Amgen Tour of California Blazes Through Santa Barbara

Jersey Winners, photo by Leslie Dinaberg

Jersey Winners.

The excitement buzzed down Cabrillo Boulevard this week when BMC Racing Team’s Taylor Phinney (Boulder, CO) whizzed to a solo victory 12 seconds ahead of the peloton to capture his first Amgen Tour of California stage win in a 107.4-mile ride from Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara.

Phinney is one of the biggest cyclists in this year’s Amgen Tour, at 6′ 5″ and 185 pounds. He says he used his weight on the descent off San Marcos Pass, about 15 miles from the finish. “If you’re heavy and have speed, you can go faster than everybody else,” says Phinney.  “I was able to tuck and pull away and accelerate up to speed and then tuck and keep pulling away.”

This was Phinney’s seventh career stage win, though only the second in a road race. Phinney’s impressive victory also earned him the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider Jersey.

“Sometimes you just have a voice inside you that says go. It just got more and more painful as I went on but I knew that if I made it, it would be worth it, and it definitely, definitely was. It’s the best way to win, to win like that,” says Phinney.

Mike Moxness spoke about his battle to fight cancer, photo by Leslie Dinaberg

Mike Moxness spoke about his battle to fight cancer, photo by Leslie Dinaberg

As part of Amgen’s effort to honor and celebrate cancer survivors and to raise awareness about its Breakaway from Cancer initiative, the Santa Barbara finish featured a Breakaway Mile, a special walk along the race course that crosses the race finish line to honor the millions of cancer survivors worldwide. Santa Barbara cancer survivor Jack Bianchi was recognized as the local Breakaway from Cancer Champion. He has been in remission 22 years and, in that time, has helped raise more than $1.5 million for cancer programs in the Santa Barbara area. Bianchi dedicates his time to organizing events to raise money for the Santa Barbara Cancer Center and other cancer organizations.

He was joined by approximately 150 community members impacted by cancer and cancer survivor Mike Moxness, scientific director at Amgen, who plays a crucial role in developing innovative medicines to treat cancer and other serious illnesses.

Here’s a summary of the Stage 5 Jersey Winners

Amgen Leader Jersey – Bradley Wiggins (GBR), Team Sky (GBR); Michelob Ultra King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey – Will Routley (CAN); Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)

Taylor Phinney takes in his victory, photo by Leslie Dinaberg

Taylor Phinney takes in his victory, photo by Leslie Dinaberg

Visit California Sprint Jersey – Peter Sagan (SVK),Cannondale Pro Cycling (ITA

Crunchies Best Young Rider Jersey – Lawson Craddock (USA), Team Giant-Shimano (NED)

Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Taylor Phinney (USA), BMC Racing Team (USA)

Stage 5 Men – Top 3

·         FIRST— Taylor Phinney (USA), BMC Racing Team (USA)

·         SECOND – Peter Sagan (SVK),Cannondale Pro Cycling (ITA)

·         THIRD – Matthew Goss (AUS), ORICA-GreenEDGE (AUS)

—Leslie Dinaberg
Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on May 18, 2014.