Chris Horner Wins 2011 Amgen Tour of California
Team HTC-HighRoad's Matthew Goss (AUS) powered to stage win in the sprint to the finish line of the final stage of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California.
of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling, Jose Fernando Antogna (ARG) of Jamis-Sutter Home and Michael Friedman (USA) of Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth. 1 kilometer away from the first KOM of the day - the last of the race - the breakaway had a three minute and 40 second lead over the group. Barta took the final KOM points, and Antogna took the first intermediate sprint points.
Along with Team RadioShack, who continued to set tempo for the peloton, Team HTC-Highroad, Liquigas-Cannondale, Team Garmin-Cervelo and Team Saxo Bank-SunGard all contributed riders to the front as the group rolled towards the suburban streets of Thousand Oaks. With five laps to go, the break crossed the finish line for the first time with a lead of two minutes and 35 seconds in front of the peloton. Leopard-Trek and Rabobank Cycling Team sent riders on the attack, trailing the break by 39 seconds.
With Liquigas-Cannondale pacing the peloton, Martin Mortensen (DEN) of Team Leopard-Trek and Maarten Tjallingii (NED) of Rabobank Cycling Team joined Barta in the breakaway, as White, Fernando and Friedman dropped. With 13.5 kilometers to go, the group held on to a 25-second lead, but was eventually caught with five kilometers to go. HTC-Highroad, Sky Procycling and Saxo Bank Sungard raced to the front and were soon joined by Liquigas-Cannondale and Rabobank. With the sprinters strung out across the front, it was Matthew Goss (AUS) of HTC-Highroad who accelerated to cross the finish line first.
Organizer of the Amgen Tour of California AEG Sports' president Andrew Messick gave Roadcycling.com the following statement after the completion of the 2011 edition of the tour "We took another step forward this year. We have been working hard to create what we think is a great race; we have aspirations to make the Amgen Tour of California one of the greatest cycling races in the world. American cycling fans deserve it, riders deserve it and America deserves it. We want it to be known that not every great cycling race exists in Western Europe."
According to Messick the organizers are already busy planning the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. "The future starts 51 weeks from now in Santa Rosa, where we will start the 2012 race. Santa Rosa has been an exceptional home to the race and we look forward to bringing it back there next year."