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May 2020 back to news
Photo 1
Stage one of the Amgen Tour of California
We will look to build on this early momentum throughout the Tour of California.
Stage one of the Amgen Tour of California
We will look to build on this early momentum throughout the Tour of California.
Mancebo takes 2nd place on first stage of Tour of California | Excitement and anticipation was evident when the 5 Hour Energy presented by Kenda team pulled up for stage one of the Amgen Tour of California. Many of our riders were experiencing the race for the first time and it was clear they were motivated to repay the confidence in our sponsors, fans and the race organization.

Our plan going into today was to get a 5 hour rider in a breakaway of 4 or more riders and to race aggressively in the finale for Paco to try and either go for the stage win or get some time on his rivals.

After only 4 miles of racing, a group of 3 were called over race radio in the day’s first break. Cooper from Optum, Dempster of NetApp and our own Jim Stemper. Bissell’s Carter Jones would make a last attempt bridge and successfully make the break of the day a quartet. The intense heat opened up feeding early and once the peloton came back for bottles the break’s advantage would balloon to over 11 minutes.

Dempster and Jones would trade kom maximum points on the first two climbs of the day and the Aussie would soon pay for his efforts in getting dropped from the break. Behind our first team to assume responsibility in the chase was team Cannondale of race favorite Peter Sagan. The time gap was coming down but not quite as fast as one would expect.

Up front, Cooper had to let go leaving only Stemper and Jones to continue and try to outfox and outpace the peloton behind. Reports of other WorldTour teams alternating control of the field came through on race radio while the 5 hour staff were very busy keeping the riders sufficiently hydrated and cool. Once estimate on the day was over 150 bottles used up as temperature reading in our fantastic Toyota Venza team car reached 104 degrees.

Jones would again take top points up Cole Grade and the gap was still a very interesting 4 minutes with 30km to go. NetApp would take charge in the field and cut into the break’s advantage while we watched on the fancy Tour Tracker in the team car. Paco, Max and Nate were all very present in the front directly behind the chasing team. A good sign our team captain was on a good day and ready to assume our Plan B if Jim were to be swept up.

The two front runners were holding on valiantly and the catch would come with just over 5 km to go. A flury of attacks would ensue before Vacansoleil’s Lieuwe Westra would get a small gap with 4 km to go. A few unsuccessful attempts were made to join the flying Dutchman until 5 Hour Energy pb Kenda’s Spaniard Paco Mancebo would launch and get across with just under 3 km to go. The duo would trade smooth and very strong pulls to stretch their advantage to 9 seconds under the flamme rouge of 1km to go.

Westra would outfox Paco for the stage win but a fantastic debut for 5 Hour energy with second on the stage, a very merited most courageous jersey for Jim Stemper and the lead in the team GC; quite a debut indeed. We will look to build on this early momentum throughout the Tour of California.

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