Zabriskie takes lead

2010-05-19 06:15

California - American David Zabriskie won the third stage of the Tour of California by inches over Michael Rogers of Australia to take over the race lead on Tuesday. 

Zabriskie won the 113.3-mile (182.3-kilometer)stage from San Francisco to Santa Cruz in 40 hours, 26 minutes and 10 seconds. He leads Rogers by 4 seconds overall.

Lance Armstrong finished 14th and was 12th overall, 27 seconds back.

"The final climb was long and hard," said Zabriskie, who has twice finished second overall in the four previous races but never won a stage. "We were just trying to hold off the chase group." Three-time defending race champ Levi Leipheimer was third, also in the same time as the top two finishers. He's 6 seconds behind Zabriskie.

The top three finishers all began the third stage in a group of 20, trailing Australian Brett Lancaster by 10 seconds.

"I screwed up the finish," said Leipheimer, the third-place finisher in the 2007 Tour de France. "I knew about the final corner, but Dave got the jump on us. I closed the gap to Mick (Rogers), but it was just too short to the finish to do anything." Lancaster fell to 36th place overall after finishing 51st in the stage.

The fourth stage of the eight-day race will be a 121.5-mile (195.5-kilometer) road race Wednesday from San Jose to Modesto.