May 15, 2017
The Peloton Heads for California’s Central Coast with Tomorrow’s 120-mile Trek from Pismo Beach to Morro Bay
SAN JOSE, Calif. (May 15, 2017) – BORA-hansgrohe’s Rafal Majka, the Tour de France’s defending King of the Mountain, claimed his first victory since becoming Poland’s National Road Race Champion on today’s Amgen Tour of California Stage 2. A difficult day of climbing from Modesto to San Jose shattered the leader board with Amgen Race Leader Jersey wearer Marcel Kittel (GER) and several other sprinters dropped from the peloton as they tackled the steep terrain. When the final results were tabulated, ten riders were with one minute off the overall race lead.
“I remember riding here in 2011, which was my first year as a pro, and now I’m so happy to win this stage, not only for me but also my teammates. We had a really nice group at the front with strong riders….We went fast to the end,” said Majka, who won bronze in the 2016 Olympic Games Road Race.
With about five miles and a final climb to go, a lead group containing Majka (POL), Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s George Bennett (NZL), Team Sky’s Ian Boswell (Bend, Oregon) and Team Dimension Data’s Lachlan Morton (AUS) moved forward with two chase groups not far behind. The nearest of those, about 50 seconds back, included Bennett’s teammate and 2012 Amgen Tour of California champion Robert Gesink (NED).
After attacking 50km from the finish, Bennett came across the line on Majka’s wheel, with Boswell rolling in a seconds later, followed by Morton, who returns to a WorldTour team this year and earned today’s TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey. In addition to taking the overall race lead, Majka as also won the Stage’s Visit California Sprint Jersey and sits two seconds ahead of Bennett as the overall race leader. Boswell trails the race leader by 14 seconds with Morton another two seconds back. Gesink pulled uphill to the front of his chase group to place fifth for the stage as well in the overall. Bennett's key uphill attack 50km from the finish also earned him the Breakaway from Cancer® / Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Most Courageous Rider Jersey.
Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling’s Tom Skujiņš (LAT) demonstrated early in today’s stage that he was out to repeat history, having won a similar stage in 2015. Skujiņš was part of a breakaway about a third of the way into the 89.8-mile race. He summited first on the biggest climb of the day, the 4.3-mile categorized climb up and over Mt. Hamilton, putting him in the lead of the King of the Mountain (KOM) competition, but a crash on the descent caused team management to end his race day shortly after briefly returning to his bike.
Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling issued the following statement earlier this evening: “Toms Skujins sustained a concussion, broken left collarbone and road rash in a crash during the Amgen Tour of California's second stage. Medical evaluation is ongoing. Skujins is now in our internal concussion protocol, meaning he will work closely with our medical staff while following a “return to play” program that puts his health above all else.”
Competition in the mountains came from United Healthcare Pro Cycling Team’s 26-year old Columbian rider Daniel Jaramillo, who in his second season with the team, rode in the breakaway to take maximum points on the first three of five KOM climbs today to earn the Lexus King of the Mountain Jersey.
Tomorrow’s Stage 3 presented by TAG Heuer is a day for the sprinters, stretching 119.6 miles from Pismo Beach to Morro Bay, winding through the beautiful Central Coast and offering two Sprints in San Luis Obispo and Orcutt.
Stage 2 Podium
Stage 2 Jersey Winners
Breakaway from Cancer® / Breakaway from Heart Disease™
Breakaway from Cancer®, created by Amgen in 2005, is a national initiative to raise awareness of important resources available to people affected by cancer – from prevention to survivorship. The four independent, nonprofit partner organizations that collaborate on the Breakaway from Cancer® initiative – Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community, Patient Advocate Foundation and National Coalition for Survivorship – offer a broad range of services complementing those provided by a patient’s team of healthcare professionals.
As part of Amgen’s effort to honor and celebrate cancer survivors and to raise awareness of its Breakaway from Cancer® initiative, a Breakaway Mile walk took place this morning in Modesto before the official race start. Approximately 200 community members walked along the race course to honor the millions of cancer survivors worldwide.
For more information about Breakaway from Cancer, visit breakawayfromcancer.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.
The first-ever U.S. UCI WorldTour course will cover more than 575 miles through 12 Host Cities May 14-20, including Sacramento, Modesto, San Jose, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Ontario, Mt. Baldy, Big Bear Lake, Mountain High and Pasadena.
The Amgen Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Women's Race empowered with SRAM May 11-14 covered more than 250 miles through South Lake Tahoe, Elk Grove and Sacramento. More information is available at 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 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 one of the world's leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, AEG is the world's leading sports venue and live entertainment company. With offices on five continents, AEG operates in the following business segments: AEG Facilities, which is affiliated with or owns, manages or consults with more than 120 preeminent arenas, stadiums, theaters, clubs and convention centers around the world including The O2 Arena, the Sprint Center and the Mercedes-Benz Arenas; AEG Presents, which is dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performances, including producing and promoting global and regional concert tours, music and special events and world-renowned festivals; AEG Real Estate, which develops world-class venues, as well as major sports and entertainment districts like STAPLES Center and L.A. LIVE; AEG Sports, which is the world's largest operator of sports franchises and high-profile sporting events; and AEG Global Partnerships, which oversees worldwide sales and servicing of sponsorships including naming rights, premium seating and other strategic partnerships. Through its worldwide network of venues, portfolio of powerful sports and music brands and its integrated entertainment districts, AEG entertains more than 100 million guests annually. More information about AEG can be found at www.aegworldwide.com.
# # #
Michael Roth, AEG
Josh Levitt, Canvas Blue