At the end of each stage of the Amgen Tour of California, including Sunday's opener, six jerseys are awarded for various accomplishments.
In addition to earning the yellow Race Leader jersey, team Liquigas-Cannondale's Peter Sagan, 22, of Slovokia won the Best Young Rider jersey and the Sprint jersey on Sunday.
The Most Courageous jersey was awarded to local favorite Levi Leipheimer of team Omega Pharma-Quickstep, eliciting a loud roar from the throng of Santa Rosa fans. The King of the Mountain jersey was awarded to Canadian David Boily of Team Spidertech Powered by C10. The Most Aggressive Rider jersey went to Watsonville's Ben Jacques-Maynes of Bissell Pro Cycling, a team based in Santa Rosa.
“The whole goal is to get out there and wave the Bissell flag,” Jacques-Maynes said. “The Most Aggressive Rider jersey is fine with me.”
Twenty-four countries were represented by the 128 riders in Sunday's race. The leading numbers in terms of nationality included: 46 Americans, 13 Australians, 10 Columbians, nine Dutch, and eight French. Of the cycling teams represented, both Bissell Pro Cycling and BMC Racing Team are headquartered in Santa Rosa.
“That's pretty unique that two of the United States teams are from Santa Rosa considering there are only 16 team competing,” Amgen Press Operations Director Steve Brunner said.
STARS COME OUT
This year's Tour of California has three of the current top four ranked riders in the world: Belgian Tom Bonnen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) ranked No. 1, Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) ranked No. 2, and Sagan ranked No. 4.
The last time an American race had three of the four top-ranked cyclists in the world was the 1992 Tour Dupont.
McEWEN'S LAST RIDE
The Tour will be the swan song for famed Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen, 38, of team Orica-Greenedge. McEwen began his career with American race Tour DuPont in 1995 and will retire after the Amgen. McEwen has won an amazing 12 stages at the Tour de France over the duration of his career. McEwen is scheduled to have a press conference at Thursday's Individual Time Trial stage in Bakersfield.