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An other great day for Jackson Stewart after his victory last week at the Napa Cherry Pie. (Photo by Mark Adkinson)
An other great day for Jackson Stewart after his victory last week at the Napa Cherry Pie. (Photo by Mark Adkinson)

Jackson Stewart - The American Flyer

19. February 2008

Santa Rosa

To his surprise and the pleasure of his team management, Jackson Stewart spent the majority of his time in an epic solo breakaway in the first road stage of the 2008 Tour of California. 

As the race rode from Sausalito to Santa Rosa, Stewart found himself riding away from the pack without the company of any other racers. 

Was it your plan to get into a breakaway like this today?

Jackson Stewart: Not really.  We always plan to ride aggressively so when the first attack went off, I chased along with another rider.  It was a spur of the moment decision, and when no one went with me and I was off the front alone, I got a gap and just decided to ride.  It’s not really what I planned, but just happened.

At one point you had nearly 13 minutes.  Did you think you could get so much time, especially on such a rolling course?

JS: I didn’t really know what to expect, but it is not uncommon for something like this to happen, especially when you are a guy on your own.  The pack knows that there are nearly 200 guys ready to reel in one rider back, so the odds are they will be able to do it, even when someone gets a bit of time.

Where did you finish in the pack?

JS: I held onto the main group through the first circuit, but then the speeds got really high so I dropped back and finished in the second group. 

When it was pretty clear you would be reeled in, the team car gave you several bottles to ride with, but you were stuck with them for a good 15 or 20 minutes before you were swallowed up by the peloton.  What was the reason for that?

JS: Yeah, well we knew I would be back in the group and we were about to hit the place where feeding from the car is no longer allowed, so the least I could do was to take on board some extra water to distribute to the rest of the guys. 

You are the King of the Mountains and the Most Aggressive rider for the stage now.  Will you defend that tomorrow?

JS: Well, I don’t know.  I feel pretty tired of course, so my chances of defending are not too good.  We’ll definitely wait to see how I feel in the morning. I’d like to defend, but we’ll have to see.