Fabian Cancellara Drops Out As Fransisco Mancebo Wins Stage 1 in California

Zachary MainoContributor IFebruary 15, 2009

Rock Racing's Francisco Mancebo was the first across the line in Santa Rosa Sunday after riding 102 miles solo off the front.

Mancebo takes over the leaders jersey from Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) who dropped out of the race at the feedzone due to a fever.

The peloton completely shattered on the final ascent into a lead group of 20 riders and the peloton with everyone else. The group of 20 included 5 Astana riders Leipheimer, Armstrong, Rubiera, Horner and Brajkovic.

Other riders included David Zabriskie and Tom Danielson (Garmin-Slipstream), Jens Voigt and Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank), Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) and Floyd Landis (Team OUCH).

Quick Step's Jurgen Van De Walle and Liquigas's Vincenzo Nibali bridged up to Mancebo in the closing miles but neither had the power to overcome Mancebos will to win. Van De Walle finished 2nd with Nibali in 3rd.

According to Johan Brunyeel's twitter, the times for the general classification were taken the first time the riders crossed the line for the 3-lap criterium that ended the race instead of the final time the riders crossed. That means the 20-man group finished 1:07 of Mancebo's pace.

However the stage win went to the rider who crossed the line first at the end of the circuit, in either case it was Mancebo.

The peloton finished several minutes down and those riders, for the most part, are out of race contention.

Levi sits in second place on GC. Tomorrows stage is 116 miles and runs from Sausalito to Santa Cruz taking the peloton across the Golden Gate Bridge.