IT WAS A CONTINENTAL BUFFET FOR STAGE 4 AS CALIFORNIA’S EVAN HUFFMAN ESCAPES FROM WORLD’S TOP SPRINTERS TO TAKE AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA STAGE VICTORY JUST AHEAD OF HIS RALLY TEAMMATE ROB BRITTON
Published on May 17, 2017
Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling’s Daniel Jaramillo Retains Lexus King Of The Mountain Jersey. Queen Stage Looms Tomorrow; Mountainous Route from Ontario to Mt. Baldy Expected to Pinpoint Overall Race Contenders
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (May 17, 2017) – U.S. team Rally Cycling’s Evan Huffman (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) made history at the Amgen Tour of California today by becoming the first UCI Continental Team rider to win a WorldTour race stage, made even more remarkable when teammate Rob Britton (CAN) claimed second place.
The Amgen Tour of California joined the UCI WorldTour this year, which designates the top races in the world and does not permit Continental team participation. However, the California race and was given a special allowance in its first year on the WorldTour for two Continental teams to compete (the two selected were Rally Cycling and Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis).
“This is obviously, being a Continental team, the first WorldTour race we’ve ever done, and to win a stage is just incredible… we just worked so hard all year so everyone’s just over the moon thrilled,” said Huffman.
Huffman and Britton, along with four fellow breakaway members, narrowly held off a thundering peloton filled with WorldTour sprinters hungry for the stage win in Santa Clarita. This is Huffman’s first win at his home state race. In similar fashion, Huffman placed second in last year’s Stage 2 from South Pasadena to Santa Clarita, and rode on to clinch the 2016 race’s King of the Mountain (KOM) classification win.
Of pushing himself to better last year’s stage result Huffman said: “I was thinking about it a lot the last 10k. I was hurting so bad; we were just riding flat out all day… I just really gave it everything I had that last 500 meters, and I’m just really happy it worked out.”
Rally teammate Rob Britton (CAN), also part of today’s breakaway, finished in second place, with Professional Continental Team UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling’s Gavin Mannion (Austin, Texas) placing fifth. Huffman’s determined ride also won him today’s Breakaway from Cancer® / Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Most Courageous Rider Jersey.
Stage 4 presented by Visit California took the cyclists on a 99.1 mile route into Los Angeles County, from the coastline of Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita, which holds the race record for hosting the most stage starts and finishes (13).
Early in the race, a break of six escaped, containing Huffman, Britton, and Mannion; Team Sunweb’s Lennard Hofstede (NED); Cofidis, Solutions Crédits’ Mathias Le Turnier (FRA); and BMC Racing’s Martin Elmiger (SUI). They led the field by about 9 minutes with 50 miles left in the race, the largest lead on the road so far at the 2017 Amgen Tour of California.
Teams with sprinters in the hunt worked at the front and steadily brought the gap down to six minutes on the short but steep KOM climb up Balcom Canyon Rd. (11.8% average grade), where thousands of fans were gathered to cheer on the world-class peloton.
With five miles left to ride, WorldTour teams took turns at the front pulling the peloton on a massive chase effort, continuously shaving seconds off the gap and finally getting the lead group in their sites in the final meters of the race. But it came too late, and the breakaway held on with Huffman attacking to the finish line. The peloton pulled in 13 seconds later, suffering from their punishing chase pace.
BORA-hansgrohe’s two-time World Champion Peter Sagan (SVK), who won the Amgen Tour of California by seconds in 2015, finished the stage at the front of the main field to keep a large-margin hold on the Visit California Sprint Jersey, which he won yesterday.
Since all the overall race leaders all finished in the main field, there is no change to the overall standings, with BORA-hansgrohe’s Rafal Majka (POL), the Tour de France’s defending King of the Mountains, maintaining his lead over Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s George Bennett (NZL) (+:02) and Team Sky’s Ian Boswell (Bend, Oregon) (+:14).
Tomorrow’s Stage 5 presented by Lexus will take the cyclists 77.9 miles from Ontario to the top of Mt. Baldy. The Queen Stage of this year’s race includes a whopping 12,000 feet of elevation gain and a fan-favorite summit finish at Mt. Baldy. The 2017 Amgen Tour of California will conclude Saturday in Pasadena.
Stage 4 Podium
- Evan Huffman (USA), Rally Cycling (USA)
- Rob Britton (CAN), Rally Cycling (USA)
- Lennard Hofstede (NED), Team Sunweb (GER)
Stage 4 Jersey Winners
- Amgen Race Leader Jersey – Rafal Majka (POL), BORA-hansgrohe (GER)
- Men’s Lexus King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey – Daniel Jaramillo (COL), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
- Breakaway from Cancer® / Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Evan Huffman (USA), Rally Cycling (USA)
- Visit California Sprint Jersey – Peter Sagan (SVK), BORA-hansgrohe (GER)
- TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey – Lachlan Morton (AUS), Team Dimension Data (RUS)
Breakaway from Cancer® / Breakaway from Heart Disease™
Breakaway from Cancer®, created by Amgen in 2005, is a national initiative to raise awareness of important resources available to people affected by cancer – from prevention to survivorship. The four independent, nonprofit partner organizations that collaborate on the Breakaway from Cancer® initiative – Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community, Patient Advocate Foundation and National Coalition for Survivorship – offer a broad range of services complementing those provided by a patient’s team of healthcare professionals.
As part of Amgen’s effort to honor and celebrate cancer survivors and to raise awareness of its Breakaway from Cancer® initiative, a Breakaway Mile walk took place this morning in Modesto before the official race start. Approximately 200 community members walked along the race course to honor the millions of cancer survivors worldwide.
For more information about Breakaway from Cancer, visit breakawayfromcancer.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.
The first-ever U.S. UCI WorldTour course will cover more than 575 miles through 12 Host Cities May 14-20, including Sacramento, Modesto, San Jose, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Ontario, Mt. Baldy, Big Bear Lake, Mountain High and Pasadena.
The Amgen Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Women's Race empowered with SRAM May 11-14 covered more than 250 miles through South Lake Tahoe, Elk Grove and Sacramento. 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.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, AEG is the world's leading sports venue 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 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 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