Thirty minutes into today’s stage at the Amgen Tour of California, four riders managed to break from the main group. Sebastian Salas (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) was only a few points behind KOM jersey leader David Boily (Spidertech p/b C10), and was looking for points today. At the first KOM on Calaveras Road, Salas was joined by Jonathan Patrick McCarty (Spidertech p/b C10), Jeremy Vennell (Bissell Pro Cycling) and Wilson Marentes Torres (Colombia-Codeportes). McCarty was sent on the break to protect Boily’s KOM jersey.
“The two other riders were playing games, trying to get points for the KOM jersey,” stated Vennell. “It made it very difficult for the four of us. We were mucking around a bit but then I made a really hard dig. Wilson and I were able to drop those two. It made it a lot easier for the two of us to work together.”
“We do not speak the same language but I saw his wheel and knew that I would go with him,” commented Torres. “I knew that we would be able to work together. The peloton was a bit sleepy and I thought we had a chance because we were working well and going strong.”
“We decided at the team meeting this morning to put a man in the break. There were four chances this morning. I was the one who was able to get in the break that stuck. Unfortunately it did not work out and we were caught but I wanted to attack.”
“Today is an important date for Colombian cycling. It is the 25th anniversary Lucho’s Vuelta win,” said Torres. Torres was honoring Luis Alberto “Lucho” Herrera. Herrera was the overall GC winner of the Vuelta a Espana in 1987.
“I am very happy to have won the (Breakaway from Cancer’s Most Courageous) jersey. It’s a very important jersey in any race, but especially in an important race like the Amgen Tour of California. I want to keep riding like I did today. I am definitely going to try and attack to be in the break again. Being in the break today has helped me my find my confidence in this race. I know I have a chance and that I am strong. I am very determined now.”
Torres is the winner if the U23 National Time Trial. When asked about the Stage 5 Time Trial Torres stated, “I do not know the Bakersfield course, but am hoping for the best.”