The 133-mile Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California started in Rancho Cordova and finished at the Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe on Monday May 13th. This stage featured 14,500 feet of climbing and certainly put even the strongest climbers to the test. Ultimately, Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Kasper Asgreen would win the stage (the first pro win of his career) and EF Education First Pro Cycling’s Tejay van Garderen overtook the lead from BORA-hasgrohe’s Peter Sagan, who was wearing the yellow jersey at the start of the stage.
The race was really underway in the early part of the stage when the first breakaway of 7 riders formed including Evan Huffman (Rally-UHC), Michael Hernandez (USA National Team), Michael Storer (Team Sunweb), Luke Rowe (Team Ineos), Davide Ballerini (Astana Pro Team), Pawel Bernas (CCC Team), and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo). However, EF Education First banned together to aggressively push towards the front and eventually disrupted the breakaway.
On the Kirkwood Summit (KOM), EF Education First teammates, being led by Taylor Phinney, were working at the front and putting pressure on the other teams to make a move. Eventually Phinney would drop off the back, but a solo attack move by teammate Lachlan Morton successfully closed the breakaway. However a group of 14 riders behind him including Asgreen weren’t done with him yet and pushed to bridge the gap. The group of 14, containing Bahrain-Meridas Rohan Dennis and Sacramento area cyclist Neilson Powless with Jumbo-Visma , caught Morton before the climb up Carson Pass (KOM).
The riders split up as they hit the mountain descent, but it was Alexander Cataford of Israel Cycling Academy who made a bold move over the top of Carson Pass. Then Asgreen responded with some very fast descents, followed by teammates of EF Education First and Deceuninck-Quick step. Though big names were left behind in the field, van Garderen held steady in the front.
Heading to the finish just outside of South Lake Tahoe, van Garderen made an attack, followed by Gianni Moscon (Team Ineos), Ballerini, and Asgreen close behind. On the final uphill meters, van Garderen launched one more attack that put him in the overall race lead, with Asgreen countering past him to take the stage.
Peter Sagan who was wearing the yellow jersey at the start, lost the jersey to Van Garderen who’s performance with his team in Stage 2 certainly sealed his fate as the new GC contender.
Tejay van Garderen, EF Education First Pro Cycling, race leader – “It feels great. It came as a bit of a surprise, I would have just assumed that Kasper would have taken the jersey on the back of the stage win….It was quite a surprise and I’m super happy and thrilled and honored to represent yellow.”
“We just want to race aggressive. We’re designed to race our bikes and animate the race, make the race, don’t get caught on the back foot and you know, just try to make the race happen. I think that’s what you saw today. Obviously now that we have the jersey we might get stuck in a little more of a defensive role, but even then we still have cards to play.”
“I’m always excited to come here. I’ve raced well here. Every year I’ve come here and I’ve even won it one year . It’s just a motivation being here in front of my home crowd.”
Kasper Asgreen, Deceuninck – Quick-Step – “It’s my first pro win, so I’m really, really happy right now. It’s huge for me. And to take it on a stage like this – I’m really happy with that.”
Evan Huffman, Rally UHC Cycling, Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey Winner – “My plan was to get in the breakaway and go for the KOM points and maybe the stage, Davide was a little faster than me in the sprints so I did what I could and picked up some points. EF kept us on a really short leash so we tried to play around with them a little bit and sit up and go hard, but in the end they just brought us back whenever they wanted. So I was just trying to survive and pick up some points when I could and ended up in a little group.”
Results after Stage 2:
MONDAY, MAY 13
Podium: STAGE 2 presented by Visit California
- Kasper Asgreen (DEN), Deceuninck – Quick – Step (BEL) 6h17’11”
- Tejay van Garderen (USA), EF Education First (USA) +00”
- Gianni Moscon (ITA), Team Ineos (GBR) +04”
Jersey Winners after Stage 2:
- Amgen Race Leader Jersey – Tejay van Garderen (USA), EF Education First (USA)
- Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Evan Huffman (USA), Rally UHC Cycling, (USA)
- Lexus King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey – Davide Ballerini (ITA), Astana Pro Team (KAZ)
- Visit California Sprint Jersey – Kasper Asgreen (DEN), Deceuninck – Quick – Step (BEL)
- TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey – Tadej Pogacar (SLO), UAE Team Emirates (UAE)
Stage 3 presented by TAG Heuer will take the cyclists on a 129.2-mile ride from Stockton to Morgan Hill – the race’s first westward departure out of Stockton since 2007.
The Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM UCI WorldTour race showcasing the world’s best women cyclists will run concurrently for the final three days of the men’s event, beginning in Ventura May 16-18.