Murphy Sprints to Top-10 Finishes on Amgen Tour of California Stages 4 and 5, Brajkovič Moves to 10th Overall
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team continues to thrive and earn solid results at the 2015 Amgen Tour of California, racing 106.9 windy miles from Pismo Beach to Avila Beach on Wednesday, followed by 95.7 rainy miles from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita on Thursday. In the technical uphill bunch sprint along the cliffs above Avila Beach, John Murphy claimed 10th on Stage 4 after teammate Kiel Reijnen spent nearly the entire race in the breakaway, nabbing KOM and intermediate sprint points along the way. The team battled slick roads and a chaotic sprint in the finale of stage 5, with Murphy claiming 7th on the day despite losing teammates Daniele Ratto and Kiel Reijnen in a crash in the final miles. Ratto and Reijnen were out of the sprint, but both able to finish the stage and will race again on stage 6. Struggling with illness, Italian rider Marco Canola was forced to withdraw from the 8-stage race, vowing to be return to action with his teammates as soon as he recovers.
Standout climber and all-rounder Jani Brajkovič has stayed safe at the front of the 5 stages, and finished 19th on the brutal mountaintop finish of Stage 3. His consistency throughout the week shows in his current 10th place in the overall classification standings, just 47 seconds behind the yellow jersey. The stage 6 time trial has been shortened to 6.6 miles and relocated to the southern California city of Santa Clarita due to predicted snow storms at the higher elevations of Big Bear Lake.