Pat McCarty (SpiderTech p/b C10) is on the hunt to win the California Travel & Tourism Commission King of the Mountain (KOM) jersey by the end of the Amgen Tour of California on Sunday. The American climber will try to further his lead in the point standings on the 'queen' stage seven that includes the second mountaintop finish on Mt Baldy.
"Mt Baldy is a big day because they are higher category climbs and more points," McCarty told Cyclingnews. "Saturday is the big day for me. I will have to do everything there and on Sunday there is only one climb. I'm going to put everything into Saturday and hopefully it will work out like it did today."
McCarty moved ahead on the KOM competition by winning the Hors category ascent during stage four over Mt. Hamilton. He earned 12 points ahead of Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) who had 9 points heading into stage five.
"Yesterday I was climbing good and I was in the right place at the right time," McCarty said. "It wasn't easy but today I had to fight a little bit for it to keep it."
McCarty nearly missed the day's significant breakaway but relied on his teammate Svein Tuft to bring him across. The eleven rider-move also
included Anthony and the pair gutted one another to get the available points atop Laureles Grade, Carmel Valley Rd and
Interlake Rd, all category four climbs.
"I won the second and the fourth KOM today and I also got second place on the third KOM," McCarty said. "There was another rider [Jesse Anthony] in the breakaway that was right behind me in the KOM competition. On the first of several climbs we were battling for them but on the last one I got more points and was in somewhat of a comfortable lead. I will still have to pick up more points on Saturday."
Canada's sole UCI Professional Continental team SpiderTech p/b C10 spent the majority of the early season racing in Europe. McCarty attributed his strong performance to participating in races such as the Giro di Sardegna, Circuit de la Sarthe and Presidential Tour of Turkey.
He last competed in the Amgen Tour of California in 2006 while racing with Phonak. "Comparing races, to racing in Europe, it is really nice to be back," he said. "I did the first edition back in 2006 and was on Floyd [Landis] team when he won. It's a great race, the biggest race in America and I'm proud to be racing here and have the King of the Mountain jersey."