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JJ Haedo (CSC)
Team CSC's Juan José Haedo took his second stage in this year's Tour of California by being fastest...
Team CSC's Juan José Haedo took his second stage in this year's Tour of California by being fastest in the bunch sprint, which decided Saturday's 170-kilometer sixth stage from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita. This makes Haedo the rider with most victories in the race, as he also won two stages last year.
Earlier in the stage, it was teammate Stuart O'Grady who attacked in an attempt to take the leader's jersey from Discovery Channel's Levi Leipheimer. O'Grady joined a nine-man breakaway, which was caught with just three kilometers to go.
"We focused 100 percent on keeping Stuart in the decisive break, but when it turned out we couldn't I tried to prepare for a sprint finish," said the Argentinean sprinter after the stage. "I was lucky to catch the right wheel with about 500 meters to go. Obviously I had hoped for another stage win, but it's one thing to hope for it and another to actually pull it off, so it's really big for me to take this victory."
Sports director Kim Andersen was also satisfied by the team's efforts to get the yellow jersey of leading rider - even if this didn't work out, plan B for Haedo to take the stage win was successful. "We went on the attack right from the start," he commented. "We'd agreed to do everything to try and take the overall victory and not just sit back and watch. It's a shame Stuart wasn't able to make it all the way, cause he's been on really good form and has also worked really hard for his teammates in this race. He did a fantastic stage and tried to get away about 10 times before making the big, nine-man break. And of course it's great that we have a guy like Haedo, who retaliated by winning the stage in the end."