Astana’s Levi Leipheimer takes the lead after third stage of the 2008 Amgen Tour of California

Rabobank’s 21-year-old Robert Gesink climbed his way to the biggest win of his young career Wednesday in stage 3 of the Amgen Tour of California. Levi Leipheimer, who went clear with Gesink from a select bunch of chasers over Sierra Road, finished second on the day to take the leader’s jersey. Slipstream-Chipotle’s Tyler Farrar started the day in the jersey — but with a stomach bug. He dropped out midway through the stage. However, it was inevitable that the American sprinter would have relinquished the lead on the race's most difficult climbing stage.

Cancellara, 13 others finish 19 seconds back

By Ben Delaney

Leipheimer takes a pull as Gesink urges him on.

Leipheimer takes a pull as Gesink urges him on.

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

Rabobank’s 21-year-old Robert Gesink climbed his way to the biggest win of his young career Wednesday in stage 3 of the Amgen Tour of California. Levi Leipheimer, who went clear with Gesink from a select bunch of chasers over Sierra Road, finished second on the day to take the leader’s jersey.

Slipstream-Chipotle’s Tyler Farrar started the day in the jersey — but with a stomach bug. He dropped out midway through the stage. However, it was inevitable that the American sprinter would have relinquished the lead on the race’s most difficult climbing stage.

ATOC08-3: Farrar started, but a stomach bug finally forced him to pull out.

ATOC08-3: Farrar started, but a stomach bug finally forced him to pull out.

Photo: Graham Watson

Finishing in a 14-man group 19 seconds down on Gesink and Leipheimer were a handful of GC contenders, most notably CSC’s Fabian Cancellara and Slipstream-Chipotle’s Dave Zabriskie, both of whom could win the overall race with a solid time trial in Solvang on stage 5.

After shattering a small chase over Sierra with the help of their teammates, Gesink and Leipheimer quickly fell into a two-man time trial. The plan was simple, Gesink said: “Just get to the finish line as fast as possible.”

“We were just screaming at each other to ride harder, ride faster,” said Gesink, the best young rider at last year’s Tour of California.

ATOC08-3: Slipstream and CSC chased hard, but only limited the damage.

ATOC08-3: Slipstream and CSC chased hard, but only limited the damage.

Photo: Graham Watson

Coming out of a lefthand turn before the finish, Gesink wound up his climber’s sprint to take his second major professional win. His first came at a stage in the Tour of Belgium last year.

“This [win] is a bit better because the field is better over here,” Gesink said.

Although not the longest of the race — that comes on Thursday — stage 3 featured the most climbing with five categorized climbs including the hors categorie grind to the 4,360-foot summit of Mt. Hamilton before the decisive Cat. 1 Sierra Road ascent.

“Today was the hardest stage we’ve seen in the three-year history of the Tour of California,” Leipheimer said.

How it played out

Early morning rain gave way to sunshine before the day’s start in Modesto. Morning talk among the team buses was about the stomach bug circulating through the peloton and race staff.

Some riders, like Health Net-Maxxis’ Karl Menzies, were feeling better after a few rough days. Others, like race leader Farrar, reported difficult nights. Farrar, early race best young rider Edvald Boassan Hagen (High Road) and Laurent Lefevre (Bouygues Telecom) would all drop out later in the stage.

Not long after the entourage left Modesto for flat farmland, attackers animated the race. Soon, three riders were clear on a move that would last until the base of Mt. Hamilton. The move included Rabobank’s Paul Martens, Crédit Agricole’s Cyril Lemoine and BMC’s Scott Nydam, who was wearing the most aggressive rider jersey for spending the majority of the previously day off the front alone.

The trio quickly built up a sizable gap and was later joined by Slipstream’s Steven Cozza, who was clearly feeling better after suffering through the stomach bug and a crash on stage 1.

New on the menu for 2008 was the climb up and over Mt. Hamilton before the race-favorite Sierra Road climb. Moving through lush rolling pasture, the four riders quickly built up a lead that peaked at around six minutes.

Behind, Astana led the group. The road grew narrower and rougher as the peloton wound higher up the cloud-enshrouded mountain.

Nydam took points at the three Cat. 4 KOMs before Mt. Hamilton, moving himself into the climber’s jersey.

The Chechu show

Once the peloton hit Mt. Hamilton, things got serious. Plagued by exclusions from the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and other major races, Astana went into the stage with an ax to grind.

“For team Astana, we had something to prove today,” said Leipheimer, referring to the grand tour exclusions. “We’re not going to hang out heads low. We’re the best team in the world. We came here to prove it. And we’re going to answer with our legs, and with our racing style.”

Stage 3 was the day to shake up the GC before the decisive time trial on stage 5. Leipheimer put his boys to work.

If Leipheimer was the conductor, José Luis “Chechu” Rubiera was the engine. Rubiera got on the front at the bottom of Mt. Hamilton and never pulled off, instead just modulating his pace at Leipheimer’s command.

“Levi was controlling the race,” said Victor Huge Pena (Rock Racing), who finished in the select chase group. “He was looking in everyone’s face. He was giving orders to Chechu: ‘Faster, slower.’ He was acting like the boss. It was nice to see a strong guy like this, controlling his team.

“The other guy who was really strong was Chechu Rubiera,” Pena said. “He was on the front all day, all day, all day. Everyone was dropped. Levi would say, ‘15, 14, 13,’ you know, counting the guys left as others were dropped. I remembered when he said, ‘five guys left,’ and I only saw four in front of me!”

They caught and passed the break about 3km from the top.

The leaders took on clothing just before the peak at the Lick Observatory, which was nearly hidden in clouds, before bombing down the incredibly tight and windy 4,000-foot descent at 40mph. The long road down reportedly contains 365 curves, according to a local postman.

ATOC08-3: Dropped on Hamilton, Hincapie fought back and then launched an attack on the way to Sierra Road.

ATOC08-3: Dropped on Hamilton, Hincapie fought back and then launched an attack on the way to Sierra Road.

Photo: Graham Watson

A few riders, including High Road’s George Hincapie and Cancellara, lost contact over the top of the climb but regained the front group on the descent to form a group of 17.

Hincapie attacked the group on the descent, building a lead that hovered at 35 seconds for a few miles. The plan wasn’t just to hit Sierra Road with a lead, Hincapie said. “The intention was a stage win,” he said.

Hincapie was reeled in as the small group began the Cat. 1 Sierra Road climb together.

Again Chechu took to the front. And again riders flew backwards like shrapnel.

“Chechu, he made me really proud,” Leipheimer said. “It’s been a couple of years since he’s ridden like that. It was really inspiring to see him ride like that, and I wasn’t going to let the guys down.”

After Chechu’s effort on Sierra, there was Leipheimer and his Astana teammate Chris Horner, Gesink and his Rabobank teammate Mauricio Alberto Ardila, Slipstream’s Zabriskie and Rock Racing’s Pena.

Pena saw the final stake drive.

“Ardila attacked and brought Gesink to the front with Levi,” Pena said. “And that was it.”

That move shelled Pena and Chechu.

ATOC08-3: Once Hincapie was caught Gesink ramped up the pace.

ATOC08-3: Once Hincapie was caught Gesink ramped up the pace.

Photo: Graham Watson

The five — Leipheimer, Horner, Ardila, Zabriskie and Gesink — rode together for a while, until Gesink and Leipheimer pulled clear.

Zabriskie chased for a while with Horner in tow. On the descent the shattered chase group reformed.

With Gesink and Leipheimer’s advantage peaking at 1:15 then dropping down to 45 seconds with 10 flat-to-downhill miles to go, the chase group seemed likely to catch. With three of the world’s best time trialists — Cancellara, Zabriskie and Millar — along with 12 other strong riders, the math did not seem to favor the two climbers up front.

“Cancellara and those guys were pulling really fast in my group,” Pena said. “Gesink and Levi were f—ing strong. But you know, always in the last Ks of the races, the power is the same. The guys who are at the front are obviously the strongest. The guys who are at the back, we are the lowest. I mean, you can say, ‘Oh, Cancellara, Millar, la la la.’ Strong names, you know. But when they are pedaling… Gesink, he’s strong. And Levi, he’s here to win.”

Leipheimer admitted that even he was skeptical about his break’s chances when he heard the composition of the chase group.

Gesink grabs the stage, Levi the jersey

Gesink grabs the stage, Levi the jersey

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

“When I heard it was Cancellara, I thought there was no way we could make it,” he said. “But as it got closer, I gave it more and more. By the time we got to the finish I had nothing left.”

Cancellara’s ability to make it over the race’s biggest mountains with the elite chase group surprised the peloton.

“It’s really a verification of how good he is right now,” Leipheimer said. “He blew us away in the prologue, which I kind of expected, but when I heard he was in the group behind, I was like, ‘What? Are you kidding me?’ I honestly wasn’t convinced we were going to make it after hearing that.”

Leipheimer in yellow, again, at the Tour of California.

Leipheimer in yellow, again, at the Tour of California.

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

With no time bonuses in play, Leipheimer took the lead over Cancellara by 9 seconds. Now, the race will likely come down to the time trial on stage 5. That individual event is 15 miles. In the 2.1-mile prologue, Cancellara put 6 seconds on Leipheimer.

First, the race faces the beautiful run down the coast to San Luis Obsipo, new home to the High Road ProTour squad.

“We will have a lot of pressure on our shoulders; we have to control the race,” Leipheimer said. “I’ve been there before, so I have that going for me. Tomorrow is the responsibility of teammates, and then it’s my job on Friday. I just have to concentrate on recovering and doing my best.”

Photo Gallery


Stage Results

1. Robert Gesink * (Nl), Rabobank, 4:28:29

2. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Astana, s.t.

3. Jurgen Vandewalle (B), Quickstep, 0:19

4. Kevin Seeldraeyers* (B), Quickstep

5. José LuisRubiera Vigil (Sp), Astana

6. Thomas Peterson* (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle

7. Christopher Horner (USA), Astana

8. Mauricio Alberto Ardila (Col), Rabobank

9. Alexandre Moos (Swi), BMC

10. Victor Hugo Pena (Col), Rock Racing

11. Oliver Zaugg (Swi), Gerolsteiner

12. Christian Vandevelde (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle

13. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), CSC

14. David Millar (GB), Slipstream-Chipotle

15. Gustav Larsson (Swe), CSC

16. David Zabriskie (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle

17. Matteo Tosatto (I), Quickstep, 4:20

18. Darren Lill (RSA), BMC

19. Bernhard Kohl (A), Gerolsteiner

20. Ben Jaques-Maynes (USA), Bissell Pro Cycling

21. Iker Camano Ortuzar (Sp), Saunier Duval

22. Oscar Freire (Sp), Rabobank

23. Patrice Halgand (F), Credit Agricole

24. Konovalovas Ignatas* (Lit), Credit Agricole

25. Janez Brajkovic (SLO), Astana

26. Kim Kirchen (Lux), Team High Road

27. George Hincapie (USA), Team High Road, 7:23

28. David Canada Gracia (Sp), Saunier Duval

29. Jens Voigt (G), CSC

30. Jeff Louder (USA), BMC

31. Yannick Talabardon (F), Credit Agricole

32. Bobby Julich (USA), CSC, 9:22

33. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), Astana

34. Michael Lange (USA), Jelly Belly, 10:08

35. Philip Zajicek (USA), Health Net Maxxis

36. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi), Saunier Duval

37. Tom Zirbel (USA), Bissell Pro Cycling, 11:46

38. Matthew Crane* (USA), Health Net Maxxis

39. Peter Wrolich (A), Gerolsteiner, 11:59

40. Burke Swindlehurst (USA), Bissell Pro Cycling

41. Christophe Le Mevel (F), Credit Agricole

42. Heath Blackgrove (NZl), Toyota-United

43. Bauke Mollema* (Nl), Rabobank

44. Jason Mccartney (USA), CSC

45. Thomas Danielson (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle

46. Angel Gomez (Sp), Saunier Duval

47. Aaron Olson (USA), Bissell Pro Cycling

48. Vincent Jerome (F), Bouygues Telecom

49. Benjamin Day (Aus), Toyota-United

50. Doug Ollerenshaw (USA), Rock Racing

51. Andrey Mizurov (Kaz), Astana

52. Thomas LÖvkvist (Swe), Team High Road

53. Karsten Kroon (Nl), CSC

54. Rory Sutherland (Aus), Health Net Maxxis

55. Julien Belgy (F), Bouygues Telecom

56. Paolo Bettini (I), Quickstep, 19:49

57. Paul Martens (G), Rabobank, 20:51

58. Antonio Cruz (USA), BMC, 24:21

59. Dimitri Champion (F), Bouygues Telecom

60. Turgot Sébastien (F), Bouygues Telecom

61. Heinrich Haussler (G), Gerolsteiner

62. Jonathan Mumford (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast

63. Mario Cipollini (I), Rock Racing

64. Perrig Quemeneur (F), Bouygues Telecom

65. Frank Pipp (USA), Health Net Maxxis

66. Dan Bowman (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast

67. Nicholas Reistad (USA), Jelly Belly

68. John Murphy (USA), Health Net Maxxis

69. Bernard Van Ulden (USA), Jelly Belly

70. Danilo Wyss* (Swi), BMC

71. Timothy Johnson (USA), Health Net Maxxis

72. Jackson Stewart (USA), BMC

73. Hendricus Vogels (Aus), Toyota-United

74. Alexandre Pichot (F), Bouygues Telecom

75. Dominique Rollin (CAN), Toyota-United

76. Edward King (USA), Bissell Pro Cycling

77. Garrett Peltonen (USA), Bissell Pro Cycling

78. Taylor Tolleson * (USA), BMC

79. Fabian Wegmann (G), Gerolsteiner

80. Nicholas Sanderson (Aus), Jelly Belly

81. Nicholas Waite (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast

82. Scott Nydam (USA), BMC

83. Juan Jose Haedo (ARG), CSC

84. Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Sp), Rabobank

85. Jonathan Hivert * (F), Credit Agricole

86. Julien Simon * (F), Credit Agricole

87. Mathew Hayman (Aus), Rabobank

88. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), CSC

89. Aaron Kemps (Aus), Astana

90. Tom Boonen (B), Quickstep

91. Dmytro Grabovskyy * (Ukr), Quickstep

92. Luciano Pagliarini (BRA), Saunier Duval

93. Andrea Tonti (I), Quickstep

94. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quickstep

95. Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat), Saunier Duval

96. Ermanno Capelli * (I), Saunier Duval

97. Jonathan Sundt (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast

98. Ivan Dominguez (CUB), Toyota-United

99. Roman Kilun (USA), Health Net Maxxis

100. Scott Zwizanski (USA), Bissell Pro Cycling

101. Freddie Rodriguez (USA), Rock Racing

102. Gerald Ciolek * (G), Team High Road

103. Richard England (Aus), Bissell Pro Cycling

104. Markus Zberg (Swi), Gerolsteiner

105. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Team High Road

106. Mark Cavendish * (GB), Team High Road

107. Scott Tietzel (USA), Jelly Belly

108. Alexander Candelario (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast

109. Barry Aaron Barry (NZl), Jelly Belly

110. Andrew Bajadali (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast

111. Thomas Voeckler (F), Bouygues Telecom

112. Bryce Mead (USA), Jelly Belly

113. Justin Spinelli (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast

114. Sergey Ivanov (Rus), Astana

115. Johannes FrÖhlinger * (G), Gerolsteiner

116. Mathias Frank * (Swi), Gerolsteiner

117. Caleb Manion (Aus), Toyota-United

118. Michael Creed (USA), Rock Racing

119. Danny Pate (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle

120. Steven Cozza * (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle

121. Karl Menzies (Aus), Health Net Maxxis, 28:48

122. Jonathan Clarke (Aus), Toyota-United

123. Cyril Lemoine (F), Credit Agricole, 36:36

Overall after stage 3

1. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Astana, 13:45:30

2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), CSC, 0:13

3. Gesink Robert* (Nl), Rabobank, 0:15

4. David Millar (GB), Slipstream-Chipotle, 0:20

5. Gustav Larsson (Swe), CSC, 0:21

6. David Zabriskie (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle

7. Christian Vandevelde (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle, 0:23

8. Christopher Horner (USA), Astana, 0:25

9. Alexandre Moos (Swi), BMC, 0:29

10. Victor Hugo Pena (Col), Rock Racing, 0:31

11. Jurgen Vandewalle (B), Quickstep, 0:33

12. Thomas Peterson* (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle

13. Ardila Cano Mauricio Alberto (Col), Rabobank, 0:36

14. Seeldraeyers Kevin* (B), Quickstep, 0:43

15. Oliver Zaugg (Swi), Gerolsteiner, 0:47

16. Benjamin Jaques-Maynes (USA), Bissell Pro Cycling, 4:23

17. Kim Kirchen (Lux), Team High Road, 4:28

18. Matteo Tosatto (I), Quickstep

19. Ignatas Konovalovas* (Lit), Credit Agricole, 4:29

20. Darren Lill (RSA), BMC, 4:31

21. Janez Brajkovic (SLO), Astana, 4:35

22. Oscar Freire (Sp), Rabobank, 4:39

23. Bernhard Kohl (A), Gerolsteiner, 4:42

24. Patrice Halgand (F), Credit Agricole, 4:44

25. Iker Camano Ortuzar (Sp), Saunier Duval, 4:47

26. George Hincapie (USA), Team High Road, 7:27

27. Jeff Louder (USA), BMC, 7:31

28. Jens Voigt (G), CSC, 7:32

29. David Canada (Sp), Saunier Duval, 7:36

30. Yannick Talabardon (F), Credit Agricole, 7:47

31. Bobby Julich (USA), CSC, 9:31

32. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi), Saunier Duval, 10:19

33. Philip Zajicek (USA), Health Net Maxxis, 10:23

34. Rubiera Vigil José Luis (Sp), Astana, 10:28

35. Michael Lange (USA), Jelly Belly, 10:32

36. Matthew Crane* (USA), Health Net Maxxis, 11:56

37. Thomas LÖvkvist (Swe), Team High Road, 12:04

38. Benjamin Day (Aus), Toyota-United, 12:09

39. Jason Mccartney (USA), CSC, 12:12

40. Rory Sutherland (Aus), Health Net Maxxis

41. Thomas Danielson (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle, 12:13

42. Karsten Kroon (Nl), CSC, 12:14

43. Heath Blackgrove (NZl), Toyota-United

44. Aaron Olson (USA), Bissell Pro Cycling, 12:15

45. Bauke Mollema* (Nl), Rabobank, 12:17

46. Vincent Jerome (F), Bouygues Telecom, 12:20

47. Julien Belgy (F), Bouygues Telecom

48. Doug Ollerenshaw (USA), Rock Racing, 12:22

49. Burke Swindlehurst (USA), Bissell Pro Cycling

50. Peter Wrolich (A), Gerolsteiner, 12:25

51. Christophe Le Mevel (F), Credit Agricole, 12:26

52. Angel Gomez (Sp), Saunier Duval, 12:30

53. Tom Zirbel (USA), Bissell Pro Cycling, 17:11

54. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), Astana, 19:21

55. Paolo Bettini (I), Quickstep, 20:06

56. Andrey Mizurov (Kaz), Astana, 22:01

57. Tom Boonen (B), Quickstep, 24:18

58. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Team High Road, 24:19

59. Gerald Ciolek* (G), Team High Road, 24:21

60. Juan Jose Haedo (ARG), CSC, 24:27

61. Dmytro Grabovskyy* (Ukr), Quickstep, 24:28

62. Dominique Rollin (CAN), Toyota-United, 24:29

63. Heinrich Haussler (G), Gerolsteiner, 24:31

64. Edward King (USA), Bissell Pro Cycling

65. Danny Pate (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle

66. Aaron Kemps (Aus), Astana, 24:32

67. Freddie Rodriguez (USA), Rock Racing, 24:33

68. Mathew Hayman (Aus), Rabobank, 24:35

69. Fabian Wegmann (G), Gerolsteiner

70. Alexandre Pichot (F), Bouygues Telecom, 24:36

71. Dimitri Champion (F), Bouygues Telecom

72. Perrig Quemeneur (F), Bouygues Telecom, 24:39

73. Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Sp), Rabobank, 24:40

74. Justin Spinelli (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, 24:41

75. Markus Zberg (Swi), Gerolsteiner, 24:48

76. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quickstep, 24:58

77. Paul Martens (G), Rabobank, 26:22

78. Jonathan Mumford (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, 29:12

79. Mark Cavendish* (GB), Team High Road, 29:36

80. Steven Cozza* (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle, 29:41

81. Mario Cipollini (I), Rock Racing, 29:44

82. Jackson Stewart (USA), BMC

83. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), CSC, 29:45

84. Garrett Peltonen (USA), Bissell Pro Cycling, 29:47

85. Scott Zwizanski (USA), Bissell Pro Cycling, 29:48

86. Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat), Saunier Duval, 29:50

87. Bernard Van Ulden (USA), Jelly Belly, 29:52

88. Antonio Cruz (USA), BMC, 29:53

89. Turgot Sébastien (F), Bouygues Telecom

90. Timothy Johnson (USA), Health Net Maxxis, 29:54

91. Barry Aaron Barry (NZl), Jelly Belly, 29:55

92. Nicholas Sanderson (Aus), Jelly Belly

93. Richard England (Aus), Bissell Pro Cycling, 29:56

94. Ermanno Capelli* (I), Saunier Duval, 29:57

95. Dan Bowman (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast

96. Taylor Tolleson * (USA), BMC

97. Julien Simon* (F), Credit Agricole, 29:58

98. Danilo Wyss* (Swi), BMC, 29:59

99. Frank Pipp (USA), Health Net Maxxis, 30:01

100. Alexander Candelario (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, 30:03

101. Pagliarini Mendonca Luciano André (BRA), Saunier Duval

102. Andrew Bajadali (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, 30:05

103. Thomas Voeckler (F), Bouygues Telecom, 30:19

104. Andrea Tonti (I), Quickstep, 30:20

105. Ivan Dominguez (CUB), Toyota-United, 30:27

106. Nicholas Reistad (USA), Jelly Belly, 30:31

107. Mathias Frank* (Swi), Gerolsteiner, 30:40

108. Scott Nydam (USA), BMC, 32:29

109. Johannes FrÖhlinger* (G), Gerolsteiner, 32:56

110. John Murphy (USA), Health Net Maxxis, 34:20

111. Sergey Ivanov (Rus), Astana, 34:25

112. Nicholas Waite (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, 35:17

113. Jonathan Hivert* (F), Credit Agricole, 35:41

114. Hendricus Vogels (Aus), Toyota-United, 35:45

115. Scott Tietzel (USA), Jelly Belly, 36:14

116. Bryce Mead (USA), Jelly Belly, 36:21

117. Caleb Manion (Aus), Toyota-United, 36:24

118. Roman Kilun (USA), Health Net Maxxis, 36:49

119. Jonathan Sundt (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, 37:19

120. Michael Creed (USA), Rock Racing, 37:24

Points after stage 3

1. Heinrich Haussler (G), Gerolsteiner, 22 Pts.

2. Juan Jose Haedo (ARG), CSC, 21 Pts.

3. Gerald Ciolek* (G), Team High Road, 18 Pts.

4. Tom Boonen (B), Quickstep, 15 Pts.

5. Robert Gesink* (Nl), Rabobank, 15 Pts.

6. Jackson Stewart (USA), BMC, 15 Pts.

7. Mark Cavendish* (GB), Team High Road, 13 Pts.

8. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Astana, 12 Pts.

9. Mario Cipollini (I), Rock Racing, 11 Pts.

10. Dominique Rollin (CAN), Toyota-United, 11 Pts.

11. Scott Nydam (USA), BMC, 11 Pts.

12. Jurgen Vandewalle (B), Quickstep, 10 Pts.

13. Kevin Seeldraeyers* (B), Quickstep, 7 Pts.

14. Matteo Tosatto (I), Quickstep, 6 Pts.

15. Rubiera Vigil José Luis (Sp), Astana, 6 Pts.

16. Thomas Peterson* (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle, 5 Pts.

17. Paul Martens (G), Rabobank, 5 Pts.

18. Christopher Horner (USA), Astana, 4 Pts.

19. Peter Wrolich (A), Gerolsteiner, 4 Pts.

20. Ardila Cano Mauricio Alberto (Col), Rabobank, 3 Pts.

21. Alexandre Pichot (F), Bouygues Telecom, 3 Pts.

22. Danilo Wyss* (Swi), BMC, 3 Pts.

23. Cyril Lemoine (F), Credit Agricole, 3 Pts.

24. Alexandre Moos (Swi), BMC, 2 Pts.

25. Freddie Rodriguez (USA), Rock Racing, 2 Pts.

26. David Millar (GB), Slipstream-Chipotle, 1 Pts.

27. Oscar Freire Gomez (Sp), Rabobank, 1 Pts.

28. Pena Grisales Victor Hugo (Col), Rock Racing, 1 Pts.

29. Mathew Hayman (Aus), Rabobank, 1 Pts.

K.O.M. after stage 3

1. Scott Nydam (USA), BMC, 24 Pts.

2. Robert Gesink* (Nl), Rabobank, 16 Pts.

3. Jurgen Vandewalle (B), Quickstep, 15 Pts.

4. Jackson Stewart (USA), BMC, 14 Pts.

5. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Astana, 12 Pts.

6. José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Sp), Astana, 12 Pts.

7. Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Col), Rabobank, 12 Pts.

8. Alexandre Moos (Swi), BMC, 12 Pts.

9. Christopher Horner (USA), Astana, 11 Pts.

10. Jonathan Sundt (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, 10 Pts.

11. Jens Voigt (G), CSC, 9 Pts.

12. Paul Martens (G), Rabobank, 8 Pts.

13. David Zabriskie (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle, 7 Pts.

14. Steven Cozza* (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle, 6 Pts.

15. Seeldraeyers Kevin* (B), Quickstep, 5 Pts.

16. Gustav Larsson (Swe), CSC, 4 Pts.

17. Cyril Lemoine (F), Credit Agricole, 4 Pts.

18. Thomas Peterson* (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle, 2 Pts.

19. David Millar (GB), Slipstream-Chipotle, 1 Pts.

Best young rider after stage 3

1. Robert Gesink* (Nl), Rabobank

2. Kevin Seeldraeyers* (B), Quickstep, 0:19

3. Thomas Peterson* (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle

4. Ignatas Konovalovas* (Lit), Credit Agricole, 4:20

5. Matthew Crane* (USA), Health Net Maxxis, 11:46

6. Bauke Mollema* (Nl), Rabobank, 11:59

7. Danilo Wyss* (Swi), BMC, 24:21

8. Taylor Tolleson* (USA), BMC

9. Jonathan Hivert* (F), Credit Agricole

10. Julien Simon* (F), Credit Agricole

11. Dmytro Grabovskyy* (Ukr), Quickstep

12. Ermanno Capelli* (I), Saunier Duval

13. Gerald Ciolek* (G), Team High Road

14. Mark Cavendish* (GB), Team High Road

15. Johannes FrÖhlinger* (G), Gerolsteiner

16. Mathias Frank* (Swi), Gerolsteiner

Teams after stage 3

1. Astana, 41:17:21

2. Slipstream Chipotle Presented By H30, 0:09

3. Quick Step, 4:29

4. Rabobank, 4:31

5. Team Csc, 7:13

6. Team Racing Team, 11:40

7. Crédit Agricole, 15:51

8. Gerolsteiner, 16:43

9. Saunier Duval-Scott, 21:36

10. High Road, 22:52

11. Bissell Pro Cycling, 27:34

12. Health Net Presented By Maxxis, 33:24

13. Rock Racing, 36:23

14. Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team, 48:01

15. Bouygues Telecom, 48:12

16. Jelly Belly Cycling Team, 1:09:19

17. Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, 1:22:31