Peto Wins The River Ride aka TOC

by editors on May 12, 2019

The 2019 Amgen Tour of California kicked off on Mother’s Day in downtown SacTown with an 88 mile spin up and down the Sacramento River and back to three laps around the Capital. It was a calm day, no valley crosswinds to mess with the peloton and when it was all over Peter Sagan threw his bike to edge Travis McCabe and nab his 17th TOC win. Mark Cavendish finished 109th.

“There is no doubt this is a very nice win, not just for me but for the entire team,” Sagan said. “Earlier today, Pascal Ackermann dominated the sprint at the Giro and now we doubled up with another strong effort here in California. . . I was focused, stayed in the front in the final stretch and timed my attack well. It’s a nice feeling to start with a win in one of my favourite races.”

For the official word from Bora hansgrohe please follow the jump.

Seventeenth Tour of California win for Peter Sagan as Slovak National Champion sprints to Sacramento victory

Both setting off from and finishing in the state capital of Sacramento, the first stage of the Amgen Tour of California would take the riders on an out and back route, ending with three laps of the Capital Circuit, totalling 143km. The roads being almost completely flat the entire distance would ordinarily be a gentle introduction to the coming week of racing, but with some of the world’s best sprinters on the start line, this opener would see high speeds throughout, ahead of what would undoubtedly see a bunch sprint finale. Aiming to make an impact from the start of the day, a group of four attacked immediately and managed to build a slim lead of a little less than two minutes. The warm weather meant the entire peloton was feeling positive, and on the front the BORA – hansgrohe riders were keeping a high pace, not allowing the break to build more of an advantage. As the kilometres passed by, the break shrank in number until with 25km to go, there was just one rider left on the front. Flanked by Juraj Sagan and Daniel Oss, and with Maximilian Schachmann and Felix Großschartner close by, the Slovak National Champion, Peter Sagan, was sitting comfortably in the bunch, the peloton clearly confident they would be able to reel in the solo rider, and just a few kilometres later, with 13km to go, it was all back together – perfect timing for the sprinters and their teams to really start to fight for position as they hit the Capital Circuit and started pushing for the finale, the peloton hitting speeds of almost 60km/h. Positioned well in the final kilometre, Peter stuck to his rivals’ wheels on the final straight, timing his kick to perfection and throwing his bike across the line to take a commanding victory – his seventeenth in the race and confirming his position as the ‘winningest’ rider in Tour of California history. Peter claimed the race leader’s jersey with his win and would start stage two in the coveted yellow jersey.

Results
01 P. Sagan 3:14:10
02 T. McCabe +0:00
03 M. Walscheid +0:00
09 E. Baška +0:04

From the Finish Line
“There is no doubt this is a very nice win, not just for me but for the entire team. Earlier today, Pascal Ackermann dominated the sprint at the Giro and now we doubled up with another strong effort here in California. I’d like to thank everybody for their dedication, the team did a great job. They controlled the race and brought me to a perfect position for the sprint. I was focused, stayed in the front in the final stretch and timed my attack well. It’s a nice feeling to start with a win in one of my favourite races.” – Peter Sagan

“It was a short stage today with quite high temperatures, close to 30ºC. It was a stage for Peter, so we controlled from the start in order to avoid a big break. Once it was established, we made sure it was kept under control and worked to have a sprint finish in Sacramento. Juraj Sagan put in a big effort in the front in the first 90km, after which Oscar Gatto took over. We always had four riders in the front and we entered the circuit with all our riders. Felix Großschartner was able to grab bonus seconds that could prove crucial for the GC while Peter was in a perfect position in the front. He did an excellent sprint and brought home a beautiful victory for the team. We are very happy! Tomorrow, we have a mountain stage to Lake Tahoe with nearly 4,000 metres of altitude gain and the entire squad will work towards Felix’s GC goals.” – Jan Valach, Sports Director


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