May 13th, ’14. Jesse Sergent of Trek Factory Racing put in a brilliant ride to place fifth on the crucial time trial stage of huge Amgen Tour of California. But there was nothing he nor anyone else could do to overhaul Sir Bradley Wiggins as the Team Sky leader powered to victory in stage two of the race.
May 13th, ’14. Jesse Sergent of Trek Factory Racing put in a brilliant ride to place fifth on the crucial time trial stage of huge Amgen Tour of California. But there was nothing he nor anyone else could do to overhaul Sir Bradley Wiggins as the Team Sky leader powered to victory in stage two of the race., seizing the race lead from fellow Brit Mark Cavendish. Garmin-Sharp’s Rohan Dennis took a fine second place with national favourite Taylor Phinney of BMC Racing claiming third.
Sweltering conditions greeted the riders for day two of the American stage race with Jabis-Hagins Berman rider Robbie Squire being the first rider to leave the start house as riders set out on the course in reverse order to their position in the general classification; with Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Cavendish being the last to go. Rohan Dennis was the quickest of the early starters to go with a blistering time of 24.02mins over the largely flat course. Interestingly one of the fastest to go through was Trek Factory Racing’s Jens Voigt, who clocked a time only 40 seconds slower than Dennis; a popular result for the crowd favourite who would eventually claim ninth on the stage.
Half an hour after the Garmin-Sharp fast man, New Zealand’s Jesse Sergent came through the finish line, 27 seconds slower than his Australian counterpart but a brilliant result that sees him climb into fifth place overall as well as fifth on the stage. Prior to Wiggins’ start the top four then were Dennis, Sergent, Belkin Pro Cycling’s Jack Bobridge, and Jens Voigt. But Wiggins blew the race apart with his time trial, catching his minute man Fabio Sabatini of Cannondale and his two minute man, Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies’ Carter Jones; displaying how he became Olympic champion in the 2012 London Games.
Wiggins came home in a time of 23.18mins, a clear 44 seconds faster than Rohan Dennis, with BMC’s Taylor Phinney now out on the course. The American pulled out all the stops, but by his own admission it was not his best performance against the clock; even though it was good enough for third place, 8 seconds behind Dennis. Afterwards he said, “It was not my best ride, I wasn’t feeling amazing the whole time. I think Wiggins was in a whole other category.”
As for the stage winner, Wiggins was extremely happy with his result, “I didn’t plan to have taken as much time as that but it was a great course for me and I’d prepared well outer it. I’ve been here for a few weeks now and now the real stuff starts tomorrow.” The ‘real stuff’ Wiggins eludes to commences with the Queen stage of this year’s race, the 174.5km trek up to the summit finish at Mt Diablo. The stage is set to really break the field up, with George Bennett expected to come into his own to a much greater degree in the mountains. Bradley Wiggins’ confidence is high too going into the gradients, “We’ve checked tomorrow’s stage out so we know it,” he commented, “I’m in a good position and I’m climbing well. We’re used to being in this position now as a team after the last few years so we know what to do.”
By: Ed Wright