Photo Report: On a day that was expected to be a simple sprint stage, Jens Voigt produced a masterful ride and the GC was turned on its head. Our photographer Darrell Parks was right there in the thick of the action to catch these spectacular images.
Words: AMGEN Tour of California, Pics: Darrell Parks
With an imposing pack of top sprinters angling for the win 25 miles from the finish line in Avila Beach, RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK’S Jens Voigt (GER) made his second decisive attack of the day and struck out on his own to claim the Stage 5 of the 2013 Amgen Tour of California. Forty-one-year-old Voigt has ridden in seven of the eight editions of America’s Greatest Race, and has come close to the overall win, taking second place in 2007. Today’s win marked the 66th victory of his illustrious career.
“I felt like I’m a little bit stronger than the other guys in the break, but of course less fast than the sprinters, so the only chance for me to win is to come here [to the finish line] alone,” said Voigt, who at 41 is the oldest licensed racer in the world. “I went all in, and it worked. I’m a really happy man tonight. This is not the twilight of my career. Let’s call it ‘Indian Summer.’”
Besting the second- and third-place finishers by a whopping six seconds with his solo attack in the final 2.5 miles of the race, Voigt also orchestrated the defining move of the day – a breakaway of 17 elite riders about 82 miles into the 115-mile stage from Santa Barbara to Avila Beach, which the NBC Sports Network announcers called “the best move of the race in the last five days.”
Sensing a change in the punishing crosswinds as they rode through the town of Guadalupe, Voigt made a move to split the peloton, which forced overall leader Jose Acevedo (COL) of Team Jamis-Hagens Berman out of position, eventually causing him to lose the race’s overall lead. The group grew their advantage over the peloton to about a minute before reaching the tight turns in the final 200 meters to the finish. In addition to the stage win, these maneuvers also earned Voigt the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey today.
Acevedo (COL), who has been in the Amgen Race Leader Jersey since day two, got trapped along with four of the top-10 riders who had been in the overall standings before today. With the peloton ultimately unable to catch the escapees, BMC Racing Team’s Tejay van Garderen (Boulder, CO), a favorite for the overall win, will wear the coveted yellow jersey for tomorrow’s individual time trials. This will give him the advantage of seeing the other riders’ times before he takes his turn on the 20-mile course in San Jose. With the race running south to north this year, van Garderen and his team will look to defend the leader jersey through the final day of racing, ending in Santa Rosa, Calif, where BMC Racing Team is based.
Some of the peloton’s top sprinters joined Voigt on the podium following the stage, with Team Garmin-Sharp’s Tyler Farrar (Seattle, Wash.) claiming second place today, and BMC Racing Team’s Thor Hushovd (NOR) in third. Cannondale Pro Cycling’s Peter Sagan (SVK), a favorite for today’s podium, ended the stage in fourth but holds onto the isit California Sprint Jersey.
BISSELL Pro Cycling’s Carter Jones (Boulder, Colo.) continues to hold onto the Nissan King of the Mountain Jersey, which he’s worn since the first day of racing. Bontrager Cycling Team’s 21-year-old Lawson Craddock (Austin, Texas) will continue in the Crunchies Best Young Rider Jersey, which he claimed in Stage 2.
Stage 5 Results:
1 Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack Leopard 4:41:16
2 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:06
3 Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling
5 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
6 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
7 Alexander Candelario (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
8 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
9 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack Leopard
10 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
General Classification After Stage 5:
1 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 21:55:32
2 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:00:42
3 Janier Alexis Acevedo Colle (Col) Jamis – Hagens Berman 0:00:50
4 Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack Leopard 0:01:04
5 Philip Deignan (Irl) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team 0:01:17
6 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 0:01:29
7 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:01:35
8 Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda 0:01:53
9 Chad Haga (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 0:02:03
10 Lawson Craddock (USA) Bontrager Cycling Team 0:02:22