BMC Racing's Tejay van Garderen recorded his first major stage race win at the Amgen Tour of California.
“It’s a big relief. It’s a weight off my shoulders. I got the monkey off my back and hopefully this gets the ball rolling, and I can start racking up a bit more [wins],” said van Garderenafter being crowned champion. The BMC rider took the Amgen Race Leader Jersey on stage 5. With his five-week-old daughter Rylan there today to share his victory, he reflected: “Maybe becoming a daddy was the difference [in taking the overall win]… I think I’m just maybe a bit more relaxed, a bit more mature, and I just had to be patient.”
Cannondale Pro Cycling’s Peter Sagan outsprinted the field to win the race’s final stage, a 80.7-mile jaunt that took cyclists from San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge for the only the second time in race history, to the overall finish in the cycling mecca of Santa Rosa. The race’s final stage aired live on NBC. It was Sagan’s 10th career Amgen Tour of California stage win, the most of anyone who has ridden in America’s Greatest Race.
Second for the overall finish was 2010 Amgen Tour of California champion Michael Rogers (AUS) of Team Saxo-Tinkoff (1:47), followed by Team Jamis-Hagens Berman’s Janier Alexis Acevedo (COL), whose determined climbs in Stages 2 and 7 earned him the precious seconds he needed for a podium finish (+3:26). Acevedo wore the yellow jersey for the first half of the race, and after getting caught out by a breakaway in Stage 5, he battled his way back to podium position yesterday to end the race just ahead of fourth- and fifth-place finishers Mathias Frank (SUI) of BMC Racing Team (+3:32) and Cameron Meyer (AUS) of ORICA GreenEDGE (+3:33).
Edvald Boasson Hagen pulled out a stunning performance on home ground to win stage four at the Tour of Norway and claim the race lead. The Norwegian fired clear over the top of the Kinnshaugen climb and linked up with Sergio Paulinho (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) on the run back into the centre of Lillehammer.
A tense chase ensued with 12 riders linking up to close down the plucky pair, but with a slender gap stabilising it was left to Boasson Hagen to kick again in the final kilometre, riding to an immensely popular solo victory by 11 seconds.
With overnight race leader Alexander Kristoff losing contact after a fierce pace had been set by Team Sky, the win moved Boasson Hagen into a 27-second race lead over Paulinho with one stage remaining.
Edvald Boasson Hagen, Team Sky Rider:
“It’s an amazing feeling to win here again. The team did a really good job today in controlling things from the start.
“After they’d done all the work other teams began attacking me and I decided to go by myself on the way to the finish. I’d planned to do that this morning and I wanted to try and either arrive alone or have someone to ride with. Everything went to plan.
“[The support here] is like the Tour de France. It is amazing that so many people come out to watch the race and cheer for me.
“There are more climbs tomorrow and it will be really hard. We need to keep focussed for one more day and hopefully I can stay in the yellow and green jerseys tomorrow.”
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) - Team Sky 17:56:42
2. Sergio Paulinho (POR) – Team Saxo-Tinkoff +27”
3. Bauke Mollema (NED) – Blanco Cycling +44”
4. Sondre Holst Enger (NOR) – Team Plussbank +47”
5. Gaetan Bille (BEL) – Lotto-Belisol +49”
Stage 1: 1 Alexander Kristoff (Katjusja Team) 2 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) 3 Sébastien Hinault (IAM)
Stage 2: 1 KRISTOFF Alexander (Katusha) 2 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald (Sky Procycling) 3 ENGER Sondre Holst (Team Plussbank)
Stage 3: 1 Theo Bos (Blanco Pro Cycling Team) 2 Alexander Kristoff (Katjusja Team) 3 Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling)
Stage 4: 1 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald (SKY) 2 MOREIRA PAULINHO Sergio Miguel (Team Saxo – Tinkoff) 3 MOLLEMA Bauke (Blanco Pro Cycling Team)
Stage 5: 1 Alexander Kristoff (Katjusja Team) 2 ENGER Sondre Holst (Team Plussbank) 3 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald (Sky Procycling)