PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : Tour of California St. 1 Photo Special

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Tour of California St. 1 Photo Special
ATOC2013S1DP_02_Orchards_ou Photo Report: Lieuwe Westra Comes from Behind to Claim Stage 1 in Escondido at 2013 Amgen Tour of California. Heat and Climbing Prove Decisive Factors as 8-day Professional Cycling Race Takes to the Streets of California for Eighth Annual Edition


Words: AMGEN Tour of California, Pics: Darrell Parks


ESCONDIDO (May 12, 2013) – The first of eight stages of the 2013 Amgen Tour of California got off to a thrilling – and hot – start today in Escondido, Calif., as Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team’s Lieuwe Westra (NED) held off the charging peloton to capture the Stage 1 victory of American’s biggest professional cycling race.

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Today’s stage included more than 11,000 feet of climbing, the most ever for an opening stage in race history. The climbs were the sites of dramatic shake-ups, including a decisive one in the last five kilometers that saw Westra claim the stage victory, as well as the Visit California Sprint Jersey, when, perhaps aided by a tailwind in the final minutes of the race, he embarked on a furious sprint to hold the lead. Second sprint points finisher Francisco Mancebo Perez (ESP) of 5-Hour ENERGY presented by Kenda Racing Team will wear the Visit California Sprint Jersey for tomorrow’s stage that begins in Murrieta as Westra will start the stage wearing the yellow Amgen Race Leader Jersey.

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“It was a good surprise,” Westra said of the win. As for what that will mean for his team for the rest of the race, “We won a stage, and we have a strong team. We will see.”

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Now in its eighth year, the 2013 Amgen Tour of California will run south to north for the first time, covering nearly 750 miles of California’s most scenic highways, roadways and coastlines over eight days, concluding in Santa Rosa, Calif., May 19. With one of the most difficult courses yet ahead of them, the 123 elite cyclists (the race began with 127, with four eliminated due to time cuts today) will compete through 12 Host Cities and 60,000 feet of climbing, a record for the race, including a first-time summit finish at Mt. Diablo in the Bay Area.

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With temperatures hovering around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, BISSELL Pro Cycling’s Carter Jones (Boulder, Colo.) claimed the first Nissan King of the Mountain Jersey in a stage that will be the first of several where climbs play a crucial role in shaping the podium. The riders had to battle not only each other, but the blazing temperatures, which will continue tomorrow as the race heads from Murrieta to Greater Palm Springs.

“The heat was brutal. Definitely the hardest part of the day. We haven’t done anything like this all year,” said Jones.

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Hydration was the main focus of the day as the riders battled some extreme heat.

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The day’s break as seen from above…..

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And from behind. Whichever way you looked at it they had a long, hard and lonely road ahead of them.

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NetApp-Endura forcing the pace on the climb with two of the big stars of the race, Andy Schleck and former winner, Michael Rogers both looking good in their wheels.

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Another big star in the race, Philippe Gilbert had a day he’d rather forget, suffering in the heat to eventually finish more than 9 minutes down.

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Peter Sagan fans were out in force and he rode well for 3rd place but was outfoxed by the two late escapees.

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Stage 1 Results:
1 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 4:31:33
2 Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:06
4 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
5 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Bontrager Cycling Team
6 Jacob Rathe (USA) Garmin-Sharp
7 Alexander Candelario (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
8 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
9 Jeremy Vennell (NZl) Bissell Pro Cycling
10 Tanner Putt (USA) Bontrager Cycling Team

General Classification After Stage 1:
1 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 4:31:33
2 Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:06
4 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
5 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Bontrager Cycling Team
6 Jacob Rathe (USA) Garmin-Sharp
7 Alexander Candelario (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
8 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
9 Jeremy Vennell (NZl) Bissell Pro Cycling
10 Tanner Putt (USA) Bontrager Cycling Team

 

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