The above photo was borrowed from the BBC Sports website--a link to the site of origin is below. (Click on Ben Swift.)
Ya gotta love it. The winner of Stage 2 of the Tour of California was a rider for the Sky Procycling team by the name of Ben Swift—thus affording journalists a plethora of choices for headlines.
And swift he was. Due to cold weather road conditions, the race was shortened to 76 miles. (Cyclists were supposed to ride up over the Donner Pass, but there was snow… and, well, we know how hungry cyclists get since they burn so many calories. Apparently race organizers didn’t want to end up with an episode for the History channel.) The stage began in Nevada City and ended in Sacramento, providing a good leg warm-up over relatively flat roads. Upon reaching the state capitol, the boys rode three laps around the downtown area—along a corridor of sound created by cheering fans—and then the sprinters were set up by their various teams to be sling shot over the line.
Early on, four riders went out on a break-away, but were easily reeled in by the thundering locomotive of the peloton just after it reached the city.
The crew of team RadioShack worked hard to keep Levi safe and sound, as all the other teams did for their valiant warriors, but it seemed team Sky wanted to bring the hammer down with some intimidation in this early stage, so they set themselves up nicely just before the finish, then Mr. Swift took over with some really impressive leg power.
Today’s stage will be similar to yesterday’s, though a bit longer at 122 miles, and the finish will be another crazy mad dash. We’ll see if Ben has the legs to be swift again.