FOLSOM (May 12, 2014) – A new race leader emerged following Stage 2 of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California, with Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins (GBR) crushing the individual time trial event to capture the stage win with a margin of 44 seconds, as well as the Amgen Race Leader Jersey.
Presented by Michelob Ultra, Stage 2 held in the first-time host city of Folsom presented the cyclists with a fast and flat 12.5-mile, 8-corner time trial course that was made for speed. Team Garmin-Sharp’s Rohan Dennis (AUS), who finished third in last year’s Amgen Tour of California time trial, posted the time to beat early on, which held until Wiggins took the platform. The 2012 Tour de France champion, who won Olympic gold in the time trial the same year, turned in a spectacularly fast performance and became the only rider of the day to complete the course in less than 24 minutes for a final time of 23:18. Wiggins averaged a speed of 32 mph, a full mile per hour faster than the second-place Australian rider, who finished the day 44 seconds behind Wiggins.
“You have a plan in your head as to how you imagine you’re going to come out at the end of today, and so far it’s probably a bit better than I imagined,” said Wiggins in the NBC Sports Network telecast. “I think it’s going to be a tough week now. I think tomorrow the race can really start. As big as the gaps may be now, everyone is in with a chance.”
Wiggins is the second British rider to wear yellow this year, with the coveted leader jersey changing hands from Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team’s Mark Cavendish, who dropped to 18thplace overall after today but retained the Visit California Sprint Leader Jersey. BMC Racing Team’s Taylor Phinney (USA), an early favorite for today’s stage and tenth overall after yesterday, settled for a strong third place finish (+:52).
“I thought it would be a bit closer but when [Wiggins is] flying, he’s really flying, and he showed that today; kind of in a class of his own. I think I could have had a better result but I gave it everything I had, and that’s really what it’s all about, so I guess I have to be satisfied,” said Phinney (Boulder, Colo.).
Other jerseys awarded today include the Crunchies Best Young Rider Jersey to Team Giant-Shimano’s Lawson Craddock (Austin, Texas), while the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey remains with Team Novo Nordisk’s Charles Planet (FRA) and the Michelob Ultra King of the Mountain Jersey remains with Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies’ Will Routley (CAN).
WOMEN’S TIME TRIAL CAPTIVATES CROWD EARLIER IN THE DAY
Prior to the start of the men’s race, 20 of the best women time trialists in the world competed on the same course. The invitation-only group included three riders representing the teams with podium finishes in yesterday’s Sacramento women’s circuit race.
After a strong performance at yesterday’s circuit race and narrowly missing a podium finish herself, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team’s Alison Powers (USA) clinched her first Amgen Tour of California time trial victory today, setting the pace during her entire ride for a final time of 27:20.65. Powers, who holds National Championship time trial and criterium titles, placed second in the past two Amgen Tour of California women’s time trial races. Yesterday’s circuit race third-place finisher, Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies’ Brianna Walle (USA), had another strong performance today to take second place (+:21) behind Powers. Tayler Wiles (USA) of Team Specialized-lululemon finished in third place (+:25), just ahead of her teammate and last year’s time trial champion Evelyn Stevens (USA), who took fourth place (+:26).
“Long fast downhills and short uphills. I like that,” said Alison Powers UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team. “I’m a little bigger and can carry some speed.”
As part of the today’s race activities, Folsom resident and cancer survivor Lorraine Poggione fired the official start gun and cancer survivor Lyn Gerard, of Lodi, Calif. had the honor of awarding Charles Planet (FRA) of Team Novo Nordisk the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider jersey.
“At Amgen, we are passionate about serving patients. We have reached millions of people with our medicines in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, bone disease and other serious illnesses,” said Ray Jordan, senior vice president, Corporate Affairs, Amgen. “Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative medicines. Through our title sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California, we are able to raise awareness of the contributions the biotechnology industry makes toward advances in medicine while also helping those impacted by cancer through Breakaway from Cancer.”
Amgen created Breakaway from Cancer® in 2005 as a complementary component to its sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California. Breakaway from Cancer is a national initiative to increase awareness of important resources available to people affected by cancer – from prevention through survivorship. It represents a collaboration between Amgen and four nonprofit organizations – Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community, Patient Advocate Foundation and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. These organizations offer a broad range of support services complementing those provided by a patient’s team of healthcare professionals.
For access to resources or to learn more, visit breakawayfromcancer.com.
From iconic ocean vistas to mountaintop finishes to desert scapes, the cyclists will cover more than 720 miles of beautiful and varying California terrain this week as they ride from the north to the south of the state in the ninth annual Tour de France-style competition.
STAGE 3 TUESDAY, PRESENTED BY MICHELOB ULTRA:
Tuesday, May 13 – San Jose to Mount Diablo State Park (108.5 mi)
Start Time: 10:45 a.m. PDT
Estimated Finish Time: 3:45 p.m. PDT
Satellite Feed Time: 4:50 – 5 p.m. PT
Coordinates can be found at http://amgentourofcalifornia.com/uploads/images/news/2014-stage3-tipsheet.pdf
Tomorrow’s Stage 3 is the “Queen Stage,” culminating at the summit of Mount Diablo. The day will begin at the Lake Cunningham Regional Park on the east side of San Jose, which has the distinction of hosting a stage of every edition of the Amgen Tour of California. While the racers won’t see the south face of Mount Hamilton from the start line, they will feel the beginning of the climb just five miles into the stage – the first time the course has winded this way to the summit of Mount Hamilton. With 22 switchbacks, the long and steep climb is sure to be lined with thousands of spectators. The descent route will be shorter than the ascent, but steeper and much more technical. The long, rolling San Antonio Valley Road will quickly give way to twisty Mines Road, where it will be easy for a breakaway to form and quickly be out of sight of the peloton. As the riders skirt the east side of Livermore, the race will hook into last year’s route to Danville and the approach to Mount Diablo. The race up Mount Diablo to the first summit finish in 2013 will still be fresh in many of the rider’s minds… the initial climb, the flat run to “The Junction“ and the final relentless push to the finish. The winner of the stage will almost certainly wear yellow on the podium. The question for the teams will be whether to defend the leader jersey for the rest of the race or save themselves for this year’s second mountaintop finish during Stage 6.
There are plenty of ways to take in the pro action, whether in person on the race course through May 18, via daily broadcasts on NBC Sports Network and NBC Sports (final Sunday), or by downloading the free Tour Tracker app, which features live race updates, rider background and full race results. More information on all of the ways to watch is available at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
About the Amgen Tour of California
The Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race created and presented by AEG that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course that traverses hundreds of miles of California’s iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring. The teams chosen to participate have included Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and World Champions. More information is available at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.
Amgen focuses on areas of high-unmet medical need and leverages its biologics manufacturing expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people’s lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be the world’s largest independent biotechnology company, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential. For more information, visit www.amgen.com and follow us on www.twitter.com/amgen.
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, StubHub Center, Sprint Center, The O2, Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE and Best Buy Theater Times Square; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), two Major League Soccer franchises, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Amgen Tour of California cycling road race; AEG Live, the organization’s live-entertainment division, is a collection of companies dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance, touring and a variety of programming and multi-media production. For more information, visit AEG today at www.aegworldwide.com.