BORA-hansgrohe’s two-time defending World Champion Peter Sagan (SVK) charged from behind and overtook a group sprint finish to conclude the third day of racing at the 2017 Amgen Tour of California.
As the peloton twisted toward the quaint downtown of Morro Bay, teams strung out across the curving roads looking to position their sprinters to pounce in the final meters. Lead-out trains from Team KATUSHA ALPECIN, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team and BMC Racing Team dominated the road. In the final stretch, Sagan, who won the Amgen Tour of California by seconds in 2015 (SVK), began freelancing his way up through the peloton. With just seconds left to ride, Sagan charged the leaders from a few positions back, overtaking the field for a decisive stage victory, increasing his record of 16 stage wins. Sagan also picked up the Visit California Sprint Jersey today, which he’s taken home six times in this competition.
Photos © Darrell Parks
“It’s been a very good (Amgen) Tour of California (for our team). We won yesterday, we won today and we still have the yellow jersey. My brother was working a lot today in the front, and was chasing the breakaway all day….My teammates helped to get me in the right position for the last run, and I have to thank them very much for that,” said “King of California” Sagan.
On the longest of this year’s seven stages, five riders made a break at the start of the race in Pismo Beach and built the gap to more than 5.5 minutes over the peloton: Rally Cycling’s race veteran Danny Pate (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Team Novo Nordisk’s David Lozano (ESP), and three young riders age 23 or less including UAE Team Emirates’ Federico Zurlo (ITA) and Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis’ teammates Sean Bennett (El Cerrito, Calif.) and Ben Wolfe (Old Lyme, Conn.). The gap was steadily closing as the riders approached the second Sprint point of the day in downtown San Luis Obispo.
This is Wolfe’s second day this week riding in a long breakaway, where he has spent about 65 percent of the race so far. Wolfe attacked the leader group with 11.5 miles left to race, growing his solo lead to 45 seconds, while the others were swept up into the peloton with about eight miles left to ride. Although Wolfe was caught about three miles later, he earned the Breakaway from Cancer® / Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Most Courageous Rider Jersey, which he won under similar conditions during the first day of racing in Sacramento.
Today’s result left the overall leader board in tact, with Sagan’s teammate Rafal Majka (POL), the Tour de France’s defending King of the Mountains, maintaining his lead over Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s George Bennett (NZL) (+.02) and Team Sky’s Ian Boswell (Bend, Oregon) (+.14).
United Healthcare Pro Cycling Team’s 26-year old Columbian rider Daniel Jaramillo retains the Lexus King of the Mountain Jersey he won yesterday, and Team Dimension Data’s Lachlan Morton (AUS) remains in the TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey.
Tomorrow’s Stage 4 presented by Visit California will take the cyclists 99.1 miles from the coastline of Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita, which will host its 13th stage. The 2017 Amgen Tour of California will conclude Saturday in Pasadena.
Stage 3 Podium
1. Peter Sagan (SVK), BORA-hansgrohe (GER)
2. Rick Zabel (GER), Team KATUSHA ALPECIN (SUI)
3. Simone Consonni (ITA), UAE Team Emirates (UAE)
Stage 3 Jersey Winners
Amgen Race Leader Jersey – Rafal Majka (POL), BORA-hansgrohe (GER)
Men’s Lexus King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey – Daniel Jaramillo (COL), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Breakaway from Cancer® / Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Ben Wolfe (USA), Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis (USA)
Visit California Sprint Jersey – Peter Sagan (SVK), BORA-hansgrohe (GER)
TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey – Lachlan Morton (AUS), Team Dimension Data (RUS)