For the Colavita/Sutter Home Men’s Cycling Team presented by Cooking Light, the individual time trials on February 20th were the highlight of the final stages of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California. Luis Amaran proved he is capable of competing with the best in the world, delivering an impressive ride that put him in 16th place – just one second behind Lance Armstrong (Astana).
Luis and Sebastian Haedo started Stage 7, an 88.9-mile route from Santa Clarita to Pasadena, in great form. The pair were part of the first group in the very difficult opening climb and were poised to improve Luis’ overall position. The Colavita/Sutter Home squad waged numerous efforts to get into the break but were unable to make them stick before the field hit the day’s big climb. On the ascent, the attacks were fast and furious, with Astana setting a torrid pace. Luis and Seba were taken out by a crash and the race’s medical director decided that Luis could not continue. But Andy Guptill, Davide Frattini, Aaron Olson, and Tyler Wren rode valiantly to finish safely within the time cut.
The organizers of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California claimed that they saved the best stage for last and they did not disappoint. The 96.8-mile route from Rancho Bernardo to Escondido was the most difficult of the race, with four King of the Mountain climbs, including Palomar Mountain, the highest summit on the tour at 5,123 feet. The climbing was very difficult, causing several of the remaining riders to drop out. But Colavita/Sutter Home’s stalwart five – Seba, Andy, Davide, Aaron, and Tyler – held on to the end and finished the tour.