Ben Swift has taken his fifth victory of 2011, a great leadout from the young Yorkshireman's Team Sky colleagues enabling him to outsprint Peter Sagan of Liquigas and Matt Goss of HTC-Columbia to win what, following yesterday's cancellation of Stage 1, was effectively the opening stage of the race in Sacramento. Swift also takes the race leader's jersey.
Coming into the final lap of the wide, tree-lined avenues of Sacramento, Saxo Bank-Sungard, working for their sprinter Juan Jose Haedo, appeared to be in control of the peloton, with Team Sky also prominent towards the front of the race and seizing the initiative some 2 kilometres out.
Despite the roads starting to become greasy as the rain came down, thankfully there didn't appear to be any major crashes in the closing circuit in California's state capital. The snow that forced the cancellation of yesterday's opening stage did however once again play a part, with today's stage starting in Nevada City, 61 miles closer to Sacramento than the original start town of Squaw Valley.
A four-man breakaway spent much of the stage off the front of the race but were swept up during the closing laps around the streets of Sacramento as the sprinters' teams looked to set their men up for the finale.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.