CAVENDISH CLOSES IN ON SAGAN WITH 7 AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA STAGE WINS AFTER EXPLOSIVE PHOTO FINISH IN LODI

May 11, 2015

Sprinter Battle Re-Ignites for Second Consecutive Day with Sagan and Cavendish Neck and Neck at the Finish

LODI, Calif. (May 11, 2015) – It was another day for the sprinters and no shortage of virtual fireworks for the 10th anniversary Amgen Tour of California as Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team’s Mark Cavendish (GBR) blasted over the finish line to his second stage win in the first two days of racing.

At the Nevada City start of Stage 2, presented by Breakaway from Cancer®, BMC Racing Team’s Daniel Oss (ITA) and Trek Factory Racing’s Markel Irizar Aranburu (ESP) escaped and were followed in short order by Cuba’s Luis Romero Amaran of Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home and Robin Carpenter (USA) of Hincapie Racing Team.

The breakaway held off the peloton for most of the 120.4-mile stage, with the gap hovering around 5 minutes midway through the race. Reminiscent of yesterday’s ride, Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team set the pace in the peloton on the downhill jaunt into first-time host city Lodi. They cranked it up inside the 20-mile mark, angling to catch the break and send their sprinter Cavendish (GBR) to his second stage win of the race.

Amaran was the first to succumb, with the others falling back into the fold on the second of the two 2.2-mile circuits lined with thousands of fans in downtown Lodi. A crash while preparing to round a corner on the first circuit took out several riders in the middle of the pack, including race veteran Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) of Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home, who has competed in all 10 Amgen Tour of California editions and was making his final race appearance.  Unfortunately, the resident of nearby Watsonville, CA, Jacques-Maynes suffered a separated shoulder, the loss of a couple of teeth and minor cuts to his face and was unable to finish the race.

During the final circuit, Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team, Tinkoff-Saxo and Drapac Professional Cycling all formed lead-out trains, ready to propel their sprinters in the final meters. In a frenzied sprint, which saw Cavendish momentarily boxed in, Drapac’s Wouter Wippert (NED) had the lead going into the home stretch. In an explosive maneuver, Cavendish whipped by him on one side with Tinkoff-Saxo’s Peter Sagan (SVK) on the other as they lunged together over the line for a photo finish. Cavendish, with 146 career wins to his credit, took the stage by centimeters, making him the second all-time Amgen Tour of California stage winner (7), behind Sagan (11) who has two second place finishes in this year’s race.

“To be fair, on the line, I didn't even know if I’d got it,” said Cavendish. “I’m happy I could win after the hard work of Etixx – Quick-Step today.”

Cavendish leads the general classification, with Sagan trailing by :8 and Carpenter and yesterday’s breakaway leader William Clarke (AUS) of Drapac Professional Cycling at :11.

Southern California resident Carpenter took maximum points at all three Sprint lines on the course and was the first to crest the only categorized climb of the race on Highway 49, which earned the 22-year-old the Lexus King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey and the SRAM Best Young Rider Jersey today.

STAGE 2 PODIUM
1. Mark Cavendish (GBR), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team
2. Peter Sagan (SVK), Tinkoff-Saxo
3. Wouter Wippert (NED), Drapac Professional Cycling

STAGE 2 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
Lexus King of the Mountain Jersey: Robin Carpenter (USA), Hincapie Racing Team
Amgen Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey: Markel Irizar Aranburu (ESP), Trek Factory Racing
SRAM Best Young Rider Jersey: Robin Carpenter (USA), Hincapie Racing Team

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.

Today, Amgen recognized cancer survivor and Lodi, Calif. resident Kelsey Walters as a local Breakaway from Cancer® Champion.  Walters was just seven years old when she was diagnosed with cancer. Now cancer free for 16 years, she and her family have dedicated their lives to helping other families whose children are being treated for cancer. Before today’s cyclist finish, Walters led 150 community members in the Breakaway Mile, a special walk along the race course and across the finish line to honor the millions of cancer survivors worldwide.   

Today’s Breakaway Mile walk was part of Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer®, a national initiative to raise awareness of important resources available to people affected by cancer – from prevention to survivorship.  

Breakaway from Cancer also celebrated cancer survivor Kayle Martin, Nevada City, Calif. as the official race starter and Walters presented the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider Jersey to cancer survivor Markel Irizar Aranburu, who has conquered testicular cancer and rode most of today’s 120-mile stage out front in the breakaway.

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

STAGE 3 TOMORROW, PRESENTED BY SRAM:
Tuesday, May 12 – San Jose (105.7 miles)
Start Time: 11:45 a.m. PDT
Estimated Finish Time: 3:50 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
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mroth@aegworldwide.com

Eileen Tanner, Golin
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etanner@golin.com

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