2013 Amgen Tour of California – Stage Two
Words and Photos by Adam Bendig
If the weather during Stage One was oppressively hot, then the weather during the second Stage of the 2013 Amgen Tour of California was a punishment for challenging the sun in Escondido. Murrieta served as host for the start line, and despite an early start, temps were nearing 90º around the time of departure. Not caring about the heat, a large group of excited fans made their way to the lush grassy park filled with vendors and surrounded by pro cycling teams.
A mere 9 minutes after the start, four riders including, Sylvain Chavanel (OPQ), Jason Mccartney (BPC), Scott Zwizanksi (OPM) and Ben Jacques-Maynes (JSH), established a 20 second gap. This grew to 12 minutes through the King of the Mountain location just south of Idyllwild (which seemed to provide the only stretch of green foliage seen by the peloton as they traversed the Southern California desert landscape), however it was halved by the time the peloton reached the valley floor in Palm Desert.
With 15 miles remaining, the break started showing it’s first signs of inner turmoil, with a short lived attack by Zwizanski. Another by Jacques-Maynes followed and while he held a slight gap it too was short lived. United Healthcare moved to the front of the peloton and set a pace that reeled the breakaway in, as they shook hands (as gentleman are ought to do) and were consumed at the beginning of the final climb up Tramway Road.
Steady at around a 10% grade, the incline can appear less intimidating then it is. Add in the triple digit temps being absorbed by the fresh asphalt roadway (with multiple team twitter accounts posting photos of their in-car thermometers peaking at 117º) after more then 120 miles of racing and the racers faced a painful ascent to the finish line. Philip Deignan (UHC) attacked with 4km remaining, which led to a small group containing Colombian, Janier Acevedo (JSH) chasing him down. Not content with the pace, Acevedo attacked the group trying to bridge his way to Deignan.
Inside of the 1km mark, Acevedo and Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) had put a gap between them and the chase group, as well as having passed Deignan. Acevedo punched it near the 200m mark, leaving Van Garderen who later commented he was scared to go into the red in the heat and be unable to recover. He kept a steady pace to the line, only conceding 12 seconds to the new yellow jersey owner.
Bissell Pro Cycling’s Carter Jones retains the Nissan King of the Mountains Jersey, and Vacansoleil-DCM’s Lieuwe Westra trades his yellow jersey for the green Visit California Sprinters variant. Sylvain Chavanel earned the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider jersey, and the Best Young Rider jersey moved from Jasper Stuyven to Bontrager Development Squad teammate Lawson Craddock.
Stage Two – Official Stage Results
1. Javier Alexis ACEVEDO COLLE, Jamis-Hagens Berman, in 5:07:40
2. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC Racing, at :12
3. Philip DEIGNAN, UnitedHealthcare, at :27
4. Mathias FRANK, BMC Racing, at :45
5. Michael ROGERS, Saxo-Tinkoff, at :55
6. Chad HAGA, Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies, at 1:13
7. Matthew BUSCHE, RadioShack-Leopard, at 1:15
8. Francisco MANCEBO PEREZ, 5-hour Energy-Kenda, at 1:15
9. Lawson CRADDOCK, Bontrager, at 1:32
10. Cameron MEYER, Orica-GreenEdge, at 1:40
Jacques Maynes, Chavanel, Zwizanski and Mccartney lead the way to the King of the Mountains point.
The peloton catches up, nearly 12 minutes behind. 3 Vacansoleil-DCM riders have dropped off the back.
Eventual stage winner Janier Acevedo in bib 131 passes through Idyllwild.
Christopher Baldwin of Bissell Pro Cycling before the start of stage 2 of the 2013 Amgen Tour of California in Murrieta.
Lieuwe Westra is interviewed on stage at rider sign in shortly before race start while Peter Sagan eyes the yellow jersey he was just shy of claiming the day prior.
Francisco Mancebo in the Visit California green Sprinters jersey chats with Vacansoleil-DCM’s Juan Antonio Flecha at rider sign in.
A fan leaves his mark on the race course near the summit of the stage 2 finish in Palm Springs.
Janier Acevedo makes his move and establishes a 12 second gap ahead of Tejay Van Garderen on his way to winning the stage.
Van Garderen stays close as Acevedo claims the stage win in Palm Springs.
Philippe Gilbert receives a World Champions welcome as he crosses the finish line.
Dave Zabriskie is entirely too happy and well put together at the end of a grueling stage.
5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda’s James Stemper wore the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider jersey for his part in Sunday’s breakaway attempt in Escondido.
Check back tomorrow for Stage Three coverage!