Ben King wins Tour of California stage two, moves into race lead

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American Ben King won a two-up sprint in Santa Clarita on Monday to secure his first victory of the season on stage two of the Amgen Tour of California.

The 27-year-old was one of two survivors of a four-man breakaway that escaped the peloton’s stronghold with around 120-kilometers remaining in the 148-kilometer day. Finishing eight seconds ahead of the peloton and snagging a ten-second bonus for the stage win, King now leads the Amgen Tour of California general classification.

“This is my fifth time doing this race, and it’s the first time I’ve won a stage here,” said King. “It’s really exciting for me.”

“I had a broken fibula in January, so I had to restart from scratch to build towards this,” added King, who spent much of January and February logging big mileage on his Kinetic home trainer. “California was the first race that I had marked off with the directors to try to be back at 100 percent so that I could try to make our Tour de France squad. I got my face kicked in a lot this spring in Europe.”

A week out from the race start, King had set his sights on getting into the breakaway on stage two.

“It was the team plan,” said King. “I followed a lot of moves and did a lot of attacking today to make it happen.”

King will line up in yellow in Thousand Oaks on Tuesday. He starts stage three with an eight-second advantage over Huffman and 14-seconds on stage one winner Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo).

“The timing of how the stage went today put me in yellow, but it doesn’t change the team’s objective of supporting Lawson [Craddock],” said King.

“Having raced around the world all season for multiple years, it’s always a pleasure to come back to the state of California and do this race,” King added. “The spectators, the cycling culture, the roads, the scenery – everything about this race is just about as good as it gets. It’s such a special race to me, and I’m so proud and so happy to wear yellow tomorrow.”

Tour of California 2016 – stage 2 results (South Pasadena – Santa Clarita):

1 Ben King (Cannondale)

3:52:09

2 Evan Huffman (Rally)

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3 Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)

+08”

4 Peter Sagan (Tinkoff)

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5 Niccolò Bonifazio (Trek-Segafredo)

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6 Danny Van Poppel (Sky)

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7 Patrick Bevin (Cannondale)

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8 Nathan Haas (Dimension Data)

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9 Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie)

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10 Marco Canola (UnitedHealthcare)

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General classification after stage 2:

1 Ben King (Cannondale)

8:12:34

2 Evan Huffman (Rally)

+08”

3 Peter Sagan (Tinkoff)

+14”

4 Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)

+20”

5 Daniel Eaton (UnitedHealthcare)

+21”

6 William Barta (Axeon Hagens Berman)

,,

7 Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (Giant-Alpecin)

+23”

8 Niccolò Bonifazio (Trek-Segafredo)

+24”

9 Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie)

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10 Danny Van Poppel (Sky)

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