Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider wins youth leader jersey and the crowd with incredible performance
The Amgen Tour of California came to an exciting conclusion today thanks to Lachlan Morton and the Rally Cycling Team taking the final stage by the horns. Evan Huffman (Rally Cycling) was the final stage winner, David Lopez (Team Sky) was 2nd and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) finished 3rd. Morton was 4th across the line and George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) won the race overall.
The final stage left Mountain High on a 125km mostly downhill route, finishing in Pasadena. Starting with a slightly treacherous descent, which saw 2 riders crash out of the race, the peloton neutralised the racing until reaching the valley road. From then on though the attacks came thick and fast and Lachlan Morton was at the helm of it all.
The Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider timed his attack well, making his move when the peloton was at its limit, with 4 other riders joining him initially. Huffman, Rob Britton (Rally Cycling), Edet and Lopez joined Morton before Sepp Kuss (Rally Cycling) rode across the gap a few kilometers later. The break worked well together, except for Lopez, who was sitting on in order to protect his teams GC ambitions.
With 5 riders fully committed to the move, the gap opened to 1’45” with 45km to go. They then hit the final cat 2 climb of the day and the peloton was able to close the gap down to just 40″, but the increase in pace also the peloton blow to pieces. In the end, it was a group 25 riders versus the 5 that were working up front.
Incredibly, the break was able to make it all the way to the line. Lopez tried to get one over on the break right near the line but Huffman was still able to roll him for the win. Morton took 4th but was able to reclaim the Best Young Rider Jersey and moved up two spots on GC, to finish 7th overall. A gutsy ride by Morton which our whole team can be proud of, after their tireless work this week.
Lachlan Morton – Rider
Today was just a great bike race to be part of. The team had worked so hard for me all week and I kind of wanted to repay them somehow, so I saw an opportunity today and took it. We had 5 guys really going for it in the break and it was just full gas all the way. To come away with the jersey in the end is great, and it ends the tour off on a positive note for our team. I feel right at home with the team, we race for a great cause, it’s like one big family so I am happy with how it ended today for all of us.