Riders Will Contest the Week’s Longest Stage Tomorrow from King City to Technical Finish at Laguna Seca Recreation Area
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (May 14, 2018) – With just over 2k left to ride to the summit of Gibraltar Road, Team Sky’s 21-year-old Egan Bernal (COL) attacked and swiftly climbed away to a solo victory to close out Stage 2 of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California. Tao Geoghegan Hart and his Team Sky teammates set an unyielding pace all the way up the steep grade in support of lead rider Bernal to help launch him to his fourth victory of the 2018 season, shoring up the race lead as well as nearly all of the classification wins with today’s epic climb and overall performance.
“We wanted to do a really hard stage. I think in the last part it was the most important part of the race, and we tried to do it the hardest possible,” said Bernal. “I’m so happy because the team did a really good job, and I’m so happy to be in this great team.”
Team Sky’s tempo up the categorized climb caused several of the lead group filled with GC hopefuls to fall back. Those who remained when Bernal attacked included LottoNL-Jumbo’s Antwan Tolhoek (NED) and BMC Racing Team’s Tejay van Garderen (USA), who pursued aggressively, but were overtaken in the final kilometers. BORA-hansgrohe’s Rafal Majka (POL), who won last year’s mountainous Stage 2, claimed second place for the stage today with Mitchelton-SCOTT’s Adam Yates (GBR) in third.
Bernal, also the reigning Columbian National Time Trial Champion, gained valuable seconds today over other time trail specialists who will be looking to make up time on that event Wednesday in San Jose / Morgan Hill.
21-year-old Bernal – who will wear the Amgen Race Leader Jersey tomorrow – also closed out the day with the TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey, Lexus King of the Mountain Jersey and the Visit California Sprint Jersey.
Holowesko|Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources’ Ruben Companioni (CUB) earned the Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey for his part in today’s breakaway that formed soon after the race left a beautiful oceanside start in Ventura and also contained Rally Cycling’s Adam De Vos (CAN) and UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling’s Jonny Clarke (AUS). The trio was brought back by the peloton just before the start of the Gibraltar Road climb.
The Queen Stage came early this year with Stage 2 presented by Lexus leading cyclists 97.6 miles from first-time host Ventura to a fan-favorite finish atop Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara County. The stage featured 7,700’ in elevation gain and a 3,100’ climb over the final eight miles. The race course showed some of the devastation – and the community’s road to recovery with thriving businesses that have reopened and were seen celebrating along the route – from fires and mudslides around the start of the year.
Tomorrow attention turns to the race’s longest stage with a 122.4-mile stretch featuring six KOMs over and 8,300’ of elevation gain from King City to Laguna Seca Recreation Area, where the field will contest a fast, technical sprint finish.
The 2018 edition of America’s premier cycling stage race will cover 645 miles of roadways, highways and coastlines during seven stages from Long Beach to Sacramento
May 13-19, while the Amgen Tour of California Women's Race empowered with SRAM, showcasing the world’s best women cyclists, will run concurrently May 17-19, covering upward of 187 miles over three stages. The annual professional cycling events are the only U.S. races on the UCI WorldTour calendar and continue to attract some of the most renowned cyclists and teams in the world.
Returning as title sponsor for the 13th consecutive year, Amgen, a biotechnology company in the race to dramatically improve patients’ lives, is proud to sponsor the Amgen Tour of California.
“The Amgen Tour of California allows Amgen to raise awareness of some of the world’s most serious illnesses, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as connect with patients through programs running in tandem with the race,” said Laura Hamill, senior vice president, U.S. Business Operations, Amgen. “Amgen is headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California, and we are proud to sponsor this event that promotes the beautiful state of California, encourages a healthy lifestyle and stimulates the local economy.”
Leveraging its title sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California, Amgen is raising awareness and connecting with patients through its Breakaway from Cancer® and Breakaway from Heart Disease™ initiatives.
Breakaway from Cancer®, created by Amgen in 2005, is a national initiative to raise awareness of the important resources available to people impacted by cancer – from prevention to survivorship. Through its four independent, non-profit partner organizations – Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community, Patient Advocate Foundation and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship -- Breakaway from Cancer® helps connect patients and caregivers to important resources.
As part of the Breakaway from Cancer® initiative, Amgen honors and celebrates cancer survivors and their support networks at each stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California. And the Breakaway from Heart Disease™ initiative encourages Americans to take charge of their risk of heart disease and represents a partnership between Amgen and the American Heart Association. The initiative is dedicated to empowering everyone to take action for good heart health through diagnostic screenings, courtesy of the American Heart Association, as well as providing information and tools related to physical activity and healthy eating. Amgen also has a partnership with the bike company Schwinn to encourage heart-healthy activities like bike riding.
Throughout the week, cyclists will wear Breakaway “I Ride For” bibs recognizing someone in their life impacted by cancer or heart disease.
Visit www.breakawayfromcancer.com and www.breakawayfromheartdisease.com to learn more.
About the Amgen Tour of California
The Amgen Tour of California and the Amgen Tour of California Women's Race empowered with SRAM are Tour de France-style cycling road races created and presented by AEG. Running concurrently, the races challenges the world's top professional cycling teams to compete along demanding courses that traverse 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, and award important, world-ranking points to the top finishers. 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.
For more information, visit www.amgen.com and follow us on www.twitter.com/amgen.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, AEG is the world’s leading sports 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 STAPLES Center, 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, AXS.com ticketing platform, AXS cable television channel and its integrated entertainment districts, AEG entertains more than 100 million guests annually. More information about AEG can be found at www.aegworldwide.com.
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Michael Roth, AEG
Josh Levitt, Canvas Blue