Tour of California: Sagan Wins Stage 1


World Road Race Champion, Peter Sagan, got his Tour of California campaign off to a perfect start sprinting to a resounding stage victory

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Tour of California: Sagan Wins Stage 1

World Road Race Champion, Peter Sagan, got his Amgen Tour of California campaign off to a perfect start sprinting to a resounding stage victory in San Diego. Peter’s first race back after a break following his successful classics campaign proved he is still riding strongly as he found a perfect opening in the hectic sprint finish to take the win and the first leader’s jersey with it.

Having marked out the first stage as one that suited Peter, the team was ready to fight to the finish to get him into position to unleash his sprint effort. Having stayed out of trouble in the wheels during the majority of the stage, Tinkoff hit the front with 5km to race and stayed present around the head of the peloton until the finish straight, keeping Peter near the front and able to find his opening in sight of the line.

The race got off to a predictable start with an early breakaway of seven riders moving clear in the opening kilometres and quickly building an advantage that would see them spend the day at the front of the race. The stage featured one main difficulty along its 175km parcours, the first category climb of Honey Springs Road, a 9.5km ascent at an average of 5.5% gradient. With the breakaway holding several minutes advantage on the climb, the peloton took it fairly steady and no real splits occurred behind the leaders.

As the race headed back downhill all thoughts turned to the stage finish, and the sprint opportunity that awaited – and the gap started to fall as teams applied more pressure to the front of the race. Having sat at over six minutes, the lead was down to 2’30” with 45km to race. After the final intermediate sprint, the front group split and that signalled the end for them with the catch finally coming with just over 3km from the line.

The various sprint trains formed on the large roads running into San Diego with the fluo Tinkoff jerseys visible at the front, as well as Peter’s rainbow bands. With a headwind finish it was important to go late, and having jumped on the perfect wheel as the sprint opened up, Peter pulled clear to take a convincing win and to start the week perfectly for the team.

“It was a great sprint but it’s also a win for the whole team as the boys did a fantastic job today. We have a lot of young guys in the team here but they listened and committed to the plan perfectly. We didn’t want to show too early as it would be hard to hold position so they were patient and listed to each other and to the radio and it worked out. The spirit here is great – it’s a group that are already really close from the classics and we’re looking forward to the rest of the week.”

The stage win is Peter’s 14th at the Tour of California, proving that it really is a race close to his heart. After winning the overall classification at last year’s race, Peter is also not new to the leader’s jersey and will wear it going into tomorrow’s second stage, 148.5km from South Pasadena to Santa Clarita, another potential opportunity for the Slovakian sprinter.







Send your results as well as club, team & event news here


Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK