Cavendish The Sprinter To Beat At Tour of California Stage 2

Cavendish_ATOC_Stage2_2015_CORVOS

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

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

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