With an imposing pack of top sprinters angling for the win 25 miles from the finish line in Avila Beach, RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK’S Jens Voigt (GER) made his second decisive attack of the day and struck out on his own to claim the Stage 5 of the 2013 Amgen Tour of California.
Forty-one-year-old Voigt has ridden in seven of the eight editions of America’s Greatest Race, and has come close to the overall win, taking second place in 2007. Yesterday’s win marked the 66th victory of his illustrious career.
“I felt like I’m a little bit stronger than the other guys in the break, but of course less fast than the sprinters, so the only chance for me to win is to come here [to the finish line] alone,” said Voigt, who at 41 is the oldest licensed racer in the world. “I went all in, and it worked. I’m a really happy man tonight. This is not the twilight of my career. Let’s call it ‘Indian Summer.’”
Besting the second- and third-place finishers by a whopping six seconds with his solo attack in the final 2.5 miles of the race, Voigt also orchestrated the defining move of the day – a breakaway of 17 elite riders about 82 miles into the 115-mile stage from Santa Barbara to Avila Beach, which the NBC Sports Network announcers called “the best move of the race in the last five days.”
Sensing a change in the punishing crosswinds as they rode through the town of Guadalupe, Voigt made a move to split the peloton, which forced overall leader Jose Acevedo (COL) of Team Jamis-Hagens Berman out of position, eventually causing him to lose the race’s overall lead. The group grew their advantage over the peloton to about a minute before reaching the tight turns in the final 200 meters to the finish. In addition to the stage win, these maneuvers also earned Voigt the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey yesterday.