May 19, 2016 (South Lake Tahoe, CA) – High above the casinos of South Lake Tahoe, Adam De Vos’ daylong gamble on Stage 5 almost paid off with the biggest win of his young career. The Rally Cycling rider took a chance on a long breakaway and finished second in the toughest stage of the 2016 Amgen Tour of California from Lodi to South Lake Tahoe, 213 km. At the same time De Vos was infiltrating the day’s breakaway on the 131-mile stage, Sara Poidevin was staking her claim as one of the best climbers in the peloton in stage one of the women’s event.
Adam De Vos kept Rally Cycling’s breakaway streak alive on the road to South Lake Tahoe. De Vos made it into an early break that included 17 other riders. Despite the large amount of firepower in the move, the peloton held the gap at around the three to four minute mark for most of the day. Heading into the first KOM of the day. De Vos and Toms Skujins (Cannondale) broke clear from the break and fought out the sprint between the two of them. De Vos would come out on top and repeat his performance at the second KOM. Shortly after, the duo were reeled in by the 14 remaining riders of the breakaway.
“I felt pretty on fire today,” said De Vos. “Yesterday I was pretty concerned about how the rest of the week was going to go just based on the way I was feeling. That’s how it goes in some of these longer stage races, you just never know how your legs are going to be day-to-day. Part of [the reason] for being in the break was to defend Huffman’s KOM jersey, so I knew I had to get up there and get the points.”
Despite the break coming back together, De Vos wasn’t finished and when the breakaway fractured a second time he was in the front group – again with Skujins, this time with Xabier Zandio (Sky) joining them. The three worked well together and with 20 kilometers remaining they had a gap of 3:00. The gap held steady until the final 2-kilometer climb to the finish. De Vos marked Zandio and Skujins coming into the final corner before launching his sprint. He quickly got a bike length on his two breakaway companions but was unable to fend off Skujins, who came by on the outside to take the win.
“I tried to go early on the inside of the last turn,” said De Vos at the finish. “I was undergeared when I launched my sprint. It was a fast tailwind finish and I wasn’t expecting it to be so flat at the top of the climb. These finishes are tough to judge when you don’t get to pre-ride them. I am going to be happy and sad for quite a few days after this one.”
With De Vos taking maximum points in the King of the Mountains competition from the breakaway, Rally Cycling rode in defense of Rob Britton’s ninth place on general classification. De Vos’s breakaway performance, like that of Will Routley’s yesterday, assured that Evan Huffman remained in the King of the Mountains jersey.
1. Toms Skujins (Lat) Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 5:54:45
2. Adam de Vos (Can) Rally Cycling
3. Xabier Zandio (Esp) Team Sky 0:08
4. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:28
5. Jhonatan Restrepo Valencia (Col) Team Katusha 0:43
6. Rob Squire (USA) Holowesko-Citadel
7. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step
8. Travis McCabe (USA) Holowesko-Citadel
9. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team
10. Lawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling Team
18. Rob Britton (Can) Rally Cycling
GC after Stage 5
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step 24:01:45
2. Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo 0:22
3. George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:37
4. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:40
5. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:49
6. Neilson Powless (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman 1:01
7. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team
8. Samuel Sanchez (Esp) BMC Racing Team
9. Rob Britton (Can) Rally Cycling 1:12
10. Haimar Zubeldia (Esp) Trek-Segafredo 1:15