Will Routley claimed the Michelob Ultra King of the Mountain Jersey once and for all today at the Amgen Tour of California. After spending the first five stages claiming nearly every categorized climb to build a substantial lead on the rest of his competitors, his Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies teammates helped Routley defend the jersey over the second half of the race.
On the final circuit in Thousand Oaks, all it took was one last effort by the team to guide Routley through a tough course featuring three trips up the brutal Rock Store climb. Routley was kept safe, and crossed the finish line with the polka dot jersey firmly in hand. Adding to a historic stage win on stage four, it was the team’s best performance at the Amgen Tour of California in its fifth attempt at America’s biggest stage race. Routley controlled the climbs by placing himself in each breakaway over the first four stages, and conquered a field-wide sprint for a top-point climb midway through stage five. It goes down in history as Optum p/b KBS’ biggest stage race win.
Routley, a veteran rider who has experienced success around the world as a cyclist, is enjoying a new level of accomplishment with his new black and orange teammates. Despite his fantastic individual effort to capture a stage win and the KOM jersey, he gave thanks to team management for the win.
“I think a big part of this this win comes down to one thing – morale,” said the always humble Routley. “Coming into this team and being part of the family, enjoying myself when I am racing, is making a big difference in my performance. I am really pumped to capture a win for a team that I’m honored to be part of.”