HTC-Columbia's Mark Cavendish wins Stage One of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California

by laliveinsider on Mon., May 17 at 09:00 AM

May 17, 2010

Enthusiastic Crowds in both Nevada City and Sacramento Welcome Pro Riders Back to California for Fifth Year

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. (May 16, 2010) - Under sunny skies, the 2010 Amgen Tour of California kicked off to the roaring cheers of cycling fans from around the world in the picturesque town Nevada City. In an exciting sprint to the finish, Mark Cavendish (GBR) of HTC-Columbia took his third stage win in the history of the race after three high-speed circuits around the State's Capitol building in Sacramento. Cavendish was followed by Juan Jose (\"J.J.\") Haedo (ARG) of Team Saxo Bank in second and Alexander Kristoff (NOR) of the BMC Racing Team in third.

Cavendish beat out top cyclists, including nine past world champions, 11 current national champions and six Olympic medalists to take the win. The enthusiastic crowd, comprised of shoulder-to-shoulder fans, cheered on the cyclists as they made their way through downtown Sacramento.

The 104.3-mile/167.8 km stage, which also will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Nevada City Classic, to Sacramento took the riders through Grass Valley and across the Auburn-Foresthill Bridge, the tallest bridge in California and the third highest in the U.S. A mostly downhill stage, which certainly favored the sprinters, the route also included a grueling climb from the American River to the town of Cool. The point-to-point race from Nevada City to Sacramento was a change from the previous edition's opening prologue.

In the first big move of the day Maarten Tjallingii (NED) of Rabobank, Chad Beyer (USA) of the BMC Racing Team, Mark De Maar (NED) of UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis and Paul Mach (USA) of BISSELL broke away from the pack and quickly gained a one minute gap on the field. In a short-lived attempt to catch the breakaway, three riders formed a chase, but were quickly swallowed up by the peloton. After only 20 minutes, the breakaway's lead grew to more than two and a half minutes and eventually expanded to more than five minutes, giving the group a considerable lead over the pack, which was led for the majority of the race by HTC-Columbia.

\"Our strategy was to ride aggressively and try to get in the breakaway. That was goal number one and it worked out,\" said Mach.

The first sprint at Meadow Vista was won by Tjallingii, ahead of Mach with DeMaar in third. At 1 km from the KOM climb on Highway 49, De Maar and Mach attacked the other two riders in the break and then Mach soloed away to take the KOM, followed by De Maar. After a descent of four miles at an average speed of 38 mph and a mostly downhill finish into Sacramento, the break of four riders came back together, but was swallowed up as they head for the three finishing circuits around the State Capitol building.

Two crashes during the finishing circuits took some of the race favorites out of contention for this stage, including Tom Boonen (BEL) of QuickStep, leaving Cavendish in the perfect position to take the stage and the overall lead heading into day two of the race. \"The Amgen Tour of California is a hard race,\" said Cavendish. \"This is a big thing for us. It's always an important race. Hopefully we can win more stages.\"

After an amazing performance, Cavendish claimed not only the Amgen Race Leader Jersey, but also the Herbalife Sprint Jersey. California native Mach claimed the California Travel & Tourism King of the Mountains (KOM) Jersey. Amgen's Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey went to Tjallingii and the Rabobank Best Young Rider Jersey was awarded to Kristoff.

\"In only one day, the 2010 Amgen Tour of California has already exceeded our expectations with regards to fans, host cities and overall enthusiasm,\" said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports, presenter of the race. \"We've already seen an amazing degree of competition from these world-class cyclists and we're looking forward to seeing how the race unfolds.\"

Title sponsor Amgen is continuing its complementary Breakaway from Cancer® initiative in 2010.

\"Amgen is proud to join AEG for the fifth year as the title sponsor of the Amgen Tour of California. This race provides Amgen the opportunity to be part of the top cycling event in the U.S. that attracts the interest of millions of people while promoting health and wellness in Amgen's headquarters state of California,\" said Stuart Arbuckle, vice president and general manager, Amgen Oncology.

\"Our involvement allows Amgen the opportunity to raise awareness of our company, our mission to serve patients and the promise of medical breakthroughs through biotechnology,\" Arbuckle added. \"It also allows us to support those impacted by cancer through the Breakaway from Cancer initiative.\"

Amgen created the national Breakaway from Cancer® initiative in 2005 as a complementary component to its sponsorship of the inaugural Amgen Tour of California. Breakaway from Cancer represents a partnership between Amgen and four nonprofit organizations dedicated to empowering patients with education, resources and hope. The Breakaway from Cancer partners - Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community (formerly The Wellness Community), Patient Advocate Foundation and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship - collectively offer people affected by cancer a broad range of support services, complementing those provided by a patient's team of healthcare professionals.

For access to resources or to learn more, visit www.breakawayfromcancer.com.

STAGE 2 TOMORROW:

Monday, May 17 - Davis to Santa Rosa (109.5mi/176.2 km)
Start Time: 11:45 a.m. PT
Estimated Finish Time: 3:30-4 p.m. PT
Satellite Feed Time: 4:50-5 p.m. PT
(Coordinates can be found at http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/news/media-info.html)

The 2010 Amgen Tour of California route from Davis to Santa Rosa for Stage 2 of the race, sponsored by Nissan, will provide plenty of scenic settings for both the cyclists and spectators. Beginning in the city of Davis, which recently was named the best cycling town in the United States by Bicycling Magazine, the route includes evenly spaced climbs throughout the stage and spectacular views. After 20 miles of flat roads, the riders will meet their first climb up a short, but steep section leading up to the Monticello Dam. This short climb is followed quickly by the difficult \"Cardiac Hill.\" Another long, flat section along Lake Berryessa will take the riders to their third climb up Howell Mountain Rd., followed by a fast descent into Napa Valley. The race will pass some of the most well-known vineyards in Napa Valley along the famous Silverado Trail. After the day's final climb up the Oakville Grade, followed by a steep descent down Trinity Grade, the cyclists will finish the race in the hometown three-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer - Santa Rosa. In previous years, Santa Rosa fans have set the mark for one of the largest and most enthusiastic crowds of the entire race.

For full results, archived footage, GPS data, course information, race play-by-play and more, please visit the official race website at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.

In addition to the website, fans can view the race on the daily VERSUS broadcasts. Stage 2 will air live on VERSUS tomorrow at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET.

About the Amgen Tour of California

The largest cycling event in America, the 2010 Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race, presented by AEG, that challenges the world's top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course through the state from May 16-23.

About Amgen

Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious illnesses. With a broad and deep pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about Amgen's pioneering science and vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com. To learn more about Amgen's Breakaway from Cancer initiative, visit www.breakawayfromcancer.com.

About AEG

AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center, Sprint Center, The O2, NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE and NOKIA Theatre Times Square; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), two Major League Soccer franchises, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers, the ING Bay to Breakers foot race and the Amgen Tour of California cycling road race; AEG LIVE, the organization's live-entertainment division, is a collection of companies dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance, touring and a variety of programming and multi-media production. For more information, visit AEG today at www.aegworldwide.com.

Media Contacts:

AEG
Michael Roth
310-308-7684
[email protected]

GolinHarris
Nicole Okoneski
805-441-3900
[email protected]

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