The seventh edition of the Amgen Tour of California is in the books and while the official jerseys have been awarded, it’s time for the first annual podiuminsight‘s Amgen Tour of California awards voted on by the podiuminsight crew.
MVP: The most valuable player has to be Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) who was on the podium, multiple times on every stage of the eight-day races. His successes include five stage wins, a second-place and the green sprint jersey which is grabbed on the first day and never let. He also wore in the yellow leader’s jersey five stages. Sagan charmed the crowd during the ceremonies and especially when saluting the fans at the end of the Bakersfield time trial where he lost the yellow jersey.
Most Valuable Domestique: For spending a lot of time at the front, in the wind, setting the pace to reel in the breakaway day after day, the most valuable domestique award goes to Tim Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale). Honorable mention goes to Alex Howes (Garmin-Barracuda) who put in great efforts at the front for his three team leaders especially on the two big mountain stages.
Most Aggressive Rider: On this one, we agree with the race. Jeremy Vennell spent three long days in the break, initiating at least one from the start for an estimated total of 300 miles (483 km) off the front. His squad, the Bissell Pro Cycling Team wins the Most aggressive team award for having riders in the break for all but one of the road stages.
Most Fun On the Podium: Sylvain Georges (AG2R La Mondiale). After his solo win out of the break at Big Bear, the Frenchman came onto the podium with a smile that (almost) never left his face. He played up to the crowd, pumping his hangs to get more cheers. He even mimed call me to one of the podium hostesses. His emotions overflowed when he stood on the top step of the podium but his smile and joy soon came back.
Best Fan: The UCSD fan that rode up to Mt Baldy Village hours to cheer on the riders. But first he amused the crowd, running around in just hits biking shorts, telling everyone ‘Can you believe I’m single?’ He could barely contain his excitement when he found out that both Chris Horner and Jens Voigt (Radioshack-Nissan) were in the break. He also loved running around yelling Tommeke. The best part is that though he ran when the riders were there, this fan stayed out of their way completely.
Best Spot Ready for a Finish: Mt Diablo. Finally, a stage climbed Mt Diablo and the park rangers were ready for it. With a smile, they handed out information at the entry gates specifying where fans could and could not park, making it easy for all, and parking areas were manned by volunteers. We say that the park is ready for a finish.
Best Welcome: Hands down for Sonora who put out the welcome mat for the race in their first time as a host city. From the local high school band to kids with a day off from school, everyone came for the start of stage 4 to cheer on the riders. Estimate put the crowd at over 10,000.
Best Press Room: Once again, Santa Rosa welcomed not only the riders but the media with the best food for two days and the best swag, one word: wine.
Best Hair: Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano). Nominated by Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell), Kittel wins for his Johnny Bravo do. Honorable mention goes to Fabio Duarte (Colombia Coldeportes) who managed to pull off a fauxhawk for the podium after a full day of racing.
Best BFF in the Media Workroom: Anthony Tan for going and above the call of duty for sharing his race radio (a rare thing in the media room) and race information.