Oss on California KOM: ‘We were on the dance floor, so we danced’

The tall Italian, a 176-pound sprinter and classics star, joked that it was the first KOM jersey of his career, and “maybe the last one”

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

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PASADENA, California (VN) — It wasn’t a particularly hilly route for the Amgen Tour of California this year, but it still came as a surprise to see BMC Racing’s Daniel Oss, a 176-pound sprinter and cobbled classics star, standing on the final podium wearing the king of the mountains (KOM) jersey.

The tall Italian, who took the opportunity on the final podium to pose with a bass guitar, joked afterward that it was the first KOM jersey of his career and “maybe the last one.”

After spending the second stage in a four-man breakaway, Oss first donned the KOM jersey following stage 3 when he rode in the breakaway with eventual stage winner, and race leader, Toms Skujins of Hincapie Racing.

Oss swept the first three KOMs on stage 3 before Skujins sailed off to a solo victory on Mt. Hamilton. Oss took second across Mt. Hamilton, and with Skujins wearing yellow, the Italian assumed the KOM jersey that belonged to the young Latvian rider.

“We were in the breakaway, and we arrived at a good point for the [KOM] classification,” Oss said. “We were on the dance floor, so we danced.”

After Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) won the stage 6 time trial and took the race lead, Skujins traded the yellow jersey for that of the KOM leader. But the following day, the queen stage, offered three opportunities for KOM points. When Oss made it into the day’s breakaway and Skujins did not, the jersey was his. In total, Oss spent more than 10 hours — 200 miles — in front of the peloton over the 700-mile, eight-stage race.

“I was looking for good condition, to see what I could do, and also to do something for the team,” Oss said. “It’s strange to see an 80kg [176-pound] rider in the KOM jersey, but the race went in a good way for me. I went in a breakaway on a day when there was a lot of KOMs, and I accumulated a lot of points. I arrived in second place for this jersey, and then we fought until the last day. Why not?”

Oss said he would next race at the Critérium du Dauphiné, the Italian road national championship, and then the Tour de France.

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