Super Sagan wins 2019 Tour of California opener in Sacramento

Super Sagan wins 2019 Tour of California opener in Sacramento

Peter Sagan 🇸🇰  claimed his first win in almost four months as he proved the fastest on stage one of the Amgen Tour of California.

The Bora man beat Travis McCabe (United States) and Max Walscheid (Sunweb) in a sprint in the state capital.

Mark Cavendish (Dimension-Data) and Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) were some of the fancied sprinters who failed to contest the finish, the former 30 seconds down on Sagan.

It is Sagan’s 17th win in the race, but only his second of 2019. The last time he raised his hands for the win was back in January in the TDU. The three-time world champ will be relieved to have returned to winning ways after a tough Classics season.

Victory means that he takes the leader’s jersey but he is unlikely to be able to repeat his result from four years ago when he won topped the general classification after eight stages.

Stage two of the 14th edition sees the riders gradually climb from sea level to 2,616m before finishing at South Lake Tahoe, with an uphill finish.

 

The Race:

Starting in Sacramento, the peloton headed for the northern Central Valley.  From the off, four men went away to form a breakaway: Laurens de Vreese (Astana), Tyler Stites (United States), Charles Planet (Novo-Nordisk) and Michael Schär (CCC Team).

The quartet were never allowed to extend their lead to more than a few minutes, and the peloton hungry for a bunch sprint caught Plant, the last surviving member of the breakaway, with 19km still to race, setting up the finish.

Deceuninck-Quick-Step set the pace initially as the sprinting teams organised ahead of two laps in the city’s downtown which were watched by large crowds.

Sunweb rode superbly at the front in the final few kilometres, Sagan noticeably sitting in the middle of their lead-out train that was intended for Walscheid (Classic Sagan… 🤣).

As they entered the final kilometre, both Deceuninck-Quick Step and Ineos were at the front of the race, the peloton behind splitting across the road leaving only a half-a-dozen riders to battle it out in the finale.

Owain Doull hit the front, working for his teammate Kristoffer Halvorsen. But behind the Welshman was Sagan who was making the most of the slipstream.

At 150m to go, Sagan darted into the vacant space to the right of Doull, with Michael Morkov of Deceuninck-Quick Step quick to follow. The Dane, however, couldn’t match the speed of Sagan.

Sagan powered to the line but McCabe put in a valiant effort to match Sagan and almost snatch victory on the line. Doull rolled home sixth, the rest of the peloton four seconds behind, led by John Degenkolb of Trek-Segafredo.

 

Results

Tour of California 2019, stage one: Sacramento > Sacramento (143km)

1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe, in 3-14-10
2. Trevor McCabe (USA) United States
3. Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb
4. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Team Ineos
5. Michael Morkov (Den) Deceuninck-Quick Step
6. Owain Doull (GBr) Team Ineos, all at same time
7. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo, at 4 secs
8. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida
9. Erik Baska (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE-Team Emirates, all at same time

GC standings:

1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe in 3-14-10
2. Trevor McCabe (USA) United States, at 4 secs
3. Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb, at 6 secs
4. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Team Ineos, at 10 secs
5. Michael Morkov (Den) Deceuninck-Quick Step
6. Owain Doull (GBr) Team Ineos, all at same time
7. Tyler Stites (USA) United States, at 11 secs
8. George Bennett (NwZ) Team Jumbo-Visma, at 13 secs
9. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo, at 14 secs
10. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida, at same time

Credits/Resources: cyclingweekly