Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon said having a rider in the breakaway was the team’s main objective.
“It was Chad that we wanted in the move because we thought it was a good opportunity for him to potentially get a little time back,” Beamon said.
Nearly 20 kilometers into the 177.5-km race that featured nearly 2,700 meters of climbing and four categorized climbs, 23 riders – including Beyer – broke free. Descending the first categorized climb, Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) escaped from the group. Beyer, Gavin Mannion (Bontrager Cycling Team) and Andy Schleck (RadioShack Leopard) joined him, and the four quickly gaining a lead of more than four-and-a-half minutes.
“I saw Westra and Schleck go and knew that was a good move,” Beyer said. “They were going incredibly strong. It was hard from the start.”
The peloton never allowed Beyer’s group much breathing room, and, when the catch seemed inevitable, Beyer set off solo. He was reeled in with 13.5 km remaining, setting the stage for a sprint finish.
“You have to seize every opportunity when it presents itself, but we came up a little short,” Beyer said. “After a hard day like that, it’s definitely nice to have something to show for it.”
Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling) won the field sprint while the general classification remained unchanged with Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman) in the leader’s jersey for the second consecutive day. Chris Butler remains Champion System’s best-placed rider in 19th, 4:09 behind. Beyer finished the stage in 64th, in the same time as Sagan.
Looking ahead, Beamon said the king of the mountains jersey remains an objective for the team.
“We’ll look for a breakaway and see what opportunities may present themselves to take the KOM jersey,” Beamon said.
Wednesday’s Stage 4 starts in Santa Clarita and features two categorized climbs and two intermediate sprints before a flat finish into Santa Barbara.
“I would rather expect that tomorrow will lend itself to a sprint, but we’ll still try to go for the breakaway.” Beamon said. “Chad picked up some mountain points today, but there is still a big gap between him and Jones.”
Champion System, a leading Hong Kong-based custom cycling clothing manufacturer, is providing the Amgen Tour of California’s custom race leader jerseys, complete with rider names, while also supplying clothing for race volunteers, staff, the Chairman’s Ride and even on-air TV personalities for the NBC Sports Network.