British cyclist Ben Swift took home the opening stage victory in the 2011 Tour of California, following a snowout of stage one. Stage 2 became the opening stage and that stage was both delayed and shortened to accommodate for snow storms throughout the Lake Tahoe region. The stage began at Nevada City and made its way to Sacramento and was just over half the distance of the originally scheduled route.
Swift commented on his victory and how the shortened race made for a wild finish:
“Luckily, we got to start today and it was my opportunity to go for the win,” said Swift. “The shortened circuit we raced today meant fresh riders and a quicker finish. We had a plan to hit the front of the circuit with one lap to go. It was a pretty long circuit and you needed to ride fast. We were able to come over the top and take control on the final lap. You need to ride together and everyone did the job 100 percent.”
The final rush to the finish featured Swift’s Sky Procycling, as well as UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling and Liquigas-Cannondale. Upon completion of the Sprint, Swift was awarded the Amgen Race Leader Jersey and Herbalife Sprint Jersey. American James Driscoll earned Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey, which recognizes his strong performance in the breakaway. The Rabobank Best Young Rider Jersey went to Peter Sagan (SVK) of Liquigas-Cannondale. The California Travel & Tourism King of the Mountains (KOM) Jersey was not awarded today because the altered route eliminated the only KOM climb of the stage.