Will Routley and his Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies teammates further cemented their grip on the Michelob Ultra King of the Mountain jersey today heading into the Amgen Tour of California’s eighth and final stage in Thousand Oaks. Although Routley did not claim additional points on the day, the team took a defensive posture, watching the race unfold closely to assure any potential threats were kept in check.
“Will did so much work over the first four stages of racing that he made the KOM competition a defensive game for us,” said Performance Director Jonas Carney. “After doing some math, we calculated there were only four riders in the race who could have taken the jersey over the last two days of racing. We had a simple task of marking those men today and making sure they did not make it up the road. The team executed this perfectly, and now all Will needs to do is roll through the finish line in Thousand Oaks.”
Will shared a cute moment with a (very) young fan after the race. The little guy’s mom made a polka dot onesie to celebrate Will’s fantastic week of racing. She said, “We have a future KOM champion here!”
Routley’s impressive run across the first four stages left his with a sizable cushion in the race for the polka dots. He won every single classified climb over the first four days, other than the mountaintop finish on Mt. Diablo, where teammate Carter Jones finished sixth. The Canadian ace collected 42 points on the climbs thus far. Johan Esteban Chavez (Orica-GreenEDGE), a stage winner himself, sits in second place with 24 points, one point ahead of second runner-up Chris Jones (United Healthcare). With only 14 points available on Thousand Oaks’ three-lap circuit, his lead has become insurmountable.