RadioShack's Levi Leipheimer takes second Tour of the Gila
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Sunday, May 02, 2010

RadioShack's Levi Leipheimer takes second Tour of the Gila

by Jered Gruber at 8:00 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 

Levi LeipheimerLevi Leipheimer wrapped up a second consecutive overall win at the 24th SRAM Tour of the Gila on Sunday. He had a comfortable ride on the culminating brute of a stage, known as the Gila Monster. He credits his two teammates with giving him the support necessary to seal the win.

"I felt great today, but I have to thank my teammates again. Jason did a great job in the beginning of this hard stage by neutralizing the attacks of Dave Zabriskie's team."

A break eventually wrested itself free of the field, but never posed too much danger to the leaders. When it did begin to threaten, Levi still had Lance Armstrong to tend to closing down the gap, as well as making the race as hard as possible.

"Lance was really good on the last climb. Nobody was able to attack. He was pulling the last 15 miles. With 5 miles to go, I took over to make sure the time gap with Darren Lill wasn't that close."

Next up for Levi, Lance, and McCartney will be the Tour of California. He will start next Saturday's Stage 1 from Nevada City to Sacramento as the three-time defending Tour of California champion. His beloved race will be slightly different in 2010 with its May time slot and ideal spot on the calendar as an early form test for the riders taking aim at the Tour de France in July. Many teams will be racing with more or less their Tour de France rosters, including heavy hitting teams: RadioShack, HTC-Columbia, and Saxo Bank.

It would be foolish to put Leipheimer as anything other than the number one favorite, especially after his performance in New Mexico and his comments following the win: "It was a great week for me, coming to altitude straight from sea level. I was never in any trouble, and I don't think it could have gone any better. It was a great week of preparation for the Tour of California."

Stage 5 Results
1. Darren Lill (Fly V Australia)
2. Max Jenkins (UnitedHealthcare)
3. Robert Britton (Bissell)
4. Caleb Fairly (Holowesko Partners)
5. Burke Swindlehurst
6. Jesse Sergent (Trek-Livestrong)
7. Phil Zajicek (Fly V)

Final General Classification
1. Levi Leipheimer (Mellow Johnny's)
2. Tom Danielson (DZ Nuts)
3. Phil Zajicek (Fly V Australia)
4. Dave Zabriskie (DZ Nuts)
5. Luis Amaran (Jamis-Sutter Home)
6. Andrew Talansky (Cal Giant)
7. Darren Lill (Fly V Australia)
8. Rory Sutherland (United Healthcare)

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