Gerald Cioleck, the T-Mobile rider who lost by such a close margin. Such is the world of cycling- where one guy can work hard to get at the front of the pack,only to have victory ripped from his hands in the last millisecond by a rider waiting in the slipstream to lunge out at the last moment! It's very exciting.
Speaking of Slipstream, they win for the most "styley" outfits and for singlehandedly bringing argyle back into fashion...
Here's a nice story from CA Slipstream rider, Lucas Euser, currently in 4th place for the KOM jersey.
So the day ended, Levi stayed safe with no accidents and his Discovery team protected him well. He is thinking of nothing but Friday's time trial, I'm sure.