Saturday, February 28, 2009

Drought & Chemtrails - Is There a Connection?

Wonder if this the reason for the endless chemtrails hitting California - to provoke/cause the current drought?

Sonoma sky yesterday, February 27, 2009

Yes according to Clifford Carnicom: "Recent analysis leads to the conclusion that the extensive and systematic aerosol operations that are being conducted without informed consent are aggravating, if not instigating, the elevated drought conditions that are now commonly being observed." (2002 article)

And here's the latest in the controlled news media:

California declares drought emergency
Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:46am EST
By Peter Henderson

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday declared a state emergency due to drought and said he would consider mandatory water rationing in the face of nearly $3 billion in economic losses from below-normal rainfall this year.

As many as 95,000 agricultural jobs will be lost, communities will be devastated and some growers in the most economically productive farm state simply are not able to plant, state officials said, calling the current drought the most expensive ever.

Schwarzenegger, eager to build controversial dams as well as more widely backed water recycling programs, called on cities to cut back water use or face the first ever mandatory state restrictions as soon as the end of the month.

"California faces its third consecutive year of drought and we must prepare for the worst -- a fourth, fifth or even sixth year of drought," Schwarzenegger said in a statement, adding that recent storms were not enough to save the state.

He called on urban water users to cut consumption by 20 percent and state agencies to implement a water reduction plan. Meanwhile, the state of emergency will let planners fast-track some infrastructure building.

Legislators have also revived a $10 billion bond package to build new dams, fund conservation programs and build plants to recycle waste water and recharge aquifers.

"There is a bit of a perfect storm, pardon the pun, developing here," Republican state Senator Dave Cogdill told Reuters after introducing one of the new bond packages. "I hope the attitude toward surface storage, the larger projects, has changed."

The state water department will report on conservation progress by the end of March, and if the situation has not sufficiently improved, water rationing and mandatory cuts in water use could be instituted, the governor said.

California produces more than half the nation's fruits, vegetables and nuts, and farmers in recent weeks have been staggered by reports that the main federal source of irrigation water will go dry this year and the top state water project will not fulfill more than 15 percent of requested water.

The Central Valley, a fertile but arid region stretching some 500 miles from Bakersfield to Redding, is the agricultural heartland of California, which ranks as the nation's No. 1 farm state in terms of the value of crops produced -- more than $36 billion a year.

Concern about California's tight water supply is on the upswing at the same time as officials in the state capital of Sacramento rally behind the idea of creating jobs with public works spending. Unemployment in the most populous state rose to double digits -- 10.1 percent -- in January.

Water planners and environmentalists are also broadly in agreement that climate change is creating a more erratic climate that could lengthen dry spells.

"We're going to have droughts. That's a fact of life. They may be worse in the future," state water chief Lester Snow told reporters on a conference call.

(Additional reporting by Jim Christie; Editing by Christian Wiessner)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Wayne and King Will Go To Trial

Fri, 27 Feb 2009

A judge today ordered two Sonoma men accused of killing a woman and then burning her Santa Rosa-area home to cover up the crime to stand trial.

John Michael Wayne, 34, and Steven Joseph King, 28, will stand trial for murder, robbery, burglary, arson and cruelty to animals. Two pets died in the fire at 52-year-old April Denton's Mountain View Avenue home on Jan. 22, 2006.

Testimony during a two-day preliminary hearing in Sonoma County Superior Court that ended today indicated that Wayne and King drove to Denton's home in Wayne's Chevrolet Suburban. King dropped Wayne off but returned later to pick him up.

Wayne allegedly had blood on his pants and the two drove to a gas station to fill water bottles with gas. The men then allegedly drove back to Denton's home, Wayne went into the house and King returned later to pick him up.

Denton's body was found in a bedroom of the house by firefighters. She had been shot in the neck.

Wayne told King to dispose of the .32-caliber pistol and King later led sheriff's department investigators to a spot in San Pablo Bay where he threw the gun that belonged to Wayne and a knife, according to the testimony.

Deputy Public Defender Amy Chapman argued that King feared Wayne and considered him a cold-blooded killer. She said King did not know Wayne intended to kill Denton, only steal her morphine and OxyContin pills, which she had been selling to supplement her income. Chapman said King never entered Denton's home during the two times he drove Wayne there.

Wayne's attorney Marie Case said the case against her client is built on "self-serving hearsay." She said no proof was presented the gun found in the Bay is the actual murder weapon. Case also suggested there might be jealousy between the two men because they had both dated the same woman.

Deputy District Attorney Robert Waner told the judge that although King did not shoot Denton, he was the "wheelman" and he aided and abetted the crimes and disposed of the murder weapon.

Judge Dean Beaupre ruled sufficient evidence was presented to hold both men to answer to the seven felony charges. Wayne and King will re-enter pleas March 13. They are being held in the Sonoma County Jail.

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Witnesses testify victim of '06 Santa Rosa slaying sold morphine prescription

Published: Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 10:59 p.m.

Suffering daily pain from a long-ago back injury, April Denton had a prescription for 300 morphine pills each month. To supplement her income, she began selling her extras, according to court testimony Thursday.

Those pills apparently got her killed, witnesses said in a preliminary hearing for two men accused of murder.

Denton, 52, was shot in the neck Jan. 22, 2006, and her rented house in south Santa Rosa set afire in an apparent effort to cover up the crime. Two men were arrested late last year after investigators determined they’d pulled together enough evidence to charge them with her murder.

In court Thursday, witnesses connected John M. Wayne, 38, and Steven J. King, 28, to Denton’s death and to the arson that killed her two beloved dogs.

Wayne and King are charged with murder, armed robbery, burglary arson, animal cruelty and carrying a loaded gun. They could face life in prison if convicted.

After Denton’s back injury more than a decade ago, her only income was from state disability and Social Security, her son, Benjamin, testified.

He said he sometimes stole and lied to get pills from his mom, and she began selling them to other people for at least $12 a pill, he said.

She was supposed to take 10 pills a day, he said, but she would only use seven. That left her with about 90 morphine pills a month to sell.

Benjamin Denton, 25, introduced her to Wayne, a man he’d met at a video store in Sonoma. Wayne was also addicted to opiates, Denton testified, and tried to buy the morphine tables from April Denton several times. At least once, Benjamin was the go-between, he said.

“We did lots of things together, but one mutual interest was opiates,” he testified. “Most commonly used were pain medications, either oxycontin or morphine.” While Benjamin was in an in-patient rehab center, Wayne apparently went to the home to get “dope,” one witness testified.

Wayne, King and the witness, Johanna Persi, 20, drove to the Mountain View Avenue house sometime during the night of Jan. 21 or morning of Jan. 22, Persi said. She said she didn’t question why Wayne said he needed a ride to the house even though they went in his vehicle.

She and King dropped off Wayne near Denton’s house, smoked methamphetamine and returned several minutes later to pick Wayne up. But when they arrived, they saw several patrol cars, she testified.

“Did you say, ‘Holy cow, there’s the cops?’” prosecutor Bob Waner asked Persi. She replied that she and King didn’t really discuss what was happening and drove Wayne’s Suburban back to their homes near Sonoma.

When they returned to Santa Rosa to pick up Wayne, they stopped at a gas station to buy fuel and went back to Denton’s, Persi said.

She said King told her later that someone had been murdered at the house. King told her, “no life is worth that,” meaning the pills, Persi said.

“You knew John (Wayne) was going to torch the house?” King’s attorney, Amy Chapman asked her. “Yeah, I guess so,” she replied.

She said Wayne and King discussed what to do about Denton’s two dogs. Persi said she told them, “They should get out. They shouldn’t die.”

Under cross-examination by Wayne’s attorney, Marie Case, Persi admitted she lied to police to protect herself and got rid of a pair of gloves she believed were King’s to “cover” for him.

An arson investigator testified that flammable material was found in several places inside the house. Denton’s body was found in her bedroom. A gun believed to have been used was fished out of San Pablo Bay several months after the crime.

Wayne and King have pleaded not guilty and are being held in Sonoma County Jail without bail.

The hearing continues today. Judge Dean Beaupre will then determine if there is enough evidence to hold the men over for trial.

You can reach Staff Writer Lori A. Carter at 568-5312 or

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November 7, 2008
Sonoma pair arrested for 2006 murder
Neal Ross Sonoma Valley Sun

Two Sonoma men were arrested Tuesday in connection with a 2006 murder of 52-year-old April Denton of Santa Rosa.

John Michael Wayne, 34, and Steven Joseph King, 28, were booked into Sonoma County jail on charges including murder, robbery, arson and animal cruelty, according to sheriff’s Lt. Chris Spallino. No bail amount was set.

Denton’s charred body was discovered by firefighters in the smoldering ruins of her Mountain View Avenue home between Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park on Jan. 22, 2006. A subsequent autopsy revealed that Denton had died of a gunshot wound to the head, and an investigation of the crime scene determined that the fire had been intentionally set, Spallino said. He said Denton’s pets also died in the blaze.

Detectives from the sheriff’s Violent Crimes Investigations Unit were put on the suspects’ trail, and worked for several months to gather enough evidence for filing a criminal complaint. Wayne was located and arrested in San Francisco without incident. King, who was in custody at the Marin County Jail on unrelated charges, was arrested on the Sonoma County warrant. Both suspects were transported back to Sonoma County, Spallino said.

Spallino added that anyone with information regarding this incident should contact the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department Violent Crimes Investigations Unit at 707.565.2185.

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Aril 4, 2008 Press Release from the Sheriff's Department
County of Sonoma
2796 Ventura Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 565-2511 Bill Cogbill

Press Release

On Tuesday, November 04, 2008, detectives from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department Arrested John Michael Wayne, age 34 from Sonoma, and Steven Joseph King, age 28 also from Sonoma, in connection with the January 2006 murder of April Denton.

On January 22, 2006, firefighters responded to a structure that was engulfed in flames in the 400 block of Mountain View Avenue. While extinguishing the blaze, firefighters discovered Denton's deceased body. A subsequent autopsy revealed that Denton had died of a gunshot wound to the head. An investigation of the crime scene determined that the fire had been intentionally set, presumably to cover-up the murder.

Soon after the investigation began, Detectives from the Department's Violent Crimes Investigations Unit were on the trail of the suspects. After a short amount of time, Detectives had gathered the physical evidence and obtained statements that identified Wayne and King as being responsible for Denton's death and the subsequent cover-up. Over the next several months detectives continued to work diligently to gather enough evidence to ensure a criminal complaint would be filed.

On Tuesday, November 04, 2008, The Sonoma County District Attorney's Office filed a criminal complaint against Wayne and King for their involvement in the murder. Detectives were able to obtain arrest warrants for both suspects.

Wayne was located and arrested in the City of San Francisco without incident. King, who was in custody at the Marin County Jail on unrelated charges, was arrested on the Sonoma County warrant. Both suspects were transported back to Sonoma County.

Both suspects will be held without bail at the Sonoma County Adult Detention Facility on charges including murder, robbery, arson, and animal cruelty (in regards to Denton's pets that perished in the fire).

If you have any information regarding this incident please contact the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department Violent Crimes Investigations Unit at 707-565-2185.

For further information regarding this press release, please contact Lt. Chris Spallino at 707-565-2185.

Prepared by Lt. Chris Spallino

Report number 060122-011

Posted on 04 Nov 2008

Thursday, February 26, 2009

2003 Article: Eugenics and the Nazis - the California Connection

Admin Building of the Sonoma Development Center
Among other procedures, more than 5,000 patients were involuntarily sterilized at this facility during the period 1918 to 1949. The facility's current name dates from 1986. Former names include:
California Home for the Care and Training of Feeble Minded Children (1883)
Sonoma State Home (1909)
Sonoma State Hospital (1953)

Eugenics and the Nazis - the California connection (excerpt)
By Edwin Black, San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday 9 November 2003 Page D1

Hitler and his henchmen victimized an entire continent and exterminated millions in his quest for a so-called Master Race.

But the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race didnt originate with Hitler. The idea was created in the United States, and cultivated in California, decades before Hitler came to power. California eugenicists played an important, although little-known, role in the American eugenics movements campaign for ethnic cleansing.

Eugenics was the pseudoscience aimed at improving the human race. In its extreme, racist form, this meant wiping away all human beings deemed unfit, preserving only those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype.

Elements of the philosophy were enshrined as national policy by forced sterilization and segregation laws, as well as marriage restrictions, enacted in 27 states. In 1909, California became the third state to adopt such laws. Ultimately, eugenics practitioners coercively sterilized some 60,000 Americans, barred the marriage of thousands, forcibly segregated thousands in colonies, and persecuted untold numbers in ways we are just learning.

Before World War II, nearly half of coercive sterilizations were done in California, and even after the war, the state accounted for a third of all such surgeries.

California was considered an epicenter of the American eugenics movement.
During the 20th centurys first decades, Californias eugenicists included potent but little-known race scientists, such as Army venereal disease specialist Dr. Paul Popenoe, citrus magnate Paul Gosney, Sacramento banker Charles Goethe, as well as members of the California state Board of Charities and Corrections and the University of California Board of Regents.


Eighteen solutions were explored in a Carnegie-supported 1911 Preliminary Report of the Committee of the Eugenic Section of the American Breeders Association to Study and to Report on the Best Practical Means for Cutting Off the Defective Germ-Plasm in the Human Population. Point No. 8 was euthanasia.

The most commonly suggested method of eugenicide in the United States was a lethal chamber or public, locally operated gas chambers. In 1918, Popenoe, the Army venereal disease specialist during World War I, co-wrote the widely used textbook, Applied Eugenics, which argued, From an historical point of view, the first method which presents itself is execution . . . Its value in keeping up the standard of the race should not be underestimated.

Applied Eugenics also devoted a chapter to Lethal Selection, which operated through the destruction of the individual by some adverse feature of the environment, such as excessive cold, or bacteria, or by bodily deficiency.

Eugenic breeders believed American society was not ready to implement an organized lethal solution. But many mental institutions and doctors practiced improvised medical lethality and passive euthanasia on their own.

One institution in Lincoln, Ill., fed its incoming patients milk from tubercular cows believing a eugenically strong individual would be immune.

Thirty to 40 percent annual death rates resulted at Lincoln. Some doctors practiced passive eugenicide one newborn infant at a time. Others doctors at mental institutions engaged in lethal neglect.

Nonetheless, with eugenicide marginalized, the main solution for eugenicists was the rapid expansion of forced segregation and sterilization, as well as more marriage restrictions.

California led the nation, performing nearly all sterilization procedures with little or no due process. In its first 25 years of eugenics legislation, California sterilized 9,782 individuals, mostly women. Many were classified as bad girls, diagnosed as passionate, oversexed or sexually wayward. At the Sonoma State Home, some women were sterilized because of what was deemed an abnormally large clitoris or labia.

In 1933 alone, at least 1,278 coercive sterilizations were performed, 700 on women. The states two leading sterilization mills in 1933 were Sonoma State Home with 388 operations and Patton State Hospital with 363 operations.

Other sterilization centers included Agnews, Mendocino, Napa, Norwalk, Stockton and Pacific Colony state hospitals.

Comment by Vera Hassner Sharav, Alliance for Human Research Protection (AHRP)
On Sunday, Nov 9, the San Francisco Chronicle published an extraordinary, most informative article by Edwin Black, that sheds light on the role played by the American eugenics movement in the Nazi extermination policy. Eugenics is a pseudoscience whose purported aim is to improve the human race, while eliminating that portion of the race that eugenicists deem undesirable.

The article is adapted from Blacks recently released book, War Against the Weak, published by Four Walls Eight Windows.

Black shows that American eugenics played a decisive role in the adoption of racist and even lethal public policies in the US and then in Germany. Black writes: Eugenics would have been so much bizarre parlor talk had it not been for extensive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune. They were all in league with some of Americas most respected scientists from such prestigious universities as Stanford, Yale, Harvard and Princeton. These academicians espoused race theory and race science, and then faked and twisted data to serve eugenics racist aims.

Stanford President David Starr Jordan originated the notion of race and blood in his 1902 racial epistle Blood of a Nation, in which the university scholar declared that human qualities and conditions such as talent and poverty were passed through the blood.

The Harriman railroad fortune paid local charities, such as the New York Bureau of Industries and Immigration, to seek out Jewish, Italian and other immigrants in New York and other crowded cities and subject them to deportation, confinement or forced sterilization.

The influence of American eugenicists was even more sinister. American eugenicists influenced the Nazi sterilization, experimentation, and extermination policies—including the medical atrocities first conducted on institutionalized disabled human beings—adults and children. Whats more, the scions of American philanthropy financed German eugenicists and actively supported their pseudoscientific research institutes.

Therefore, no useful discussion about medical and behavioral research ethics can take place without an examination of the American eugenics movement.

Yet, American bioethicists have studiously avoided a critical analysis of the eugenics movement, its lethal ideology, and its inevitably lethal solutions. By their silence, American bioethics seem to be attesting to the lingering, but covert influence of eugenics within the American healthcare and research community.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Long Island, was a eugenics center founded by the Carnegie Institution. Among its activities was the stockpiling of millions of index cards on ordinary Americans, as researchers carefully plotted the removal of families, bloodlines and whole peoples. From Cold Spring Harbor, eugenics advocates agitated in the legislatures of America, as well as the nations social service agencies and associations. See also:

Black notes: The superior species the eugenics movement sought was populated not merely by tall, strong, talented people. Eugenicists craved blond, blue-eyed Nordic types. This group alone, they believed, was fit to inherit the Earth. In the process, the movement intended to subtract emancipated Negroes, immigrant Asian laborers, Indians, Hispanics, East Europeans, Jews, dark- haired hill folk, poor people, the infirm and anyone classified outside the gentrified genetic lines drawn up by American raceologists. How?

By identifying so-called defective family trees and subjecting them to lifelong segregation and sterilization programs to kill their bloodlines.

The grand plan was to literally wipe away the reproductive capability of those deemed weak and inferior—the so-called unfit. The eugenicists hoped to neutralize the viability of 10 percent of the population at a sweep, until none were left except themselves.

Todays covert eugenicists are similarly screening for undetected conditions. Children are especially screened for psychiatric and anti-social conditions for which no cures exist. Others are engaging in genetic manipulation experiments seeking to produce perfect babies.

Much of the spiritual guidance and political agitation for the American eugenics movement came from Californias quasi-autonomous eugenic societies, such as Pasadenas Human Betterment Foundation and the California branch of the American Eugenics Society, which coordinated much of their activity with the Eugenics Research Society in Long Island. These organizations—which functioned as part of a closely-knit network—published racist eugenic newsletters and pseudoscientific journals, such as Eugenical News and Eugenics, and propagandized for the Nazis.

Black provides compelling evidence showing that the ideological roots and even the methods of extermination—including the gas chambers—were the brain child of American eugenicists living in California. He reveals that the Rockefeller Foundation financed the work of Josef Mengele, MD, Ph.D., before he went to Auschwitz where his unspeakable medical experiments on twins earned him the epithet Angel of Death.

See: ect=6

More than just providing the scientific roadmap, America funded Germanys eugenic institutions.
By 1926, Rockefeller had donated some $410,000—almost $4 million in todays money—to hundreds of German researchers. In May 1926, Rockefeller awarded $250,000 toward creation of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Psychiatry. Among the leading psychiatrists at the German Psychiatric Institute was Ernst Rdin, who became director and eventually an architect of Hitlers systematic medical repression.

Another in the Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes complex of eugenics institutions was the Institute for Brain Research. Since 1915, it had operated out of a single room. Everything changed when Rockefeller money arrived in 1929. A grant of $317,000 allowed the institute to construct a major building and take center stage in German race biology. The institute received additional grants from the Rockefeller Foundation during the next several years.
Leading the institute, once again, was Hitlers medical henchman Ernst Rdin. Rdins organization became a prime director and recipient of the murderous experimentation and research conducted on Jews, Gypsies and others.

Perhaps the date of publication of Blacks article was chosen to coincide with Nov 9, 1938, Kristallnacht—the night the Nazis unleased a diabolical campaign of mass extermination.

Edwin Black is author of the award-winning IBM and the Holocaust and the recently released War Against the Weak (published by Four Walls Eight Windows), from which this article is adapted.

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A Dark Chapter In Medical History
Vicki Mabrey On Experiments Done On Institutionalized Children

Feb. 9, 2005 by Rebecca Leung

Sonoma State Hospital, which housed 3,500 students, was the largest institution for children in California.

(CBS) Karen Alves was just 10 when she lost her baby brother, Mark Dal Molin, in 1961.

As the oldest of four, she says her fondest childhood memories are of doting on her little brother. "One of the things we looked forward to, when we came home from school, was to play with Mark," she says.

But life would be a struggle for the Dal Molins because Mark was born with cerebral palsy, a condition that cripples the body, but not necessarily the mind.

"In the '50s, cerebral palsied children were considered to be developmentally disabled, mentally retarded," says Alves to correspondent Vicki Mabrey.

"I never believed he was mentally retarded. When you looked into his eyes, he communicated through his eyes. … He'd laugh and giggle and kick, and just screech when he saw us."

But by 3, Mark could neither walk nor talk, which meant his mother, Rosemarie, had to care for him.

"We know he recognized everybody," says Rosemarie. "He would laugh or he would cry if he was unhappy."

The children's father, Bill Dal Molin, felt that Rosemarie was neglecting their three daughters, because of Mark. "His mother was very, very much attentive to him, and the girls, I felt, were like troops to her," says Bill. "She was very hard on them, the girls."

Doctors advised the Dal Molins to commit their son, so Bill told Rosemarie they had to send Mark to an institution. It was November 1958.

"I just remember one day coming home from school and the house was very quiet," says Karen, who never got to say goodbye to her brother. "I don't remember much after that. It profoundly affected me."

Rosemarie had committed 3-year-old Mark to Sonoma State Hospital, the largest institution for children in California. At the time, the hospital housed 3,500 children with diverse needs, from babies born with minor defects, like a cleft palate or a club foot, to children with epilepsy and Down syndrome.

While the severely disabled languished in overcrowded rooms, the able-bodied were put to work in the institution’s dairies and orchards.

Rosemarie did something more that other parents who had committed their children to Sonoma State did not; she visited her son every Wednesday.

"It was just a small thing that I can still do is to go see him," says Rosemarie. "Because most of these children, they never see parents again."

But those visits came to an abrupt end on Memorial Day, 1961, when Mark was 6.

"I picked up the phone and I heard a voice say, 'Is Mrs. Dal Molin in?' and I just knew," says Karen. "They didn’t even say where they were calling from. But I just, this dread came into my heart, and I got my mom and I left. I ran. I hid. Nobody told me. I knew he was dead."

From that day on, Karen and her sisters, Chris and Gail, say they never spoke Mark's name again. They buried their grief, grew up and had families of their own. But after 40 years, they still struggle with the decision to institutionalize their brother.

"It pretty much blew the family apart," says Gail. "I believe that Dad did what he felt was best for the family. In my heart, I know that is true. But the impact of it on each one of us and the family was devastating."

In 1994, haunted by thoughts of her baby brother, Karen decided to devote all her spare time to answering the question that had burdened her for decades: how exactly did Mark die?

"I just needed to know and, no matter what it was, I needed to know. So I went to the recorder’s office," says Karen.

"There was no death certificate. One of the clerks came over to the front desk, leaned over and said 'When did he die?' And I said, '1961.' 'Well, when did he go into Sonoma State?' And I said, '1958,' and she said, 'You better look into it, because strange things happened there.'"

Things got stranger still when Karen noticed an article in the local paper saying 16,000 people, including children, had been used in radiation experiments. "Out of curiosity, I started to read it, and they mentioned patients that were in state-run hospitals being used," says Karen. "And I just go, 'Oh my God.' This could be it."

Then, President Clinton had just ordered thousands of secret documents on government-sponsored human radiation experiments declassified and made available on the Internet.

Karen found a study funded by the federal government involving 1,100 Sonoma State cerebral palsy patients from 1955-1960. One document she also found showed that her brother had been part of the study, assigned Specimen #8732.

Karen wasn't able to find out what tests, if any, Mark was subjected to. But some of the patients in the Sonoma State study were put through painful procedures like the pneumoencelphalogram, in which air is injected into the brain before a series of X-rays.

"Imagine puncturing someone’s spinal cord, drawing fluid out and putting a foreign substance in there. Gas," says Karen. "When they trap air in your body, you’re in pain, excruciating pain, for days."

"They were the raw material of medical research," says Susan Lederer, who teaches medical history at Yale University. She was a member of the presidential committee that investigated the radiation experiments, and she says she wasn’t shocked by the findings because researchers have been using disabled children in experiments for over a century.

"Children in orphanages, children in homes of the mentally retarded, these are all good populations from the sense of medical research, because you have an easily accessible group of people living in controlled circumstances, and you can monitor them," says Lederer.

Lederer read the study that was conducted at Sonoma State Hospital, and says the children underwent painful experimentation "for which they received no direct benefit."

"It seems clear that these were intended to enlarge knowledge about cerebral palsy," adds Lederer.

It did not produce a breakthrough, although Lederer says studies using mentally retarded children were critical in creating vaccines for polio and hepatitis.

Lederer says using captive populations meant big money for medical researchers: "It would even be an advantage in applying for grant money, because you don’t have to go to the problem of recruiting subjects."

In the case of Sonoma State, records show that when the study began, cerebral palsy admissions there jumped by 300 percent.

"One of the ways that medical directors of such institutions sort of connected themselves to the world of medical research was simply to provide their patients as commodities," says Lederer. "I mean, we can provide this many guinea pigs for you."

Sonoma State is now known as Sonoma Developmental Center. During her 12-year search, Karen repeatedly wrote to the current administrator, looking for information about Mark.

She was told that there were "no records on radiation studies at Sonoma," and that there was "no record that your brother was involved in radiation research."

"And I'd say, 'Just go to the human radiation Web site and put in Sonoma State Hospital in your search and documents come up," says Karen. "You’ve gotta have something there. No. They deny it. Deny it. If I called her right now, she’d deny it."

Administrator Theresa Murphy has worked at Sonoma State for 30 years. She said she didn't have any information about the medical experimentation that was taking place at the institution.

When asked if patients at state hospitals were used in medical research, Murphy says, "I've read that there has been things like using rattlesnake venom of epilepsy. But you know, there's just nothing in our archives about the research you are talking about."

"If these studies were being done, if there are patients from here being sent for radiation studies, is that a stain on the hospital record," asks Mabrey.

"I think in the history of people with developmental disabilities, and there have been some dark times. I truly believe that," says Murphy. "And it wouldn't surprise me that there were things we would find - consider questionable today."

It took two years and a court order for Karen to get Sonoma State to turn over Mark’s medical records. Though not complete, records did show that Mark Dal Molin suffered unusually high fevers the last six months of his life before dying of a seizure.

"He ran extremely high fevers that none of us here right now would live through," says Karen. "Swollen eyes, seizures, those things can fit in with radiation poisoning."

Mark's records contained another shock. Karen found not one, but two autopsy reports, one for his body and another for his brain. Karen says that Mark's brain was removed after he died.

"They took my brother’s brain without consent, and the doctor, in his obituary it said that he had one of the largest brain collections," says Karen. "And if there’s any way for me to find that, I would like to put him back together."

60 Minutes Wednesday learned that between 1955 and 1960, the brain of every cerebral palsy child who died at Sonoma State was removed and studied.

Rosemarie says she never gave them permission to take Mark's brain for research purposes. "I came from Europe after the war, where all these horrendous things happened," says Rosemarie. "I never dreamed that in this country, they would do experimenting children. Handicapped children."

Unless their families claimed them, the children ended up in a community grave with the ashes of 500 other people, or buried in a empty field without a headstone to mark their passing.

Theresa Murphy showed 60 Minutes Wednesday the final resting place of 1,400 Sonoma State patients. "The folks that remain here are undisturbed and available for family visitation," says Murphy.

But Mark Dal Molin's family was able, at least, to spare him that fate. They had him cremated and placed his ashes in a private mausoleum.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sonoma Int'l Film Festival April 1-5, 2009

If you're interested in volunteering for the 12th Annual Sonoma International Film Festival, send an email

Sunday, February 22, 2009


The U.S. Navy, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet have decided, without our consent, that that are going to use the Pacific Ocean off the Coast of California, Oregon and Washington and the land over these states plus Idaho to test weapons of war.




Published by on February 21, 2009
Post Office Box 499Redwood Valley, California 95470(707) 485-7520E-Mail:

The United States Navy and the U.S. Department of Defense have decided that their Northwest Training Range Complex, in the State of Washington, should be expanded, and have devised a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), dated December 2008, for public review and comment. The expansion of their area of operation will include all of the State of Washington, all of the State of Oregon, part of the state of Idaho, and Northern California. This area will also include large areas of the Pacific Ocean from California to the State of Washington. (The map designating this program area also extends throughout Northern California to the San Francisco Bay Area under a “warning area” designation.)

The U.S. Commander of the Pacific Fleet has given American citizens and residents of these states only a very short time to comment on their draft EIS: Published on December 30, 2008, with a final public comment deadline extended to March 11, 2009, this document is approximately 1,000+/- pages in length with attachments. In addition to a short comment time the Navy limited public hearings to five, with only one held in Oregon, one in California, and no scheduled hearings to be held in Idaho. The Navy has allegedly failed to place information about this EIS in major newspapers or inform our elected representatives about this program.

Thus, citizens in California, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington are asking for a realistic extension of time to read, study, and comment on this decision by the Navy and the Department of Defense, past the March 11, 2009, deadline. It should be noted that most elected representatives in California and Oregon were not aware of this EIS or the consequences of this action by the Navy. The Navy should hold additional public hearings.

The Navy has declared that this draft was distributed to our elected representatives. If so, then why haven’t our elected officials spoken up to defend our rights to be heard, required more public meetings and hearings in California, Washington, Idaho (where not one was held), and Oregon? The U.S. Navy, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet have decided, without our consent, that that are going to use the Pacific Ocean off the Coast of California, Oregon and Washington and the land over four states to test weapons of war. They did not contact Senator Harry Reid of Nevada to obtain permission to use the Nevada Test Site for these warfare experiments. Instead they decided to use public lands, the Pacific Ocean, private property, wildlife, and humans as test subjects for warfare testing in four states.

The Navy also has decided to contaminate our air, water, and soils with the chemicals used in these programs. They fail to list many of the chemicals that are to be used in these programs. Thus, under the Freedom of Information Act, I am requesting a complete listing of all chemicals that will be used during these testing programs. It is easy for the Navy EIS to state that they can mitigate for such toxic usage but fail to disclose a complete listing of said chemicals. Also copies of contamination studies conducted at other military test sites where contamination problems were found and at bases (like Fallon Air Force Base), should be made public.

The draft EIS does not fully address the potential environmental impacts on multiple resources, like air quality, water resources, airborne acoustic environment (on land and in the ocean), biological resources, marine and terrestrial impacts and human health and safety. Without a complete understanding of their programs it is impossible to determine any impacts…thus, their EIS states that “…there are no significant impacts…” This statement is made throughout the entire document even though many of the chemicals used are highly toxic.

With the failure of the EIS to identify all of the air quality, water quality, and soils impacts of their programs this EIS appears to be a whitewash designed to stampede this program through as fast as the Navy can implement it. And in listing only a few of the EPA list of toxic chemicals that will be released by military aircraft (like jet fuel emissions), the Navy has avoided any discussion of negative impacts on air and water quality. It is not sufficient to state that our air is already polluted and that additional pollutants will make no difference in air quality.

There is a short listing of hazardous materials, air pollutants, and pollutants from munitions, expended materials, and radioactive materials to will be used in this project. I am requesting a complete listing of all chemicals that will be used by the Navy, Air Force, and any other branch of the Department of Defense in this project. Inshore and offshore detonations may or may not be considered hazardous – however, until a complete listing of these chemicals is provided to the public there can be no public discussion of their hazard to public health, marine life, wildlife, public drinking water sources or our oceans. The avoidance of making this specific list public leads one to believe that these hazardous materials and chemicals are toxic and do pose environmental hazards. (California laws regarding toxic chemicals are more stringent than those in other states.)

It is interesting that Table ES-5 Summary of Effects (Page ES-16) – Hazardous Material does not list the name of any hazardous materials but tells the public that there is no problem with their use. How is it possible to have a summary table and list none of the chemicals to be used during the Navy program? They do note petroleum products, heavy metals, and combustion products but fail to list all of them along with the number of pounds or gallons to be used each year.

The public and marine life in the ocean will be subjected to various sonar and aviation noise, target noise, surface ship noise, weapons and target noise, EOD (no definition found), and underwater explosions. The Navy does admit that marine life will be harmed. However, harming our food supply, (fish like salmon), or the whales is not deemed important by the Navy, as they are expendable according to the EIS.

The Navy and the Department of Defense have decided that massive warfare expenditures for testing war products and weapons using marine life and the public as guinea pigs is in our best interest. And since a lot of the equipment and other items to be tested are experimental this leads one to believe that they are testing them on us for the first time to see how they work and if the public is harmed by their usage.

Just when did the citizens of the United States agree to be warfare test subjects when the Nevada Test Site and/or Area 51 which could be used for these tests? And why use the Pacific Ocean which is a migratory haven for our food supply and valuable marine life – including those that migrate along the Pacific Coast? And if this Navy project is approved and the health of the citizens, marine, or wildlife is threatened, who will be held responsible for this action and its negative consequences? The EIS does not give the public standing to say no to this project or the consequences of being used as guinea pigs during the testing. In addition, the EIS does not state how long the testing process will last – providing us with the information that once implemented testing could be conducted forever in these areas.

I am requesting, under the freedom of information act, answers to the above questions, listings of the chemicals used and their exact harm to the public, animals, marine life, water supplies, trees, agriculture, and soils. This includes information on whether or not depleted uranium, red and white phosphorus, weather modification and mitigation chemicals will be used, whether or not atmospheric testing will occur along with aviation over-flights and bombing runs. Will sonic booms rattle our homes and low flights of planes shake our houses and wake us up at night? I am also requesting complete documentation and information on Electronic Combat Training and how it will impact human health. Noise and electronic levels should also be made public.

My freedom of information act request also includes the following questions:

1) Will aluminum coated fiberglass be used (CHAFF) and how many pounds will be released each year?

2) What are the health effects of Chaff particulates on humans, wildlife, soil and water? Please provide a study on these human and wildlife health effects.

3) Will weather modification or mitigation programs be initiated during the Navy program? If so, what chemicals will be used in this program?

4) Will jets be allowed to fly at heights that leave persistent jet contrails that exacerbate global warming and change our climate (NASA Studies)? What impact will these programs have on California climate?

5) A complete listing of jet fuels to be used (+ additives), and the components of said jet fuel with information on the number of chemicals released and their impact on human health, agriculture, soils, water supplies, and wildlife. (Include JP-8, JP-10, and other new experimental jet fuels. The Jet Emissions report is available online at the EPA Website:

6) A complete study of depleted uranium showing human health and animal health effects.

7) A complete study of the health effects of the compounds listed in Table 3.3-5 Page 3.3-11 and definitions of RDX and HMX (use and toxicity).

8) Toxicity of Red and White Phosphorus – humans, wildlife, soils, water supplies, marine life.

9) A complete listing of the propellants, explosives, pyrotechnics, chemical and riot agents, and smoke canisters (type of smoke and toxicity) is requested. And a complete listing of ground-based and atmospheric obscurants which will be used in these programs and their toxicity.

10) How much money will Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho be reimbursed for hazardous waste disposal and other toxic site clean-up from the Navy and the Department of Defense? It is requested that the reimbursement be 100% if this program is initiated.

11) A complete listing and studies of the synergistic effects of all chemicals used in the Navy program with associated health effects. This includes cumulative and synergistic effects as well.

12) Studies of the synergistic effects of project chemicals on bioaccumulation in fish and other marine food supplies.

13) Will northern California Maxwell MOAs (Military Operation Areas 1, 2 & 3), be used in this Navy Project? If yes, what will be the actions taken over these area by all branches of the military?

14) What effects will bomb blasts in the Pacific Ocean be on the San Andres and other California earthquake faults?

A rough study of the EIS leads one to believe that the Navy and the Department of Defense intends to leave behind a toxic pea soup of chemicals and other toxins in their wake, along with the human health effects and dead marine life. Many areas of California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho would be contaminated from these experiments through airborne and water migration across these regions.

It also appears that nothing would be spared in testing weapons of war on the public (with the Nevada Test Site and Area 51 available for much of this testing and the Atlantic Ocean also available near Washington, D.C.). It appears that these Western States will be sacrificed for building and testing more weapons of mass destruction. Remember that sacrificing California, Washington, Oregon and Idaho is just the beginning…your state will be next.

I am requesting that the State of California be excluded from this Navy project. Citizens in all four states should say “no” to this proposed project and others like it. Contract your elected representatives today and let them know how you feel about this project. We are appealing to Congressman Mike Thompson, Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein to delay this project, allow more time for public comment, hold hearings in Mendocino County and hold hearings in other northern California counties, and to eventually oppose allowing California to become part of this costly, toxic warfare project.


For more information and copy of the U.S. Navy Environmental Impact Statement (EIS):

Comment Form:

Congratulations Levi!

2009 AToC, stage 8 Leipheimer won his third straight Tour of California
Photo: Graham Watson

AToC: Three in a row

Posted Feb. 22, 2009

Astana’s Levi Leipheimer collected his third consecutive victory at the Amgen Tour of California on Sunday as Saxo Bank’s Fränk Schleck won the eighth and final stage, a 97-mile leg from Rancho Bernardo to Escondido.

The ball got rolling early as mountains leader Jason McCartney (Saxo Bank) charged after the first KOM points on Highland Valley Road, dogged by Steve Cozza (Garmin-Slipsteam). Tyler Hamilton (Rock Racing) tried to bridge, but got nowhere fast and dropped back to the bunch.

As McCartney took the maximum points with the help of teammate Andy Schleck, a nine-man break took shape, containing Cozza and Thomas Peterson (Garmin-Slipstream); Christophe Riblon and Bauke Mollema (Rabobank); Alexandre Moos (BMC); Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell); and Serge Pauwels (Cervélo TestTeam). Mollema was best placed in the break, sitting 19th overall at 5:44.

Liquigas, whose Vincenzo Nibali was sitting 10th on GC at 2:21, sent four riders to the front and was driving the chase with Astana tucked in behind. But the escapees quickly built a 45-second advantage en route to the second KOM at Lake Wohlford Road.

As Liquigas began to fade after 15 miles of chasing, OUCH-Maxxis came forward and drilled it in one long line, going Postal to launch Floyd Landis. Ahead, the break began to come apart, with Andy Schleck, McCartney, Pauwels and Jacques-Maynes taking a gap on their erstwhile companions. McCartney took max’ points once more as Landis roared up to the remnants of the break.

The effort was for naught, though, and Landis and the back markers were soon reabsorbed as Andy Schleck briefly drifted back from the break. That left three riders out front chased by a foursome that included the Saxo Bank rider, Stef Clement (Rabobank), Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) and Mathias Frank (BMC). The two groups eventually fused together and the break was up to seven, with Astana on the front of the bunch a half-minute behind.

Jacques-Maynes was now best-placed in the break at 24th at 6:56, and since he posed no threat to the yellow jersey Astana let the leaders take time on the Palomar climb, their advantage extending to two minutes and beyond.

The bunch seemed content to let Astana ride tempo until just before the feed zone, when Rock Racing’s Enrique Gutierrez took a dig, marked by OUCH’s Tim Johnson. Up front, as Andy Schleck paced McCartney, Barredo and Pauwels began to suffer and drifted out of the break. Behind, Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing) tried a move, followed by Landis and teammate Rory Sutherland.

Then things got serious - Saxo’s Jens Voigt went up the road, joining his teammates in the break, and overall runner-up Michael Rogers (Columbia-Highroad) started pushing the pace, dogged by Thomas Danielson and David Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream), Robert Geskin (Rabobank), Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) and race leader Leipheimer, who was without teammates. Others followed suit, padding the break’s numbers, while Astana’s Lance Armstrong was leading a group at just over a minute behind.

As Andy Schleck finally sat up and drifted back, Voigt took over the pace-setting, driving what then was a nine-man break up and over the top of the Palomar climb. On the descent brother Fränk took a flyer, and after a moment's hesitation Nibali went after him. The Liquigas rider quickly latched on and the two began to work together.

More attacks followed: Glen Chadwick (Rock Racing) and Rabobank’s Mollema shot out of a reconstituted main field that saw Leipheimer get some backup, including Armstrong, Yaroslav Popvych and Chechu Rubiera. Schleck and Nibali sat up and waited for them, and it was a foursome off the front with a margin of perhaps a minute.

Chadwick attacked the lead group on the descent leading to the short, steep ascent of Cole Grade, a Cat. 4 climb 21 miles from the finish line. He briefly held a lead of a dozen seconds over his mates, but saw it vanish as the road tipped back up once more.

The yellow-jersey group was gaining ground, too, closing to within 45 seconds of the re-formed break with Barredo augmenting Astana’s three-man chase. And as the foursome hit Cole Grade the bunch had them in sight.

Then Nibali punched it early on the 2.4-mile climb and Schleck followed; Chadwick and Mollema were shelled instantly. Behind, Armstrong was setting the pace at the front of the bunch, in and out of the saddle, and half the break was soon back in the pack.

With 15 miles to go Nibali and Schleck clung to a lead of just over a minute as Quick Step added a second man to the Astana-led pursuit along the rolling road to Escondido. Garmin-Slipstream joined in, as did Columbia-Highroad and Rock Racing, but their assistance would prove too little, too late.

With 1km to go the two were still out front, and it was clear the bunch had waited too long to make the catch. Schleck sat on the young Italian going into the final left-hand corner, then shot around him on the right side of the finishing straight to take the win. George Hincapie (Columbia-Highroad) took the bunch sprint for third.

Stay tuned for a complete report, results, and photos.

Last Day of the AMGEN Tour of California 2009

Today is the last day of the Tour and the winner will be announced soon. Here's a peak of what they have to do:

And from yesterday, here is a nice clip of the start of Stage 7 with shots along the way.


Stage 7 Press Conference clip
"Christian Vande Velde, Stage 7's Break Away from Cancer Jersey winner stops in to field a few questions. "


Found the following article interesting...

Pasadena Rose Bowl Photo © 2009 Lily Trevisanut

2009 Tour of California - Stage 7 Reactions

By Staff
Date: 2/22/2009

Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA), Stage 7 Winner Ag2r la Mondiale
On the race overall:
“I have definitely been very impressed by the Amgen Tour of California. The mountains have been hard for me. I crashed on the second day and the rain has been hard, but I made good preparations, and for me, this victory was very, very important.”

On his team’s strategy today:
“We had two riders (of the 10) in the front group, so we are really happy how we played our tactics to our advantage. In the final sprint, I didn’t know the other two riders, but the way they played it was to my advantage. They set me up well for the finish that happened. There was an initial attack by a Rabobank rider, but we worked together to keep the breakaway together in the last three kilometers. I was pretty confident I could win, but I didn’t know for sure. I’m very content with how it came out.”

“It was really just by chance we got two riders in there (in the top-10), but I’m happy it came out like that because it made the difference in the end.”

On his team overall:
“We are down to five riders. One guy had a knee problem coming into the race, but with five guys, we are still a good team and we are still ready to race. This is our team’s first victory of the year, so we are happy about that. I’ve had other victories before, but I think the field is much better here, so looking back, I think this victory will be more important because all of the top riders are here.”

Floyd Landis OUCH p/by Maxxis Inaugural Amgen Tour of California Winner
On the Amgen Tour of California:
“I think every year since the first year in 2006, this race has grown. I’ve always been impressed with the dedication of the fans. It was hard for us to get motivated in the early part of the race when it was cold and raining, but the fans were still there and that helped boost morale. Thankfully the weather has gotten better, but it has still been a very difficult race. I’m hoping we can keep the momentum going. I think if the crowds were any indication today, people were happy to have the race come through Pasadena.”

On how he feels about his performance thus far:
“I haven’t raced in two and a half years, and it’s a difficult race, but we’re doing the best we can. I’m a little disappointed with how things have gone, but I’ve gotten through all of the obstacles. After I fell on my hip, I was fine and I haven’t had any problems as a result of that. After riding around in the rain and snow, you’re going to feel a little under the weather, but I don’t think it is any different than what everyone else is feeling. I think I feel about the same as everyone else.”

On his return to professional cycling:
“I’ve missed racing. It has been a large part of my life, and for the last few years I’ve been gone, so it feels good to be back. I’m really not sure what my long-term goals are at this point. Sometimes, when you are racing, your goals become very shortsighted, so hopefully after this race is over, I can reassess what I want.”

“I never really got into cycling because I wanted attention, I like cycling for the challenges and the experiences that I’ve had. It’s certainly touching to come out and have so many people cheering for not just me, but everyone. To see that in the U.S., and this close to home, is really satisfying.”

On how his hip feels:
“After my surgery, my hip is a lot less affected by temperature. Sometimes the pain would change with the pressure or the weather, but that’s gone now. I’m quite pleased that I can race now without having to think about that.”

On tomorrow’s stage, which includes a climb up Palomar Mountain:
“I’ve never really raced up it before. My experience usually involves a burrito at the bottom (laughing). I’m sure tomorrow will be much faster than I’ve rode it on my own, and there are a few climbs before Palomar. After a week-long stage race, a lot of guys are tired, so the peloton will probably split up easier. The climb is pretty consistent and it goes from a five or six percent grade to an eight percent grade. It’s as hard of a climb as you’ll find anywhere, especially at this stage in the race. Astana has been determined to control the race, and they’ve done a good job, but tomorrow will be difficult. It would be a risk for some guys to try and take the win, but if they have the position, they could do it; I know I would.”

On the possibility of a major attack during tomorrow’s stage:
“Tomorrow’s a good stage for that sort of thing. Hopefully you’ll get to see one; I wish somebody would try it. It’s very close in the general classification, so I would try to get some time back if I were in their shoes. Levi and his team are strong, but they’ve had a hard time controlling the whole race. Whether or not I’ll be there is hard to say. I know the streets pretty well, so we’ll see what happens.”

On tomorrow’s Cole Grade climb:
“When I thought about how the race was going to play out, I didn’t think it (Cole Grade) was going to be that much of a factor. But, the first couple of days, it wasn’t really easy for anybody to get away; it was rainy and the peloton was really split up. When everyone is that tired, and you come to a climb like that, it can do some damage. If somebody wants to get some time there, going full-speed, it’s a 10-minute climb, and after that, it’s a lot of rolling and downhill racing. If there’s a decisive place in the race where someone wants to make up time, that would be it. We’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out; we’ll have to see how the peloton looks when they start the climb. It’s the place to try something if you’re a general classification guy.”

Earlier the press had been informed that Landis would not be answering questions about anything other than the race, when someone asked if he would comment on why he wouldn't answer questions on the past two years, Floyd's commented after a smile and pause, that he would chose not to comment on commenting on not commenting on the past.. leaving the international group of journalists in uncontrollable laughter.

Ivan Basso (ITA) Liquigas
On sustaining an injury shortly before the individual time trial on Saturday, February 20:
“I apologize for not commenting sooner, but it was very difficult to communicate what happened yesterday quickly because I got hurt early in the morning. I had been training earlier and I hit my knee on the handlebar of my bike. I started to feel bad during the warm-up; I couldn’t push the pedal.”

“The medical staff was amazing. I had immediate attention yesterday, and they helped me last night and again this morning. I had an MRI to check on my knee and the doctor said that I could possibly do more damage if I continued to race, so it is best if I stop now. Small problems can sometimes turn into big problems, and as a cyclist, I need a clear mind to ride, and I just can’t continue knowing that I could do more damage. I have been given such great attention. I have raced many years as a professional and I can say that the level of the medical staff here is very high.”

“I am very sad to leave here because this is a fantastic race. I did some of my best riding in the first three or four days; I was riding really well in front. I knew I didn’t have the legs to win the race, but my intention was to do my best. I want to thank everyone, including the fans, for their support. For me, I really enjoyed the first part of the week. It is a very important race, but it’s impossible to compete in a race like this with only one good leg.”

“There is a really high level of competition and speed in this race, and you can’t race at only fifty percent. Also, continuing to race might make the injury worse, and in this race, there is really no time to recover. Every day there are sprint and King of the Mountain (KOM) competitions, and the level of competition here is really high. This is one of the best races in the world. All of the best riders are here, and even when people are only going at fifty percent, it’s still a fast race.”

“In the first couple of days, a lot of interesting things were happening; everyone was going full gas the whole time. But in this situation, I can’t continue. I am very sad and I promise to come again next year and do well. I have received so much support from the race staff, the fans, everyone.”

“Again, I want to say thank you to everyone for their support, and congratulations on such a great race. I also want to say thank you to my team and the sponsors for their support. It is a great feeling knowing everyone is there for me”

Levi Leipheimer Astana
On today’s race:
“It was a hard stage in the beginning. There were a lot of attacks with riders dangerous for the general classification. We had to chase them down always. It took a while before there was a breakaway with which we could agree. We were not really chasing them, but when we arrived in Pasadena for the first time, the gap was four minutes and thirty seconds, and as (George) Hincapie and (Frank) Schleck were at six minutes and thirty seconds, we decided to let the gap not become greater than three minutes. Mission accomplished. One day to go. It wasn’t an easy stage.”

“All in all, it was really good. Last year it was raining and that made it more difficult, so I’ll take this.”

On the crowds today:
“The Rose Bowl had a ton of people on the floor. When we rode in, there was so much noise from the crowd; all of the guys were really motivated by that.”

On tomorrow’s stage:
“Normally the last stage is sort of a parade, but tomorrow will be tough. The team has done a lot of work to get to this point. Most of the favorites were resting for tomorrow, so it’s going to be really tough.”

On the caliber of the Amgen Tour of California:
“I’ve heard journalists and riders this week ranking the Amgen Tour of California as the fourth biggest race in the world, and I can’t disagree. The way it has grown in the past three years is really impressive.”

On his teammate Lance Armstrong:
“As I’ve said throughout the week, having Lance in the race makes everyone perform to the best of their ability. He pushes us all to the limit and it creates a great atmosphere for the team and the race.”

Christian Vande Velde Garmin/Slipstream
Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer™ Most Courageous Rider Jersey Leader
On today’s race:
“Today was the same stage as last year so we knew the stage, but luckily it wasn’t the same weather. It was freezing cold last year, but this year it was beautiful, so we knew it was going to be aggressive. We just wanted to keep someone in the breakaway since we knew it was going to snap at one point.”

“It was a super hard race; it took almost 40 miles until the breakaway was established. It wasn’t fun getting into it, but once we got away, it was good. Then, when we came into the circuits, it was warm and the fans were unbelievable. Frank Schleck came up to me and said he had goose bumps because the crowd was so amazing. It was a neat feeling to race through a throng of fans. It was just like racing in any one of the big tours.”

On the race overall:
“Astana is a strong team, and they are doing good at controlling the race, but you saw a lot of aggressive racing today. Everyone is getting tired, but that’s what’s so great about cycling, nobody is just going to roll over and let them have it. It’s going to be a great race.”

On his loss of critical time on a previous stage:
“I think that was a blessing in disguise. Sometimes I ride above my level and then pay for it for days to come. My form isn’t as high as it has been in the past, but at the same time, the field is so much stronger. The race was harder, the course had more mountains and, unfortunately, the weather was horrible. It has been fun to support Dave (Zabriskie) and Tom (Peterson). Sometimes I’m more comfortable playing the supporting role; it’s natural for me to ride in support of my team. I know that it will come back to me.”

On the Amgen Tour of California:
“Every year they make comparisons, and I don’t think this race has been given the credit it deserves. I personally that it has been world-class from the start in 2006, so I’m sure what is needs to happen for it to become a great race because it already is. If you look at the top-60 general classification, the names that you see, even the guys in the groupetto, it’s amazing. I mean, you have the reining Tour de France champion, Carlos (Sastre) racing here. They take really good care of us in this race. There are great fans and great racing, so I’m not sure what else it can do to become a better race.”

Cervelo TestTeam
Hayden Roulston just missed winning today's 7th stage of Amgen Tour of California where he was out sprinted by Rinaldo Nocentini of AG2R La Mondiale by the width of a tire. Along with Pieter Weening of Rabobank, Roulston dueled it out with Nocentini in the last lap turning the 300 m into a drag race to the finish line.

Cervélo TestTeam Sports Director Alex Sans Vega outlined the strategy the team took, "We knew that there would be a break away today as it happened last year and today's stage is a perfect course for one. Five km after the top of the KOM, the break started to form and we positioned Hayden for the breakaway. The team worked well together to put him into position and it took a couple of tries to do that. Once he got into the group, he caught the wheel of the AG2R guys who we knew would be a problem."

Saxo Bank Report
Fränk Schleck on the Attack and Jason McCartney in Mountain Jersey
Bank's Fränk Schleck took advantage of the hilly stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena and launched an attack. Schleck worked very hard in the decisive break and with two technically tricky laps to go he split the group and went solo.

Although he managed a small gap he was reeled back in after which a counter attack decided the stage. In this AG2r's Rinaldo Nocentini was fastest and Schleck was came in as number eight.

”Fränk grabbed his chance but the climb on the lap was not tough enough for him to make a difference and make it all the way home. He's clearly strong right now so tomorrow hopefully he'll get another chance,” commented sports director Bradley McGee referring to the mountainous final stage from Rancho Bernado to Escondido.

Fränk Schleck advanced in the overall standings to a 15th place and Jens Voigt is still best for Team Saxo Bank in fourth place. Jason McCartney took over the mountain from Francisco Mancebo (Rock Racing), who unfortunately crashed and had to abandon during stage six.

OUCH P/by Maxxis continues aggressive riding, but can’t get a break.
Just about every rider on the OUCH Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis got in a break during Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California in Solvang Saturday.

“If there were 10 breaks today,” said team directeur sportif Mike Tamayo, “we covered nine. Unfortunately, the one we didn’t make was the one that stuck. As the saying goes, that’s bike racing."

“We tried early, we tried in the canyon, we just kept trying,” said OUCH Presented by Maxxis rider Pat McCarty. “Cam (Evans) and Tim (Johnson) were both in moves that looked like they would go. Cam made it into one break that looked like it would stick, but then Columbia missed it so they brought it back. It just kept going and re-shuffling.

“It took something like two hours for a break to establish,” he added. “I think we were only about 5 km from the top of the KoM.”

That climb, over the 4,900-foot Millcreek Summit about 38 miles into the 89-mile stage, proved to be decisive in creating the separation. When that move went,” McCarty explained, “I think we were maybe just a bit too gassed and a bit too far back.”

“One of our guys tried to get across to the move, but we were just too late,” Tamayo added.

And as McCarty noted, there was no lack of horsepower in that move, which included George Hincapie, Fränk Schleck, Christian Vande Velde, Hayden Roulston, Pieter Weening, Addy Engels, Martin Elmiger, Markus Zberg, Rinaldo Nocentini and Chris Baldwin.

The group got 1:05 over the summit of Millcreek, and with no threats to the overall lead in the break, Astana was content to ride tempo, allowing the break to extend its lead out beyond four minutes and eventually take it to the line, with Nocenti winning a very close sprint ahead of Roulston.

“We’re pretty bummed we didn’t get anyone up there today,” McCarty said. “It wasn’t for lack of trying. Rory (Sutherland) and I are both a bit frustrated by it. We knew this would be a good day to get in the break because it had a good chance to stick. But that’s how it goes. You win some, you lose a whole lot more.”

Andrew Messick, President, AEG Sports
On the race overall:
“With eight days of exhilarating racing behind us, we are looking forward to watching the finale of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California unfold in San Diego County tomorrow. The world-class field of riders competing for the overall win will make for a very thrilling conclusion to the most important professional cycling race in the United States.”

Michael Ball, Owner, Rock Racking
On Francisco Mancebo’s condition:
“Following his unfortunate crash during today’s stage, Francisco Mancebo is currently receiving medical attention at Huntington Memorial hospital in Pasadena. While we are still awaiting confirmation, we believe he has suffered a concussion, as well as broken hand and elbow. The fact that he is unable to continue the race does not in any way diminish his accomplishments or those of his team. Attrition took its toll and we lost two incredible riders in Paco (Mancebo) today and Victor Hugo Pena, after Stage 4, but that’s bike racing. This is such an exciting team, and I am incredibly proud of everything we have achieved this week.”

Luke Wilson, Actor and Ambassador for Stand Up To Cancer
“I’m in awe of the professional cyclists who are taking part in the Amgen Tour of California. Like in cycling, it takes a team to fight cancer, to raise money and raise awareness of the fact that we can make progress against cancer.”

Two Time Winner Levi Leipheimer Leads into Final Stage
Officials Estimate Race Attendance For First Eight Days to be 1.7 Million
PASADENA (February 21, 2009) Fans in Pasadena came out in droves to witness the finish to Stage 7 of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California, which included five, five-mile laps on a very demanding circuit through the area surrounding the Rose Bowl. After a challenging day of cycling, Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA) of AG2R-La Mondiale crossed the finish line to take the stage, followed closely by Hayden Roulston (NZL) of Cervelo Test Team and Pieter Weening (NED) of Rabobank. Levi Leipheimer (USA) of Astana retained the overall lead heading into the final stage of the race, which will take riders into San Diego County for the first time, as they race from Rancho Bernardo to Escondido tomorrow.

“The Rose Bowl had a ton of people on the floor today,” said Leipheimer. “When we rode in, there was so much noise from the crowd. All of the guys were really motivated by that.”

Hollywood celebrities, including actor Luke Wilson, who is an ambassador for Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer™ initiative and Stand Up To Cancer, came out to support the Los Angeles leg of the race.

“I’m in awe of the professional cyclists who are taking part in the Amgen Tour of California,” said Wilson.

The penultimate day of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California featured the same difficult, hilly and technical terrain that was used in the final day of the 2008 race. The stage opened with a gradual 25-mile climb out of Santa Clarita, through Acton, to the intersection of Angeles Forest Road. Showcasing the breathtaking beauty of the San Gabriel Mountains, the course continued uphill to the massive Millcreek Summit, which at 4,906 ft. is the second-highest elevation ever reached in the race. The riders then headed down a 15-mile trek to Angeles Crest Highway before dropping precipitously to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Surrounded by mountains and the legendary stadium, the field concluded the stage with five challenging laps on a rolling five-mile circuit around the picturesque Rose Bowl.

Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California began with the launch of several attacks and counter-attacks to try and get a break going. It was a day characterized by very aggressive riding that left 16 riders behind the peloton. An hour and a half into the stage, a successful attack was launched led by Saxo Bank rider Frank Schleck (LUX) and George Hincapie (USA) of Team Columbia-Highroad, along five additional riders, with Astana at the front of the peloton setting the pace for the chase.

As the riders approached the only King of the Mountain (KOM) of the stage Millcreek Summit, team managers were urged to warn their riders about the enormous crowds lining the turns on the descent. A similar warning was issued as the pack headed into the finishing circuits at the Rose Bowl, a testament to the huge crowds that have turned out to watch the race throughout the past eight days.

At 48 miles into the race, three more riders joined the break to make it 10 strong, including Chris Baldwin (USA) of Rock Racing, Pieter Weening (NED) of Rabobank, Addy Engels (NED) of Quick Step, Martin Elmiger (SUI) of AG2R-La Mondiale, Markus Zberg (SUI) of Team BMC, Christian Vande Velde (USA) of Garmin-Slipstream, Schleck, Roulston, Hincapie and Nocentini.

After a series of attacks on the final two laps, Weening, Nocentini and Roulston opened up a gap that proved to be the winning move. The trio dueled to the finish with Nocentini beating out Roulston on the line. Leipheimer retained his overall lead with 36 seconds over David Zabriskie (USA) of Garmin-Slipstream heading in the final stage of the race tomorrow.

“This was a hard stage in the beginning,” added Leipheimer. “There were a lot of attacks with riders dangerous for the overall general classification. It took a while before there was a breakaway with which we could agree.”

Stage 8 of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California will feature a KOM competition up Mount Palomar, the highest point ever reached in the Amgen Tour of California. Floyd Landis (USA) of Ouch Presented by Maxxis trains on the mountain and provided a glimpse into what the riders can expect tomorrow.

“The climb is pretty consistent and it goes from a five or six percent grade to an eight percent grade,” said Landis. “It’s as hard of a climb as you’ll find anywhere, especially at this stage in the race. After a week-long stage race, a lot of guys are tired, so the peloton will probably split up easier.”

Francisco Mancebo (ESP) of Rock Racing who was previously the KOM leader crashed late in the stage and had to abandon due to medical needs.

Stage 7 brought only two changes to the jersey leaders. Vande Velde was awarded Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer™ Most Courageous Rider Jersey. Jason McCartney (USA) of Saxo Bank claimed the California Travel & Tourism Commission King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey. Leipheimer will retain the Amgen Leader Jersey, Mark Cavendish (GBR) of Team Columbia-Highroad the Herbalife Sprint Jersey and Robert Gesink (NED) of Rabobank the Rabobank Best Young Rider Jersey.

“With eight days of exhilarating racing behind us, we are looking forward to watching the finale of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California unfold in San Diego County tomorrow,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports. “The world-class field of riders competing for the overall win will make for a very thrilling conclusion to the most important professional cycling race in the United States.”

In celebration of the Breakaway from Cancer initiative, and in partnership with Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), Ginnifer Goodwin, Greg Grunberg, Luke Wilson, and SU2C founder and producer Laura Ziskin today attended the Stage 7 finish in Pasadena; Goodwin presented the leader jersey to Leipheimer and Wilson presented Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider Jersey to Vandevelde. Race title sponsor Amgen created the Breakaway from Cancer initiative in 2005 as a complementary component to its sponsorship. The initiative is designed to empower patients by connecting them to education, resources, and hope.

“My own mom is a cancer survivor and I know how much the love and support of her family and friends has meant to her,” said Goodwin from the awards stage. “I thank everyone for coming out to the Amgen Tour of California to be here with all our friends, to ride for life and to stand up to cancer!”

As ambassadors for SU2C, Goodwin, Grunberg, and Wilson attended the event to help raise awareness for the Breakaway from Cancer initiative, which has joined forces with SU2C and the Entertainment Industry Foundation.

“It takes a team to fight cancer, and I’m proud not only of the riders that have dedicated themselves to this race, but also that I’m able to help raise awareness about the resources that are available to cancer patients and their families,” said Grunberg. “The Stand Up To Cancer and Breakaway from Cancer partnership helps rally people around our common goal of educating people that they don’t have to fight cancer alone.”
For the latest information on the Breakaway from Cancer initiative and ways to support those living with the illness, visit

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Sunday, Feb. 22 – Escondido (96.8 mi/155.8 km)
Start Time: Noon PT
Estimated Finish Time: 3:50-4:30 p.m. PT

With the final stage of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California as a difficult point-to-point road race, there is a chance to see an overall lead change, as well as a change in the KOM jersey leader on the last day. With four climbs, including the highest point ever reached in the Amgen Tour of California, and two sprints, Stage 8, sponsored by Amgen, can easily be characterized as the most difficult final stage that the Amgen Tour of California has ever seen. The cyclists will have to fight through the very end of the race, due to the addition of Palomar Mountain (5,123 ft.). At 11.7 miles, a seven percent average grade, 4,200 feet of climbing and 21 switchbacks, Palomar Mountain will provide a challenging conclusion to the 2009 Amgen Tour of California. Organizers expect a hard sprint to the finish; as with all the Grand Tours of Europe, winning the final stage of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California is a prize coveted by the riders.

For full results, archived footage, GPS data, course information, race play-by-play and more, please visit the official race Web site at

(Go do source to get links)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tour Update

Rinaldo Nocentini wins Pasadena stage 7 in a sprint with three, Hincapie, Schleck and Vandevelde. source

Rinaldo Nocentini of AG2R holds of Hayden Roulston (CTT) and Pieter Weening (RAB) in another photo finish to win stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California. The day can be summed up by two expressions, "attack" and "counter attack." From start to finish an aggressive tempo was set by riders looking for a stage win.

Levi Leipheimer (AST) keeps the yellow jersey, but GC contenders George Hincapie (THR), Christian Vande Velde (GRM) and Frank Schlek (SAX) keep things interesting as the race enters stage 8 tomorrow as they took back a few minutes on Leipheimer's lead.

Stage one winner and King of the Mountain jersey wearer Francisco Mancebo (RR) had an unfortunate crash on the descent into Pasadena causing him to abandon the race. Jason McCartney (SAX) is now the new King of the mountain jersey wearer.

In arguably the most breathtaking stage of this year's tour, the riders set out on an 88.8 mile trek from Santa Clarita to Pasadena. A hilly and technical 25 mi gradual climb out of Santa Clarita was sure to get the blood pumping before the riders tackled the colossal Millcreek Summit (Cat 3, 4906 ft). A technical descent led into the final climb of the day (Angeles Crest), before the stage took a down hill turn into Pasadena. The stage concluded with five circuits around the Rose Bowl.

After winning yesterday's time trial, Levi Leiphemer began stage 7 as top man on GC. Leiphemer and team Astana had a tall task of trying to keep control of things early on. All the early commotion made it tough to keep an eye on the handful of GC contenders left in the race.

The stage set up nicely for the stage hunters as the early climbing provided an opportunity for separation from the main field. Realistically in the GC Astana had to keep their eyes on

It did not take long for the attacks to begin as Bernard Van Ulden of team Jelly Belly attacked at 0 km. Aggressive riding set the tone early as a floorie of attacks stung the peloton out early.

Oscar Sevilla (RRC) and Frank Schleck (SAX) pushed the pace on the first little descent of the day separating the peloton momentarily. They were followed by 15 riders, but 12 sec were all that were managed as the peloton stayed in tact. Separation from the front peloton was tough to come by for the attacks, unfortunately separation from the back seemed all too easy for tired legs as many riders failed to keep pace early.

Riders continued to ride aggressively as Rabobank rider Niermann Grischa and Trent Lowe of Garmin-Slipstream slipped off the front. Ben Jack-Maynes (BPC) and Tim Johnson were the first two to bridge the early gap but a handful of riders not wanting to be left out of the break chased them down before being reabsorbed by the peloton.

Over and hour of racing went by and riders from Garmin Slipstream, Rock Racing, Cervelo Test Team, and Saxo Bank continued to push the pace at the front of the peloton with attacks and counter attack. None of the attacks were maintained.

Familiar faces appeared near the front of the peloton in Jason McCartney (SAX) and Serge Pauwels (CTT) as the two attempted to separate from the group as they neared the first Herbalife Sprint. The sprint was won by Serge Pauwels pver Tyler Farrar and Michael Rogers.

Breaks of 10 riders, 11 riders and 8 riders continued attacks as they moved up the climb an hour and a half into the race. Team Astana continued to break up the attacks as Lance Armstrong (AST) chased down a break 31.5 mi into the race.

The pressure continued to be turned on as GC threats Frank Schleck +6'22" (SAX), George Hincapie +6'35" (THR), and Christian Vande Velde +7'13" (GRM) looked to cut into Leipheimer's lead as they joined in on a six man attack. The attack grew to seven as riders passed through the feed zone before the final push for the Millcreek Summit of. Others in the attack were Chris Baldwin (RRC), Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R), Pieter Weening (RAB), and Hayden Roulston (CTT).

The riders were greeted by a huge crowd as they approached the Millscreek KOM. Results: 1. Baldwin (RRC), 6 pts 2. Hayden Roulston, 5 pts 3. George Hincapie, 4 pts.

Astana continued to pull the peloton along over the top of the summit as the break looked to grew the lead to 2:55. Martin Elmiger (AG2R), Addy Engels (QST), and Marcus Zberg (BMC) joined in on the break away fun as the bridged the gap to the leaders at 48.3 mi.

Up over the Angeles Crest (55 mi) and the break began it's descent to Pasadena with at 3:40 lead on the peloton.

On the descent to Pasadena, Francisco Mancebo of Rock Racing, stage 1 winner and KOM jersey leader, went down hard and had to abandon the race. Jason McCartney is now the KOM leader on the road. Christian Vande Velde suffered a little misfortune as he caught a rear flat but was able to rejoin the break.

With the Rose Bowl in sight, the 10 man break entered the circuits with a 4:25 lead on the peloton. Massive crowds lined the streets to greet the riders.

Four laps to go in the circuit and the break (still working together) had a 3:35 lead.

Anxiety filled the break as early on in the second of five laps, Markus Zeberg (BMC) attacked the break. Without working together the gap fell to 3:28 and Astana continued to push hard on the front of the peloton.

Nocentini (AG2R) attacked next with Hincapie countering by jumping on his wheel. Zberg (BMC), Pauwels (CCT) and Frank Schleck (SAX) joined the two riders as the initial break split into two groups. Raston and Zberg.

On lap three of five the chase group regained the break to make it 10 strong once again. The gap back to the peloton was 3:30.

The break continued to jocky with two laps to go. Schleck (SAX) darted from the back of the break and took off. His effort looked like it might stick, but story of the day, he was brought back in.

Nocentini (AG2R), Weening (RAB) and Roulston (CTT) attacked next. Their attack broke out to 15 sec. Astana seemed content to allow the break to stay away as the gap held around 3:00. One km to go and it was on between the three.

Duking it out down the stretch each of the three tried to land the knock out punch, but in the end Rinaldo Nocentini of AG2R inched out Roulston for the victory at the line.

Provisonal Results Stage 7
1 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
2 Hayden Roulston (Nzl) Cervelo TestTeam
3 Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank
4 Marcus Zberg (Swi) BMC Racing Team
5 Martin Elminger (Swi) Ag2r-La Mondiale
6 Chris Baldwin (USA) Rock Racing
7 George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia-HighRoad
8 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
9 Christian Vandevelde (USA) Garmin-Slipstream
10 Addy Engels (Ned) Quick Step

General classification is unchanged after today's stage. With Levi Leipheimer of Astana in the Golden Fleece followed by Dave Zabriskie (Garmin) and Michael Rogers (Columbia-HighRoad) in the top three spots.

Tomorrows final stage: Stage 8: Rancho Bernardo-Escondido, 155,8 km
The final stage from Rancho Bernardo to Escondido over 155,8 km is not a usual one with a sprinters festival, but the riders have to face another climbing stage. The question is can Leipheimer and Astana hold off the attacks of Garmin, CSC and Columbia for the overall win.

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Saturday, Feb. 21 – Pasadena (88.9 mi/143 km)
Start Time: Noon PT
Estimated Finish Time: 3:15-3:50 p.m. PT
Satellite Feed Time: 4:30-4:45 p.m. PT (7:30-7:45 p.m. ET)

The race from Santa Clarita to Pasadena proved to be a difficult one during the final stage of the 2008 Amgen Tour of California, and this year will be no different. The first 25 miles of Stage 7, sponsored by Herbalife, includes a gradual climb from Santa Clarita, through Acton, to the intersection of Angeles Forest Road. The route continues uphill, showcasing the beauty of the San Gabriel Mountains, to the second highest elevation ever reached by the Amgen Tour of California on the towering Millcreek Summit (4,906 ft.). Descending with a 15-mile run to Angeles Crest Highway, the route begins a fast plunge to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. After more than 65 miles from Santa Clarita to Pasadena, with the mountains and the Rose Bowl serving as the backdrop, the peloton will complete the stage with five, five-mile laps on a very demanding circuit through the area surrounding the Rose Bowl. This course will provide a challenging, action-packed day leading up to the finale on Sunday.

Levi Leipheimer moved closer to a third straight Tour of California title with a triumph in the sixth stage, a key 24km individual time trial. source

Leipheimer Pedals Furiously to Inch Closer to Title
Published: February 20, 2009

SOLVANG, Calif. — As Levi Leipheimer’s legs furiously churned several final revolutions Friday, he was too exhausted to lift his arms over his head as he crossed the finish line at the Tour of California time trial.

Instead, he raised three fingers on his right hand.

Leipheimer’s gesture might have signaled to the crowd lining Copenhagen Street that he had just won his third consecutive time trial here.

But to the rest of the field, Leipheimer’s three-fingered salute could be taken as a sign that, once again, there would be no catching the two-time defending champion.

The pack of riders that began Friday trailing Leipheimer by at least 24 seconds had hoped to use the 15-mile time trial through the verdant hills surrounding this central California town as an opportunity to reel him back in.

Instead, Leipheimer won the stage by eight seconds to build his lead to 36 seconds over David Zabriskie and 46 seconds over Michael Rogers, a three-time United States time-trial winner and a three-time world champion time-trial winner. Of the 15 riders who began the day within a minute of Leipheimer, the only ones who remain are Zabriskie, who rides for Garmin-Slipstream, and Rogers of Columbia-Highroad.

Now, any assault on Leipheimer over the tour’s final two days will have to be undertaken against the entire Astana team, which has Lance Armstrong among its stable of support riders to protect Leipheimer.

Asked what it would take to beat Leipheimer, Zabriskie took a moment to ponder the question.

“It would take a lot of screwing up on their part,” Zabriskie said. “With the experience they have and the depth of their team — they know what they’re doing.”

Zabriskie paused again, before adding with a grin, “It would take a huge screw-up.”

As Zabriskie spoke, Leipheimer sat to his right, smiling sheepishly. Leipheimer is feeling so comfortable on his bike that he rode it into the news conference.

The only time he seemed to squirm in his seat was when it was suggested that the tour is over. Saturday’s 120-mile stage includes a gradual 3,200-foot climb before descending into the Rose Bowl, followed by Sunday’s finale, which includes a 11.7 mile climb up the 5,123-foot Mount Palomar, replete with 21 switchbacks.

“There are two tough stages left and anything can happen,” Leipheimer said. “After today, people have less and less to lose, so they’re more willing to throw caution to the wind, so they’ll come at us with everything. It’s going to be really tough.”

One of those who will not be gambling is Armstrong.

Racing in his first time trial since returning from a two-year retirement, Armstrong had an outfit that included black socks to match his black bicycle. It was the same $10,000 bike that had been stolen after last Saturday’s prologue in Sacramento and that was recovered by the police on Wednesday.

Despite having his bicycle back, Armstrong finished 1 minute 16 seconds behind his teammate Leipheimer. But with his eyes trained on this summer’s Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, he was not disappointed.

“I haven’t done anything like that in a long time,” said Armstrong, who dropped to sixth from fourth and is 1:46 behind Leipheimer. “It was a new sensation. I went as hard as I could. I wanted to be in the top 10, top 15, so I’m pleased with the result. There’s no pressure on me. This race is about Levi.”

Of course, that is not exactly true of any race that involves Armstrong. The cheers and clanging cowbells that greeted riders along the course were more vigorous when Armstrong rode by.

The course began and finished in Solvang, traversing through the undulating hills and passing Shetland pony farms, fruit trees and wineries that were the backdrop for the movie “Sideways.”

Such a serene setting belies the task of time trials. There is none of the relaxed riding that inevitably occurs in other stages, when riders might joke and chat during flat stretches. There are no breaks from the peloton.

“There’s no external motivation,” said Jonathan Vaughters, the director of Slipstream Sports and a former United States time-trial champion. “Nobody’s going to take off from the pack and dangle a carrot in front of you. In a time trial, all the motivation has to come internally. It’s all on you.”

The idea, he said, is to ride at such a steady, strong pace that 80 meters from the finish line, you are completely spent.

In that case, Leipheimer could not have ridden a better race. When he crossed the finish line late Friday afternoon, he only needed the strength to lift three fingers.

1 min Video Clip: Levi Leipheimer swoops in to win Stage 6


2009 Tour of California Set to Make a Big Finish
Reported by: Antonio Castelan
Last Update: 1:13 am

The final stage of the 2009 Tour of California begins in Rancho Bernardo and will wind its way to the finish-line in Escondido on Sunday. Businesses all along the bike route are getting ready for the race, which is projected to bring as much as $100-million to local merchants.
Workers at Vinz Wine Bar in downtown Escondido can't wait. Typically closed on Sundays, the bar will be open for business this weekend - and ready for the crowds.

She said, "We are just going to be crazy busy all day," said Tiffany Paster, who works at Vinz. "I hope the business stays, because our economy now is so low. I think this is a real good thing for our city."

The welcome signs are popping up all over. Nicole Madison from Escondido is beginning to scope out a spot to see the race. She tells San Diego 6 News, "It's a big thing for Escondido. It's great. I have two kids and they are excited."

Routes along San Pasqual Valley Road and El Norte Parkway will be shut down for the race, but that doesn't bother Escondido city leaders.

Escondido City Councilman Sam Abed said, "The entire city is excited about this event...and we are looking forward for Sunday. It's going to put our city on the international map."

The appearance of Lance Armstrong is enough to draw thousands, and Palomar Mountain is supposed to be one of the most exciting sections of the race.

"Palomar Mountain is an incredible challenge, because it has 21 switchbacks," explained Cami Mattson, the CEO of the North San Diego Visitors Bureau. "It is very comparable to the Alp Huez in France. There is a seven percent grade."

The 96.8 mile race is going to end right on Grand Avenue in Escondido. More than 40,000 people are expected to jam the streets, and that means parking is going to be rough. Mattson advises spectators to come early.

The racers are expected to start hitting the finish line at around 3:30 on Sunday. There will be designated parking lots for spectators to park their car and take a shuttle.

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