Team CSC's Stuart O'Grady finished third in Monday's 131-kilometer first stage of Tour of California, won by Juan José Haedo (Toyota-United Pro). Bobby Julich still leads Team CSC overall in second place, five seconds behind Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner).
CSC's main priority during stage one was protecting David Zabriskie and Bobby Julich for General Classification. Team Director Scott Sunderland told Cyclingnews after the stage that things went as planned for his team: "The finishing circuit was quite hazardous - there were 13 corners in the last lap so we decided not to take any risks and kept the boys out of harm's way. Dave is looking very good; he's cruising. Unfortunately Cancellara punctured in the last kilometre; hope he didn't lose too much time." In the end, Cancellara was given the same finish time as the bunch, although he crossed the line almost one minute down, because his mechanical happened in the last 1000m.
Sunderland was also satisfied with CSC's new sprinter. "Stuey was given carte blanche, if he could do something on his own, that was great," the team director said. "Stuey is riding very strongly here and he's eager. O'Grady's a very capable sprinter and as expected he was right up there to go for the stage win. The rest of the team stayed out of trouble, as was the plan."
Despite a crowded start site that saw O'Grady knocked off his bike by a photographer, CSC had a relatively calm day. "We just kept the guys together. In case it was needed, the team was there to assist Dave and Bobby," added Sunderland. "It's great racing in this weather: perfect conditions. The whole team is really motivated and we're definitely going for it."