Colombian cyclist Janier Acevedo battled dehydration, steep climbs and oppressive heat to win stage two of the Tour of California, finishing 12 seconds ahead of America’s Tejay van Garderen on Monday.
In temperatures that climbed to 46 Celsius, Acevedo made his move on the Tramway Road climb finishing the 200-kilometre (124-mile) stage, that began in Murrieta and ended in the desert town of Palm Springs, in five hours, seven minutes and 40 seconds.
“Insane,” van Garderen said of the brutal conditions. “It was unlike anything I’ve ever done.”
Phil Deignan was third in stage two, 27 seconds adrift.
With his victory, Acevedo took command of the general classification.
Overnight leader Lieuwe Westra dropped back early on the finish climb and was more than eight minutes behind Acevedo.
The Tour of California continues on Tuesday with the 177km third stage from Palmdale to Santa Clarita. Weather forecasters are predicting somewhat cooler temperatures for the third stage.
For the first time, the Tour will take riders on a route from the southern part of the state northward, starting at Escondido and finishing on May 19 in Santa Rosa, near San Francisco.
America’s most important stage race will cover some 1,200 kilometres (745 miles) over the eight stages, highlighted by an individual time trial on the sixth stage and the hors categorie Mount Diablo climb on stage seven.