Monday, February 19, 2007

Levi Leipheimer Takes Victory at 07 Tour of California Prologue

Early Estimates Indicate Crowd Tops Last Year's by Nearly 100,000

SAN FRANCISCO, February 18, 2007 – For the second consecutive year, Santa Rosa resident Levi Leipheimer (Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) rode to victory during the 2007 Amgen Tour of California Prologue stage before an enthusiastic crowd that San Francisco city officials estimated to be between 280,000 to 300,000 fans.

Reaching Coit Tower from San Francisco's famed Embarcadero in a record time of 4:49.05, Leipheimer will once again proudly ride into Santa Rosa wearing the Amgen Leader's Jersey when Stage 1 takes the riders from Sausalito to Santa Rosa Monday morning.

Among the record crowds, cycling fan Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy) was on hand in support of race sponsor Amgen's complementary initiative, Breakaway from Cancer™.

Fitting for the largest sporting event in the state, two California cyclists placed in the top three. Behind Leipheimer, Jason Donald (Team Slipstream Powered by Chipotle) took second place, followed by San Jose resident Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (Priority Health Cycling Team Presented by Bissell). Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team (USA) leads the general team classification after today with a total time of 14:45.

"I want to thank the city of San Francisco for having us back. They are an amazing host," said Shawn Hunter, president of AEG Sports, presenters of the race. "As we launch America’s most important cycling race, we give our commitment to the million-plus spectators who will witness our event, the more than 100 million who will tune in on TV and to our Web site and 144 of the best cyclists ever, that not only will we present a first-class race but we will stay focused on making the Amgen Tour of California a race as respected worldwide as the Tour de France and other Grand Tours."