Former Race Champion van Garderen Climbs To The Lead On Stage 2 of The 2019 Amgen Tour Of California
May 13, 2019
Asgreen Wins His First WorldTour Stage at the Amgen Tour of California. Tomorrow Cyclists Will Contest 129 Miles from Stockton to Morgan Hill
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (May 13, 2019) – EF Education First Pro Cycling’s Tejay van Garderen (Tacoma, Wash.) climbed 14,500 feet on the 133-mile ride from Rancho Cordova to South Lake Tahoe to overtake the Amgen Tour of California race lead from BORA-hasgrohe’s three-time World Champion Peter Sagan, on the same roads where he lost it last year to the young Columbian rider Egan Bernal.
Van Garderen now leads the race by six seconds after battling three other riders up the final climb including Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Kasper Asgreen (DEN), who rode in three breakaways today, and ultimately surged ahead in the final meters to his first WorldTour stage win following a 2nd place finish in the Tour of Flanders this spring. Team Ineos’ Gianni Moscon (ITA), who was a factor on the hills in the latter part of the day, finished third for the stage.
“I’m super satisfied. It would have been nice to get the stage victory – I gave it a few digs and sprinted hard in the end but came up second, but I was actually surprised to get the jersey…it’s always an honor to be in yellow in the home country,” said van Garderen, who placed second in last year’s Amgen Tour of California and holds the 2013 championship.
Stage 2 presented by Visit California was the second longest day of the race at 133.3 miles, and the first day of climbing complete with 14,500 feet of elevation gain including the final upward slope to the finish at Heavenly Ski Resort.
With a little more than 50 miles to ride, EF Education First took over at the front of the peloton on the longest uphill stretch of the day and very quickly reeled back an early breakaway. Its climber Lachlan Morton (AUS), the 2017 Amgen Tour of California Best Young Rider, made a solo jump out of the pack at just over 40 miles to go, followed by a peloton split that saw many GC contenders and Sagan, who began the day in the yellow race leader jersey, fall to the secondary group.
A chase group of 14 – which contained BAHRAIN – MERIDA’s Rohan Dennis (AUS), who finished second in this race in 2014 and 2016, and Sacramento area cyclist Neilson Powless in his WorldTour team debut year with Jumbo-Visma – caught Morton before the climb up Carson Pass and held the gap until the final miles.
As some of the lead group riders began to fall back on the slopes of Luther Pass, Jumbo-Visma’s 2017 race champion George Bennett (NZL) and EF Education First’s Sergio Higuita (COL) tried to bridge to the lead group. Dennis, the current World Time Trial Champion who also hold stage winds at all three Grand Tours, drove the pace to the Sprint line coming across second to pick up valuable seconds off his overall time in the form of bonus points. Asgreen and Astana Pro Team’s Davide Ballerini (ITA) who spent a full day on the front, led the chase group on the descent.
The final uphill miles blew apart the lead group with van Garderen and teammate Taylor Phinney (USA) making their way to the front group, as well as UAE Team Emirates 20-year-old first-time team leader Tadej Pogacar (SLO), who captured the TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey today.
Astana attacked on the final climb followed by van Garderen who took the lead, with Moscon, Ballerini and Asgreen close behind. On the final uphill meters, van Garderen launched a final attack that put him in the overall race lead, with Asgreen countering past him to take the stage.
Today’s Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey went to Rally UHC Cycling’s Sacramento-area rider Evan Huffman, the race’s 2016 KOM winner who racked up two stage wins in 2017, who spent the day out front from the early breakaway and continued to push the pace of the lead group up the steep segments of the race later in the stage.
The peloton of 19 teams (132 riders) representing 33 countries includes three World Champions, Olympians, Tour de France stage winners and six current National Road Race Champions from around the world. Throughout the week, cyclists will contest 773 miles of California’s most scenic highways, mountain roads and coastlines, visiting 13 cities throughout the state for stage starts and finishes, concluding in Pasadena on May 18.
Tomorrow’s Stage 3 presented by TAG Heuer will take the cyclists on a 129.2-mile ride from Stockton to Morgan Hill – the race’s first westward departure out of Stockton since 2007.
The Amgen Tour of California Women's Race empowered with SRAM UCI WorldTour race showcasing the world’s best women cyclists will run concurrently for the final three days of the men’s event, beginning in Ventura May 16-18.
Amgen Tour of California fans can connect with the race through all of their favorite social media platforms and use #AmgenTOC to join the conversation.
Amgen, title sponsor of the Amgen Tour of California for the 14th consecutive year, is a biotechnology company in the race to dramatically improve patients’ lives and the company leverages its sponsorship to raise awareness and connect with patients through its Breakaway initiatives.
On May 1, Amgen launched the Breakaway Challenge, a national social fitness movement to motivate individuals to take action in their health and to support the fight against heart disease and cancer. Amgen’s Breakaway Challenge joins together Breakaway from Cancer® and Breakaway from Heart Disease™ and urges participants to turn their walking, running or cycling miles into support for eight nonprofit advocacy organizations that are dedicated to cancer and heart disease research.
Amgen has teamed up with Strava, a social fitness app that tracks cycling and running activities, to create the Breakaway Challenge. Strava will aggregate the total miles contributed to the Breakaway Challenge with the goal to collectively reach as many miles as possible with Amgen matching the first 400,000 miles with a $400,000 donation evenly distributed to the independent, nonprofit partners. Today, 10,877,851 miles toward the Breakaway Challenge have been logged. Join Amgen and make this the biggest Challenge ever. Learn more at www.AmgenBreakawayChallenge.com.
“Building and connecting with communities is at the core of Amgen’s Breakaway initiatives and we are incredibly pleased with the community forming as part of the Breakaway Challenge,” said Corrine Le Goff, Senior Vice President, General Manager, General Medicine, Amgen. “Amgen is more committed than ever to scientific innovation and to building a community of support for patients. It takes a team to win the Amgen Tour of California, it takes a team to make great strides in scientific innovation and it takes a community to educate, support and empower patients. Join our Breakaway Challenge community today.”
Created by Amgen in 2005, Breakaway from Cancer® is a national initiative to raise awareness of the important resources available to people impacted by cancer – from prevention to survivorship. And, the Breakaway from Heart Disease™ initiative encourages Americans to take charge of their risk of heart disease through diagnostic screenings as well as information and tools related to physical activity and healthy eating. Learn more at www.breakawayfromcancer.com and www.breakawayfromheartdisease.com.
Throughout the race, Amgen will honor and celebrate patients. Each day the race will be started by a cancer or heart disease survivor, and the Most Courageous jersey will be awarded by a survivor as well. Cyclists will also wear Breakaway “I Ride For” bibs recognizing someone in their life impacted by cancer or heart disease.
“Creating powerful connections in the communities we serve is just as important as developing vital medicines and making a difference in the world,” continued Le Goff. “Today’s healthcare options for treating serious illness are more promising than at any other time in our history. Now more than ever, patients living with serious diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease can look to the future with greater hope. Our sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California gives us a platform to discuss, educate and empower patients to have hope and believe in innovation to live a longer, healthier life.”
For more information, visit www.amgen.com.
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 challenge 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. For more information visit the Amgen Tour of California on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or www.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 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 the world's largest independent biotechnology company, 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 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 150 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.
# # #
Michael Roth, AEG
Josh Levitt, Canvas Blue