May 22/12 13:02 pm - Sebastian Salas Crowned King of the Mountains at AToC: Interview and report
Posted by Editoress on 05/22/12
Video Interview with of Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies' Sebastien Salas
Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies closed out their major goal for the week today, delivering Sebastian Salas home with the Nissan King of the Mountains jersey after an incredibly fast paced circuit race running from Beverly Hills to L.A. Live.
There were no more points available in the climbing competition - all Salas had to do was cruise across the line safely to win the prize, which on the flattest road the riders have seen all week, was a relatively easy task for the powerful young rider.
"It is an amazing feeling to bring home the jersey that this team has battled for so hard all week," said Salas after the race. "I don't think it has quite sunk it yet. Maybe once I can get some rest and recovery I will be able to enjoy the victory a bit more, but right now I am just ready for some sleep."
With Salas' polka dot jersey secured, the Optum p/b KBS team was not satisfied to sit on its haunches on the incredible Los Angeles course, and Performance Director Jonas Carney instructed the team to be as aggressive as possible in the hunt for a stage win.
"This was a pretty incredible course today on some roads we would rarely get to ride otherwise, and it was fun to see our guys being so aggressive," said Carney. "We were certain this would end in a field sprint, and our plan was to set up Ken Hanson. Ken has suffered through a brutal week of climbing and it was time for him to get a shot at a sprint."
Optum's Alex Candelario and Hanson entered the final three turns in good position. With just two kilometres to go, Hanson was pinched off in a tight corner, but battled back onto his teammate's wheel, to record the top domestic result, in seventh place.
The team leaves the Amgen Tour California with the Nissan King of the Mountains jersey and three top eight finishes, including Candelario's fourth place in stage three.