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Australian Brown wins crash-filled first stage

first_imgLeipheimer, who won the inaugural Tour of California last year and the prologue Sunday, maintained a one-second lead over first-year pro Jason Donald. “No, I’m not surprised I still have the race lead,” Leipheimer said. “You have to remember that circuits in races of this caliber aren’t very common. But it’s very necessary because of the crowds and amount of people on the course today, they deserve a show.” Brown, who rides for Dutch team Rabobank, completed the 97.1-mile route from Sausalito in 4 hours, 17 minutes and 19 seconds. The announcer initially called Greg Henderson of NewZealand the stage winner, and Henderson thrust his fists into the air in apparent victory. But the race was so close it required an analysis of a photo, which made it clear Brown had won by four centimeters. Race leader Levi Leipheimer of Santa Rosa was involved in a separate, massive crash at the start of the second 2.9-mile finishing circuit through his hometown, and finished more than one minute behind the winner. But the five race judges made a discretionary ruling and awarded the same finishing time to Leipheimer and the several-dozen riders involved in the accident. SANTA ROSA – Two-time Olympic track gold medalist Graeme Brown of Australia emerged from a massive finishing pack Monday to claim the crash-marred first stage of the Amgen Tour of California. It was a photo finish. Among those who crashed was Dave Zabriskie, one of America’s most accomplished cyclists. He was forced from the eight-day race with head and wrist injuries. center_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img


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