May 14, 2014

Photo Credit: VeloNews

Carter Jones continued to show the great form that got him the win at Tour of the Gila two weeks ago and carried it into this week's Tour of California. Mt. Diablo lived up to its billing as a crucial stage in the overall GC in this year’s Tour of California, and Optum pro Carter Jones lived up to his billing as one of the race's premier climbers by attacking the yellow jersey and vaulting up the GC into 8th place overall as a result.

After the flat Stage 2 time trial, 2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins cemented his place atop the Tour of California leaderboard. On Stage 3 the climbers would step to the fore, as it had two major HC climbs, the latter of which (Mt. Diablo) was a mountaintop finish. Although an early break got away, Wiggins' Team Sky set a blistering pace on the front to bring the break within reach by the bottom of the final climb. The hard tempo continued in the yellow jersey group as riders consistently detached and the group got successively smaller. By halfway up the 10-mile climb, Wiggins was isolated and needed to set a hard tempo on the front himself to prevent attacks. At the 4-km-to-go mark, Carter Jones put in an aggressive move and gained fifteen seconds on the yellow jersey group. This move required Wiggins to raise the tempo again and discourage anyone from joining Jones. The resulting surge in pace shed more passengers and whittled the front group down to only the elite climbers. Jones was reeled back in at the 2-km-to-go mark. With only 1 kilometer until the final kick to the finish, Carter did an excellent job of recovering and getting in the mix to finish sixth on the day and move into eighth overall on GC. The next showdown for GC again involves serious climbing on Stage 6 Mountain High finish.

PCG Coach: Stephen McGregor

Photo Credit: CyclingNews