In His Own Words: Matt Wilson on Amgen Tour of California Stage FiveThu 16 May 2013
The fifth stage of the Amgen Tour of California looked straightforward on paper. Crosswinds made it anything but. Fifty kilometres from the finish, 18 riders made the front group selection after echelons formed over to combat the wind. ORICA-GreenEDGE had put four riders up the road. In his own words, Sport Director Matt Wilson describes the day.
The break formed really early with four guys initially. They become three before the only categorised climb. The move was nothing for us to worry about. Again, we had Wes [Wesley Sulzberger] on the front rolling through for the chase.
We got some reports from Fumy [Beppu] and Heppy [Michael Hepburn] who were doing their training on the race route ahead of the race. They let us know that the wind was really strong after the first intermediate sprints. They said we’d hit a headwind and then a crosswind. I let the boys know, and they were attentive on the front at that particular section. Because they got to the front when the wind picked up, we were able to put four riders in the split of 18 guys that rode away from the field all the way to the line.
We had good numbers – the best numbers of any of the teams. We knew Cam [Meyer] would move up significantly on GC. Michael Matthews was resting a little bit because the other sprinters in the group were sitting on, and he needed to save himself for the finish. The other three guys were really committed to keeping the move away. They all took pulls.
We wanted to go for the stage win with Matthews, and we thought we were in a good position to do that until Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Leopard-Trek) attacked. They said it was a really impressive move and none of them could have followed. Baden [Cooke] gave it a shot when he countered the move, but he only made if halfway.
In the end, Jens took the win ahead of the rest of the group. Matthews was fourth in the sprint to take fifth on the stage. It’s a little disappointing to miss out on the stage win, but we’re very happy for the gains we made with Cam. He expects to do a good time trial, so we could see even more gains at this time tomorrow.