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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.