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Tour of California history

  • Levi Leipheimer raises three fingers for his three wins of the Amgen tour of California on the podium after the 2009 finish. (Kent Porter / PD File)

2006

Winner: Floyd Landis

The finish line: Landis, the first Tour of California champion, capped his fourth day in the leader's jersey cruising in the lead pack through the 123.1-kilometer Redondo Beach Circuit course while his Phonak teammates controlled the field.

In Santa Rosa, Stage 1: Levi Leipheimer started the day with the leader's jersey, earned in the Prologue stage the previous day in San Francisco. He rode the 129.1-km course from Sausalito to his hometown, Santa Rosa, in front of cheering fans and his Gerolstenier team protected his lead.

2007

Winner: Levi Leipheimer

The finish line: With a comfortable cushion, Leipheimer kept his lead over the 124.7-km Long Beach circuit course to win the Tour of California, leading from start to finish.

In Santa Rosa, Stage 1: As in the previous year, Leipheimer rode the State 1 route from Sausalito to his hometown in the leader's jersey. He kept the jersey, but it wasn't easy. A huge pileup of bikes and riders on the second of three circuits through the city put Leipheimer in a huge hole, but the college of commissaires stepped in after the race and said they'd extended the UCI's usual 3-kilometer neutral rule for timing the riders to the site of the crash, about 10 kilometers from the finish.

In Santa Rosa, Stage 2: Starting from Santa Rosa, Leipheimer maintained his lead on the 187-km ride and was greeted by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in Sacramento.

2008

Winner: Levi Leipheimer

The finish line: Leipheimer's Astana team kept him comfortably near the front of the 93-mile stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena and protected the lead he took in Stage 3. Most of the third Tour of California, including the final stage, was marked by hard rains.

In Santa Rosa, Stage 1:Fabian Cancellara kept the overall lead; his CSC teammate Juan Jose Haedo controlled the field sprint to the finish of the 97-mile route from Sausalito to Santa Rosa.

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