MARK CAVENDISH KICKS OFF 10th ANNIVERSARY AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA WITH 2nd CONSECUTIVE STAGE WIN IN SACRAMENTO

May 10, 2015

Sacramento Stage 1 Delivers Another Epic Sprinter Shootout and Legions of Fans

SACRAMENTO (May 10, 2015) – The 10th anniversary of the Amgen Tour of California began big, with the longest ride of this year’s 8-stage race (126.2 miles) beginning and ending at the California State Capitol building in Sacramento where Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team’s Mark Cavendish (GBR) rocketed to his 10th stage win of the 2015 season.

A site of some of the most well-attended stages and memorable sprinter shootouts in race history, including last year’s photo finish that Cavendish (GBR) claimed over John Degenkolb (GER) by less than 1/4 of an inch, the rider from the Isle of Man won his sixth overall stage and second consecutive Sacramento stage win.   

An early breakaway of four riders lasted most of the nearly five hour day of racing, with the gap approaching 7 minutes early on. The 143 cyclists representing 18 teams from around the world ambled through nearby small towns, over dirt and gravel roads – which led to mechanical issues for some and a withdrawal from a local favorite – and made several river crossings on today’s beautiful course, including two passes over the iconic Tower Bridge.

The halfway point of the race saw the gap steadily closing, down to 5 minutes, with Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team continuing to set the peloton’s pace as they had for much of the ride, working early to position 25-time Tour de France stage winner Cavendish to take his sixth Amgen Tour of California win today, which ties him for second of all-time.

Drapac Professional Cycling’s William Clarke (AUS) and Team SmartStop’s Robert Sweeting (USA) were the last two standing in the breakaway as they approached the downtown Sacramento circuit. Clarke earned the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey for his role in the breakaway and claiming maximum points at every Sprint line up until the finish.

The final of three circuits saw Tinkoff-Saxo leading the field with Amgen Tour of California stage win record holder (11) Peter Sagan (SVK) ready to pounce and Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team biding their time to lead out Cavendish. While other teams with sprinters in the hunt for the stage win worked to get their men in position, no one was a match today for Cavendish and his teammate Mark Renshaw (AUS), who delivered him decisively over the finish ahead of Sagan, also putting him at the top of the Sprint classification.

Some of the most decorated sprinters in the sport are racing in the 2015 Amgen Tour of California. With several stages primed to deliver jaw-dropping sprint performances, today’s result sets up a battle for the overall green jersey, which Sagan has won five years running. Cavendish won the overall green jersey six years ago.

STAGE 1 PODIUM
1. Mark Cavendish (GBR), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team
2. Peter Sagan (SVK), Tinkoff-Saxo
3. Jean-Pierre Drucker (LUX), BMC Racing Team

STAGE 1 JERSEY WINNERS
Amgen Race Leader Jersey: Mark Cavendish (GBR), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team
Visit California Sprint Jersey: Mark Cavendish (GBR), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team
Amgen Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey: William Clarke (AUS), Drapac Professional Cycling
SRAM Best Young Rider Jersey: Zico Waeytens (BEL), Team Giant-Alpecin

Celebrating its 10th year, the Amgen Tour of California is the most esteemed stage race in the U.S. Amgen has been the title sponsor of the race since its first year.

For 35 years, Amgen has been pioneering science to help patients suffering from serious illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Through its title sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California, Amgen is raising awareness of the important resources available to patients through the Breakaway from Cancer® initiative.  

Breakaway from Cancer was created by Amgen in 2005 and represents a partnership with four nonprofit organizations – Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community, Patient Advocate Foundation and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. Together, these organizations offer a broad range of services complementing those provided by a patient’s team of healthcare professionals, from prevention to survivorship. 

Amgen will honor and celebrate cancer survivors and their support networks at each stage of the 2015 Amgen Tour of California. Throughout the week, cyclists will wear Breakaway from Cancer “I Ride For” bibs recognizing someone in their life impacted by cancer.

For access to resources or to learn more, visit breakawayfromcancer.com.

STAGE 2 TOMORROW, PRESENTED BY BREAKAWAY FROM CANCER:
Saturday, May 11 – Nevada City to Lodi (120.4 miles)
Start Time: 11 a.m. PDT
Estimated Finish Time: 3:51 p.m. PDT

Fans can cheer on the world-class cyclists as they travel across the state or catch the action with the free Amgen Tour of California app for tablets and mobile devices. More information on ways to watch is available at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.

For further information about the Amgen Tour of California and to experience the race like never before with VIP Access, please visit 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. Amgen Tour of California is listed on the international professional cycling calendar (2 HC, meaning “beyond category”), awarding important, world-ranking points to the top finishers. More information is available at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.

This year, the men’s course will traverse more than 700 miles and wind through 13 host cities, including Sacramento, Nevada City, Lodi, San Jose, Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Big Bear Lake, Ontario, Mt. Baldy, L.A. LIVE (Downtown Los Angeles) and Pasadena. The women’s three-day stage race will travel more than 150 miles through South Lake Tahoe and Sacramento, followed by a 15-mile Invitational Time Trial in Big Bear Lake.

About Amgen
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 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.

About AEG
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, Mercedes-Benz Arena, Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE and Best Buy Theater Times Square; sports franchises including the LA Kings (NHL), two Major League Soccer franchises, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers; 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.

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Media Contacts:

Michael Roth, AEG
213-742-7155
mroth@aegworldwide.com

Eileen Tanner, Golin
213-304-9350
etanner@golin.com

Diana Valdez, Golin
213-438-8759
dvaldez@golin.com