Carpenter the winner from Tour of California break away

Hincapie rider moves into young rider and KOM jersey lead

Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Racing Team) spent most of stage 2 at the Tour of California riding in a breakaway. It was a long, but fruitful day for the 23-year-old rider out of Philadelphia, PA.

Carpenter and Luis Romero Amaran (Jamiz-Hagens Berman-Sutter Home) made contact with, Daniel Oss (BMC) and Markel Irizar Aranburu (Trek Factory Racing), 20km into the race. The quartet spent most of the day descending the long twisty roads from Nevada City to the finish in Lodi. At the end of the race Carpenter had won enough points and time bonuses to earn himself the KOM and best young rider's jersey.

"It was shuffling around and I thought there were more guys up the road, including my teammate Oscar [Clark] who had gotten reeled in and I just didn't notice," said Carpenter. "There were only two guys up, but Quickstep was trying to block the road to let the break go. Which is a classic move, but was strange to realise there was only two guys they were trying to let go."

Carpenter was not happy with the break's numbers, but decided to play the cards he had been dealt. Carpenter made the most of the opportunity and won all the KOM and intermediate sprints up for grabs. The available time bonuses helped move Carpenter into the best young rider's jersey.

Carpenter appears to be in good form but is not planning on attending next week's U.S Pro Championships. Carpenter is skipping the championship races in Chattanooga in order to focus on Winston-Salem, and his hometown race, the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic.

Carpenter lives in California, but grew up a block from the famed Manayunk Wall. Growing up in downtown Philadelphia, Carpenter learned to love cycling riding to school and with his family. After Carpenter rode 'The Wall' for the first time with his father, a neighbour encouraged him to start racing. In 2004 Carpenter tackled the Manayunk Hill Climb, his first race ever. Carpenter rode a Huffy mountain bike with slick tires, and tilted handlebar extensions. He finished last in the Category 5 race directly behind his father.

Since then Carpenter has turned heads with several big performances including a stage win at the 2014 USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and KOM Jersey at the first day of the 2014 Tour of Utah.

"I pride myself on being a consistent rider," said Carpenter. "I don't really have huge peaks, but I don't really have huge valleys either. I like doing a lot of races and getting a lot of opportunities to do well."

Carpenter feels his chances at keeping the KOM and best young rider jersey hinge on his ability to get into the day's breakaway. Until then he's just enjoying the limelight.

"It is always cool to get on the podium at these Medalist races. I think it is pretty important for our team and our sponsors," said Carpenter. "Tomorrow is a pretty tough stage. There are a lot of KOM points out on the road and some sprints. It is a tough uphill finish. I might be a little tired after today but hopefully we didn't ride too hard for most of the stage. Tomorrow, if there is a big break, I can get into that or at least hold onto for finish and try and go for a good result at the finish." 

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