Amgen Tour of California Concludes After an Exciting Week of Racing


Egan Bernal, Team Sky’s 21-year-old Colombian rider, defended his lead from yesterday to claim the 2018 Amgen Tour of California championship by the second largest margin in race history, +1.25” ahead of BMC Racing Team’s U.S. rider Tejay van Garderen. Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale’s Daniel Martinez (COL) rounds out third place overall.

Photos © Darrell Parks / darrellparks.com

The Amgen Race Leader Jersey traded between the two leaders after van Garderen’s blazing time trial Wednesday put him ahead of the Team Sky rider for two days. Bernal, who initially claimed the race lead on Monday’s Gibraltar Road summit stage, took back enough time on yesterday’s climbing stage to win back the coveted yellow jersey and a comfortable lead of +1.25”, leading to his first overall WorldTour race win today. Van Garderen himself still holds the race record for the largest winning margin of all time with his 2013 overall win +1.47” ahead of Michael Rogers.

“I’m so happy because it’s my first overall win on the WorldTour level,” said the 21-year old who will also go home with the TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey. “Today I feel great. The team did a really good job on the race and I won, and I’m just happy.”

Photos © Darrell Parks / darrellparks.com

Presented by Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM, the men’s Stage 7 race conclusion was a 90.7-mile trek that began and ended in downtown Sacramento with three circuits that the peloton’s world-renowned sprinters were hungry for after being shut out all week by Quick-Step Floors’ Fernando Gaviria (COL). In the final stretch, Gaviria’s bike throw over the line seized the photo-finish win over Team Sunweb’s Maximilian Walscheid (GER), followed by Mitchelton-SCOTT’s Caleb Ewan (AUS). Gaviria held off lauded sprinters who have won this stage in past editions including Team Dimension Data’s Mark Cavendish (GBR) and Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’s Marcel Kittel (GER), bringing his total stage wins this week to three – a clean sweep of the expected sprint finish stages – and clinching the prestigious Visit California Sprint Jersey competition.

Today’s breakaway began early again and lasted until midway through the finishing circuits, containing Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s hometown rider Neilson Powless (Roseville, Calif.), Rally Cycling’s Adam de Vos (CAN), United Healthcare Pro Cycling’s Jonathan Clarke (AUS), and Hagens Berman Axeon Cycling Team’s U23 World Champ Mikkel Bjerg (DEN), who was awarded the Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey.

Photos © Darrell Parks / darrellparks.com

Overall Race Result:
1. Egan Bernal (COL), Team Sky (GBR) 25h34’19”
2. Tejay van Garderen (USA), BMC Racing Team (USA) +1’25”
3. Daniel Martinez (COL), Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale (USA) +2’14”
4. Adam Yates (GBR), Mitchelton-SCOTT (AUS) + 2’16”
5. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBR), Team Sky (GBR) +2’28”

Jersey Winners at Race Conclusion:
Amgen Race Leader Jersey – Egan Bernal (COL), Team Sky (GBR)
Visit California Sprint Jersey – Fernando Gaviria (COL), Quick-Step Floors (BEL)
Lexus King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey – Toms Skujins (LAT), Trek-Segafredo (USA)
TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey – Egan Bernal (COL), Team Sky (GBR)
Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Mikkel Bjerg (DEN), Hagens Berman Axeon Cycling Team (USA)

Overall Team Winner:
Team Sky (GBR)

Stage 7 Podium:
1. Fernando Gaviria (COL), Quick-Step Floors (BEL) 3h07’39″”
2. Maximilian Walscheid (GER), Team Sunweb (GER) +00”
3. Caleb Ewan (AUS), Mitchelton-SCOTT (AUS) +00”

AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA WOMEN’S RACE EMPOWERED WITH SRAM

After placing second in last year’s race by just one second, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling’s Katie Hall (Oakland, Calif.) came away the decisive 2018 champion when Stage 3 and the race concluded today in Sacramento. Trek-Drops’ Tayler Wiles (Fairfax, Calif.) claimed second place overall with CANYON//SRAM Racing’s Kasia Niewiadoma (POL) in third.

Stage 3 presented by Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM was set up for sprinters, featuring 20 fast-paced laps of the 2.2-mile Capitol circuit in downtown Sacramento. Astana Women’s Team’s Arlenis Sierra (CUB), who placed third overall last year as well as taking home the Sprint and Best Young Rider titles, pulled ahead of the tightly packed peloton near the finish to win the stage. She was followed over the line by CANYON//SRAM Racing’s Alexis Ryan (USA) then Rally Cycling’s Emma White (Duanesburg, New York), who was on the podium in second place for Stage 1, as was Ryan’s sister Kendall (first place for Stage 1). Team Sunweb’s Southern California rider Coryn Rivera escaped the box of riders around her to attack on the final meters but fell short of overtaking Sierra, and finished the stage in fourth place.

“Feels really, really good. This is actually the third year that I’ve worn the yellow jersey but the first year that I’ve taken it home,” said Hall, who all but cemented her victory after gaining a big lead on yesterday’s climbing stage in South Lake Tahoe. “I’m just really thankful for my teammates and really happy to have so many fans and friends here in my home race, and happy to go home with the yellow jersey.”

Hall also locked up the Lexus Queen of the Mountain Jersey, with the Visit California Sprint Jersey going to Rally Cycling’s Emma White.

Overall Race Result:
1. Katie Hall (USA), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling (USA) 7h51’11”
2. Tayler Wiles (USA), Trek–Drops (GBR) +29”
3. Kasia Niewiadoma (POL),CANYON//SRAM Racing +01’07”
4. Erica Magnaldi (ITA), BePink (ITA) +01’12”
5. Brodie Chapman (AUS), Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank (USA) +01’16”

Jersey Winners at Race Conclusion:
Amgen Race Leader Jersey – Katie Hall (USA), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Lexus Queen of the Mountain (QOM) Jersey – Katie Hall (USA), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Visit California Sprint Jersey – Emma White (USA), Rally Cycling (USA)
TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey – Sara Poidevin (CAN), Rally Cycling (USA)
Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Liane Lippert (GER), Team Sunweb (NED)

Overall Team Winner:
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)

Stage 3 Podium:
1. Arlenis Sierra (CUB), Astana Women’s Team (ITA) 1h37’32”
2. Alexis Ryan (USA), CANYON//SRAM Racing (GER) + 00’
3. Emma White (USA), Rally Cycling (USA)+ 00”

“It’s truly been the best race ever. Not only did we kick off the 13th Amgen Tour of California with the best men’s and women’s teams, but we’ve seen incredible performances every day,” said Kristin Klein, president of the Amgen Tour of California and executive vice president of AEG Sports. “As you take a look back at our race, you’ve seen riders like Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan who’ve established themselves as elite riders here at the Amgen Tour of California, and what’s special this year is that we have the opportunity to introduce our fans to the next generation of cyclists like Egan Bernal, Fernando Gaviria and Brandon McNulty on the men’s side, and Katie Hall, Megan Guarnier, and Alexis and Kendall Ryan who’ve made their mark here. The Amgen Tour of California has proven to be a launch pad for the best riders in the world.”

The 2018 edition of America’s premier cycling stage race covered 645 miles of roadways, highways and coastlines during seven stages from Long Beach to Sacramento May 13-19, while the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM, showcasing the world’s best women cyclists, ran concurrently May 17-19, covering upward of 187 miles over three stages. The annual professional cycling events are the only U.S. races on the UCI WorldTour calendar <http://www.uci.ch/road/calendar/> and continue to attract some of the most renowned cyclists and teams in the world.

Returning as title sponsor for the 13th consecutive year, Amgen, a biotechnology company in the race to dramatically improve patients’ lives, is proud to sponsor the Amgen Tour of California. Similar to the cyclists who will compete intensely to win during the Amgen Tour of California, Amgen scientists and staff have a level of perseverance, determination and skill that is unmatched in the industry in order to help win the fight for patients worldwide.

“Our sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California gives Amgen a platform to educate people nationwide about important resources for cancer survivors and their loved ones available through our Breakaway from Cancer® program.” said Laura Hamill, senior vice president, U.S. Business Operations, Amgen. “As well, the Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM initiative encourages Americans to take charge of their risk of heart disease by offering educational information as well as providing activities to help everyone feel empowered to take action for good heart health.”

Following a successful week of honoring and celebrating cancer and heart disease survivors as the race traveled through the state, a Breakaway from Cancer® Pep Rally Celebration and CycleNation Community Event walk took place in Sacramento today. Prakashni Shandil, a Sacramento cancer survivor, was honored at the Pep Rally and was joined by about 150 community members to honor the millions of cancer survivors worldwide. And “Fast Freddie” Rodriguez, professional cyclist and health advocate, pedaled with over 50 community participants on the capital green for the CycleNation spin class to empower everyone to choose cycling for good heart health.

Top Photo –  credit: © Chris Graythen / Getty Images