Levi Leipheimer pedaled himself into a unique position Thursday. He rode to a solo victory in stage 2 of the Tour of Utah and now leads the six-day race, also as a solo rider.
Leipheimer (RadioShack) is competing in the event wearing the Mellow Johnny’s jersey, the name of Lance Armstrong’s bike shop in Austin, Texas.
It’s the same situation in which the Santa Rosa-based rider and others on RadioShack, including Armstrong, have been allowed to compete in recent years in national level, non-UCI ProTour level races.
Leipheimer won the Tour of the Gila in May in New Mexico for the second straight year while wearing the Mellow Johnny’s kit.
The winner last Saturday in his debut in the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race in Colorado, Leipheimer pedaled to 51-second solo win in the hilly 126.3-kilometer Thanksgiving Point to Mount Nebo road race in 3 hours, 11 minutes and 43 seconds.
With the stage victory, Leipheimer assumed a 56-second advantage over Francisco Mancebo, who placed second in the stage. Darren Lill, fourth in the stage, is now third overall, trailing Leipheimer by 1:16.
Leipheimer will be favored to retain his lead in the 14.8-kilometer third stage individual time trial in Miller Motorsports Park on Friday. But he will not have team support for the weekend’s fourth and fifth stages.
Stage 2 Top-10
1. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Mellow Johnny’s, 3:11:43
2. Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) Canyon Bicycles, 0:00:51
3. Ian Boswell (USA) BISSELL Pro Cycling Team, 0:00:52
4. Darren Lill (RSA) Fly V Australia, 0:01:00
5. Philip Zajicek (USA) Fly V Australia, same time.
6. Jonathan McCarty (USA) Team Rio Grande, s.t.
7. Maxim Jenkins (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling p/b Maxxis, s.t.
8. Tyler Wren (USA) Jamis/Sutter Home p/b Colavita, s.t.
9. Cesar Grajales (Col) On The Rivet p/b Ion Sports Nutrition, s.t.
10. Tim Roe (Aus) Trek-LIVESTRONG, s.t.
Overall Standings (After 2 stages)
1. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Mellow Johnny’s, 6:40:36
2. Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) Canyon Bicycles, 0:00:56
3. Darren Lill (RSA) Fly V Australia, 0:01:16
4. Ian Boswell (USA) BISSELL Pro Cycling Team, same time.
5. Philip Zajicek (USA) Fly V Australia, 0:01:34