American rider David Zabriskie retains the Amgen Leader Jersey for second day after Stage Four of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California

by laliveinsider on Thu., May 20 at 09:00 AM

May 20, 2010

Francesco Chicchi Takes the Stage Win Before Thousands of Fans in Modesto

MODESTO (May 19, 2010) - Stage 4, one of the longest stages of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California, took the cyclists from San Jose to Modesto on a beautiful ride through the open land of California. After a fast and furious start to the race, which began with immediate attacks, Francesco Chicchi (ITA) of Liquigas-Doimo celebrated a narrow victory to take Stage 4 of the Amgen Tour of California. American David Zabriskie (USA) of Garmin-Transitions was able to retain the overall lead and will wear the Amgen Leader Jersey for the second consecutive day heading into Stage 5 of the race.

\"This was a great day. There were big crowds in Modesto and it was a nice course to be in this jersey,\" said Zabriskie. \"I'm an excited individual to be in the Amgen Leader Jersey in the Amgen Tour of California. I've never done it before and I'm very happy. I'm really enjoying it.\"

Fans of the Amgen Tour of California may have recognized part of Stage 4 from the 2009 race when the cyclists traveled from San Jose to Modesto; however, in 2010, the racers encountered a longer and more challenging route. Stage 4 ran 121.5 miles/195.5 km and included two King of the Mountains (KOM) competitions and two sprints. After a two-lap neutral start in San Jose the cyclists were faced with a climb that is synonymous with cycling and the Amgen Tour of California, Sierra Rd. (Cat.1 - 1,930 ft.), only 8.1 miles into the stage. Prior to the climb, just after the neutral start, Rabobank didn't waste any time and launched an immediate attack. With Lars Boom (NED) of Rabobank leading the charge, there was soon a strong breakaway heading into the first KOM of the day. As the breakaway of Boom, Jurgen Van de Walle (BEL) of QuickStep, Robert Britton (CAN) of BISSELL, Ryan Anderson (CAN) of Kelly Benefit Strategies and Jeremy Powers (USA) of Jelly Belly Presented by Kenda crested the summit of Sierra Rd., Anderson took the KOM, followed by Britton and Boom. Not far behind, a chase group of three formed that included Davide Frattini (ITA) of Team Type 1, Max Jenkens (USA) of UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis and Scott Stewart (USA) also of Team Type 1.

After completing the Sierra Rd. climb, the riders faced fast and flat roads full of twists and turns (Calaveras Rd. alone has more than 40 switchbacks) before visiting downtown Livermore for the first time. Heading into Livermore for the first sprint of Stage 4 with an amazing showing of fans along the route and a beautiful sunny day in the background, Boom took the sprint, followed by Powers and Anderson. After passing through the feed zone, the cyclists were faced with their second and final climb of the day, Mines Rd. (Cat. 4 - 1,512), where the riders faced nearly 30 miles of a narrow, twisting road, climbing most of the way before a long descent into Patterson. Anderson took the KOM, putting him in the lead in the KOM competition and securing the jersey, followed by Van de Walle, Britton and Boom, as the three chasers were swallowed up by the peloton, which had Team RadioShack and Garmin-Transitions riding tempo for most of the day, about five minutes behind.

About half way into the stage, Anderson fell off the back of the break and waited for the field to catch up. With only about 25 miles to go, the riders headed towards the second sprint of the day in Patterson, which was won by Boom, followed by Van de Walle and Britton. Reaching speeds of 55 mph during the stage, the sprint was followed by a decent sized crash, but all the riders recovered and continued on to the finish in Modesto.

Heading into the final stretch of the race Boom launched an attack, but was caught by Van de Walle and Britton, and soon after the entire breakaway was absorbed by the pack. For the second consecutive year, the stage finished with two circuits in downtown Modesto. In what was a photo-finish bunch sprint Chicchi took the win, with Juan Jose (J.J.) Haedo (ARG) of Saxo Bank in second and Mark Cavendish (GBR) of HTC-Columbia in third.

\"I'm dedicating this win to my teammates who worked incredibly well for me today and this season,\" said Chicchi. \"I'm really proud to win again in the U.S. This is a great race - I love to race hard and win in America. To me, today felt just like the Tour de France.\"

For Stage 4, Amgen's Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey was awarded to Boom. Anderson took the California Travel & Tourism King of the Mountains (KOM) Jersey. The other jersey winners remain unchanged with Zabriskie in the Amgen Race Leader Jersey, Peter Sagan (ITA) of Liquigas-Doimo in the Rabobank Best Young Rider Jersey and Cavendish in the Herbalife Sprint Jersey.

\"Under sunny skies, Stage 4 of the Amgen Tour of California proved to be another remarkable day, with an impressive effort from the cyclists and amazing crowds along the route,\" said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports. \"The sprint to the finish today gave the fans a chance to witness professional cycling at its best. We still have four stages to go and it's anybody's race right now.\"

As part of Amgen's effort to honor and celebrate cancer survivors everywhere and to raise awareness about its Breakaway from Cancer® initiative, the Modesto finish featured a Breakaway Mile. Modesto breast cancer survivor Sandy Howard participated in the one-mile honorary walk as Breakaway from Cancer Champion, an honor for which she was selected because of her self-published book, \"Life After Chemo\" that serves as a resource for women in San Joaquin Valley.

Howard was joined by approximately 150 community members - cancer survivors, patients, caregivers and advocates - and Dineli Wickramasinghe, director of research for Amgen, who plays a crucial role in developing innovative medicines to treat cancer and other serious illnesses.

\"Amgen is committed to helping those with cancer,\" explained Phyllis Piano, vice president, corporate communications and philanthropy at Amgen. \"Amgen discovers, develops and delivers vital biotechnology medicines, and has a deeply held mission to serve patients battling serious illness. It is inspiring to hear the stories of the Breakaway from Cancer Champions and see the difference they are making for those affected by cancer.\"

Amgen created the national Breakaway from Cancer initiative in 2005 as a complementary component to its sponsorship of the inaugural Amgen Tour of California. Breakaway from Cancer represents a partnership between Amgen and four nonprofit organizations dedicated to empowering patients with education, resources and hope.

For access to resources or to learn more, visit www.breakawayfromcancer.com.

STAGE 5 TOMORROW:
Thursday, May 20 - Visalia to Bakersfield (121.5 mi/195.5 km)

Start Time: 10:30 a.m. PT**
**Start time adjusted to 15 minutes earlier than previously published
Estimated Finish Time: 3:15-4 p.m. PT
Satellite Feed Time: 4:50 - 5 p.m. PT
(Coordinates can be found at http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/news/media-info.html)

The Amgen Tour of California returns to Visalia for the start of Stage 5, sponsored by Rabobank, a stage that will take the riders through the heart of California's San Joaquin Valley and into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. After departing Visalia, the race will head due south through the towns Farmersville, Exeter Lindsay and Porterville. The route then heads further inland and tackles the narrow and twisty Old Stage Rd. into the town of Woody. Continuing on to Bakersfield, the route heads into the Kern River oil field, the fifth largest in the United States, where the riders will encounter several short, steep climbs. From the apex of the final climb, the cyclists will be able to look down onto the finish at Bakersfield College. The final obstacle is a 10 percent climb up China Grade, part of two finishing circuits in Bakersfield.

For full results, archived footage, GPS data, course information, race play-by-play and more, please visit the official race website at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.

In addition to the website, fans can view the race on the daily VERSUS broadcasts. Stage 5 will air live on VERSUS tomorrow at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET.

About the Amgen Tour of California

The largest cycling event in America, the 2010 Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race, presented by AEG, that challenges the world's top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course through the state from May 16-23.

About Amgen

Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious illnesses. With a broad and deep pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about Amgen's pioneering science and vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com. To learn more about Amgen's Breakaway from Cancer initiative, visit www.breakawayfromcancer.com.

About AEG

AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center, Sprint Center, The O2, NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE and NOKIA Theatre Times Square; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), two Major League Soccer franchises, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers, the ING Bay to Breakers foot race and the Amgen Tour of California cycling road race; AEG LIVE, the organization's live-entertainment division, is a collection of companies dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance, touring and a variety of programming and multi-media production. For more information, visit AEG today at www.aegworldwide.com.

Media Contacts:

AEG
Michael Roth
310-308-7684
[email protected]

GolinHarris
Nicole Okoneski
805-441-3900
[email protected]


Francesco Chicchi (ITA), First Place, Stage 4
Liquigas-Doimo

On today's win:
\"I had a really good start to the racing season [at the Tour of San Luis] in Argentina. I had a good 20 days of serious rest, and restarted with a strong desire to do well and certainly to win a stage at the Amgen Tour of California.\"

\"I'm dedicating this win to my teammates who worked incredibly well for me today and this season. I'm really proud to win again in the U.S. This is a great race - I love to race hard and win in America.\"

On racing at the Amgen Tour of California instead of the Giro d'Italia: \"The Giro d'Italia is the big race in Italy for an Italian, but the Amgen Tour of California is also very important.\"

\"I prefer having the Amgen Tour of California in May as opposed to February because last year it was cold. We've been watching the Giro d'Italia from here, but not closely because of the time difference.\"

On the final kilometer of the race:
\"Cervélo TestTeam was pulling for [Theo] Bos at the last kilometer and Peter Sagan gave us a nice pull. I think I did as well as I could. I found a little bit of a headwind. That's about how it played out.\"

On the weather:
\"They say there's always sun in California. This year, we've taken on a little bit of water. But it wasn't so bad today. It's better than it is in Italy right now.\"

David Zabriskie (USA), General Classification Leader
Garmin-Transitions

On retaining the Amgen Leader Jersey:
\"This was a great day. There were big crowds in Modesto and it was a nice course to be in this jersey.\"

\"The team did great work today. We're very comfortable together and we're doing our jobs to try to keep the Amgen Leader Jersey.\"

\"I'm an excited individual to be in the Amgen Leader Jersey at the Amgen Tour of California. I've never done it before and I'm very happy. I'm really enjoying it.\"

\"I still think the hardest part of the race is yet to come.\"

On wearing Amgen Leader Jersey vs. wearing a jersey/his overall win at Tour of Missouri:
\"The Tour of Missouri was great but for me, this is very special. It's something I've really wanted. This is special one for me.\"

On the Amgen Tour of California's move from February to May and overlap with the Giro d'Italia:
\"I think [the move from February to May] was a good decision. It's nice to have another high caliber race to give everyone another option.\"

On a difficult section in today's race when Team RadioShack split the field:
\"We were sitting in front so we could see what Team RadioShack was doing. They were doing a good job splitting the field. Then we took the left hander - it was a pretty strong headwind and it all came back together, so we got a little lucky.

Lars Boom (NED), Amgen's Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey Winner
Rabobank

On today's race:
\"I was motivated. There were three to four guys in the breakaway and they were also motivated. Today was a nice day. I pushed it and gave it my all until the finish.\"

\"I was hoping toward the end we would stay in front but when you're alone with a really big team, it's not that easy to stay in front. I'm satisfied though. In the end, you want to prove yourself. It's good for the team.\"

On the pressure to achieve:
\"There is totally no pressure at all. The Amgen Tour of California is an important race, but my team was satisfied with my third place win in Stage 2. Today was a nice day in the breakaway. [I worked hard today] because I wanted to push myself harder and train well for upcoming races.\"

Ryan Anderson (CAN), California Travel & Tourism King of the Mountains (KOM) Jersey Winner
Kelly Benefit Strategies

On his team's motivation to keep the King of the Mountains Jersey:
\"Keeping this jersey is important to us and our sponsors. We're looking forward to race day in Big Bear. It could be a good day.\"

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