Canuck Claims Stage Win, Points, King of the Mountain Jerseys from Breakaway Effort
Will Routley continued to build momentum in an incredible day of racing for Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies, claiming the stage win and two classification jerseys in Cambria, California. Routley, who launched into the early breakaway for the third time in four stages this week, claimed top points on all three categorized climbs on the stunning 105 mile route along Highway One from Monterey to Cambria to increase his lead in the Michelob Ultra King of the Mountain (KOM) competition before working alongside his breakaway companions to maintain their lead on the charging peloton to the finish line.
The stage win was an exclamation point on an already successful day of racing for the 31-year old native of Vancouver, a breakaway specialist who earned Optum p/b KBS it’s most prestigious stage win ever.
“We are a strong team in North America, no doubt, but to be here competing against the world’s best, to win two jerseys and the stage, is incredible for this team,” said Routley. “It was one of those rare scenarios where you think ‘holy smokes’, this break could actually make it to the line. The big sprinters teams kind of mistimed it – when you are going 60 kilometers an hour in the breakaway, it’s pretty hard for people to close that gap, even if it is only a few minutes.”
Fellow Canadian and Performance Manager Eric Wohlberg guided Routley in the breakaway from the team car, and was impressed with the win and effort from his fellow countryman.
“Will did an incredible amount of work capturing top points on all the climbs, and to fight for a stage win on top of that shows that he is a world-class competitor. He is now solidly in the lead in the KOM competition and earned our team it’s first stage win at North America’s biggest race. All of the athletes and staff could not be more proud.”
Routley, known as a savvy tactician and breakaway specialist, attributed his victory to focus and hard work.
“I’ve always been a bit of a a jack of all trades and a master of none, so in my training, I just work as hard as I can and I work on everything,” he said. “I feel like my top-end power is as good as it’s ever been and physically, everything is in place. It really just becomes a matter of recognizing the opportunity, staying confident and calm, and letting the moment come to me.”
Routley will wear the points jersey, taken from the shoulders of former world champion Mark Cavendish, on stage five’s journey from Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara. His KOM jersey will rest on the shoulders of Jonny Clarke (United Healthcare) for the time being, and he will fight alongside his teammates for more success in four more days of racing down the California coast.