Egan Bernal, Team Sky’s 21-year-old Colombian rider, may have ceded his King of the Mountains lead to Trek-Segafredo’s Toms Skujins (LAT) in today’s mountainous stage, but he regained the overall Amgen Tour of California race lead with a daring solo uphill finish that pulled him +1.25” ahead of BMC Racing Team’s Tejay van Garderen (Tacoma, Wash.), who now sits second overall going into tomorrow’s Sacramento race finale.
Presented by Visit California, Stage 6 was a 122.1-mile trek from Folsom to South Lake Tahoe with seven categorized climbs that began in short order after the riders departed. Bernal, who won Monday’s mountainous Stage 2 atop Gibraltar Road, attacked on today’s penultimate Daggett Summit climb and continued to put time on overall race leader van Garderen, who had ousted Bernal at Wednesday’s time trial.
“Today was a long day, but I felt so good, and the last long climb the team did a really good job,” said Bernal. “They made a really hard pace….After this climb we were like 10km to ride, so I just kept pushing hard, but I’m happy with the result and I’m happy for the team.”
Photos © Darrell Parks / darrellparks.com
Bernal had nurtured his solo lead to 1.5 minutes on the chase group with 1km to go to the uphill finish line at Heavenly Mountain Resort. Most of the top-10 GC riders were off the front of the main group on the descent before the final climb, including Michelton-SCOTT’s Adam Yates (GBR), Team Sky’s Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBR) and Rally Cycling’s Brandon McNulty (USA), who took second, third and fourth for the stage respectively, as well as Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale’s Daniel Martinez (COL), who successfully retained third place in the overall standings. van Garderen placed seventh for the stage.
Bernal also won the TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey for the fifth day. The Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey went to Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale’s Lawson Craddock (Austin, Texas).
Stage 6 Podium
1. Egan Bernal (COL), Team Sky (GBR) 5h30’58”
2. Adam Yates (GBR), Mitchelton-SCOTT (AUS) +1’28”
3. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBR), Team Sky (GBR) +1’30”
Jersey Winners after Stage 6:
- Amgen Race Leader Jersey – Egan Bernal (COL), Team Sky (GBR)
- Lexus King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey – Toms Skujins (LAT), Trek-Segafredo (USA)
- Visit California Sprint Jersey – Egan Bernal (COL), Team Sky (GBR)
- TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey – Egan Bernal (COL), Team Sky (GBR)
- Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Lawson Craddock (USA), Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale (USA)
AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA WOMEN’S RACE EMPOWERED WITH SRAM
A pair of California riders, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling’s Katie Hall (Oakland, Calif.) and Trek-Drops’ Tayler Wiles (Fairfax, Calif.), jumped out of the pack with about 5 miles to go in today’s mountainous South Lake Tahoe stage, with Hall ultimately pulling ahead to a solo stage victory, which she also claimed last year on the same stage finish. Having lost the race lead last year to Anna van der Breggen by just one second gained through Sprint points on the final circuit stage in Sacramento, Hall’s goal today was to gain enough time to protect her lead tomorrow on the same course.
“I just wanted to come out and race my bike and give it another good, hard try, and I feel good to come away with a 29 second gap today,” said Hall.
Battling a very steep final kilometer into Heavenly Mountain Resort, Wiles trailed in next over the finish line, with CANYON//SRAM Racing’s Kasia Niewiadoma (POL) in third. The three hold the same positions on the overall leaderboard going into the race conclusion tomorrow, with Hall at 29 seconds over Wiles and 1’07” over Niewiadoma.
Presented by Visit California, Stage 2 (W) was a 67.1-mile climb-centric day in South Lake Tahoe. The day included the 7,740-foot summit of Luther Pass and the grueling HC climb up Kingsbury Grade, a monster of a climb at 8 miles in length, 2,600 feet elevation gain, and an average 6% grade.
Hall’s ride earned her the Lexus Queen of the Mountain Jersey as well as the Visit California Sprint Jersey. Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling’s Lily Williams (USA) earned the Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Most Courageous Rider Jersey for spending a portion of the day in a solo break, and the TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey goes to Rally Cycling’s Sara Poidevin (CAN).
Stage 2 Podium
1. Katie Hall (USA), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA) 3h06’41”
2. Tayler Wiles (USA), Trek-Drops (GBR) +25″
3. Kasia Niewiadoma (POL),CANYON//SRAM Racing +1’01”
Jersey Winners after Stage 2:
- Amgen Race Leader Jersey – Katie Hall (USA), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
- Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Lily Williams (USA), Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling (USA)
- Lexus Queen of the Mountain (QOM) Jersey – Katie Hall (USA), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
- Visit California Sprint Jersey – Katie Hall (USA), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
- TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey – Sara Poidevin (CAN), Rally Cycling (USA)
Sacramento will welcome the Amgen Tour of California for the ninth time as the women’s and men’s events conclude in the shadow of the State Capitol Building. Fans will have reason to cheer all day long with the men rolling across the iconic Tower Bridge for a 90.7-mile trek that concludes with downtown circuits (approx. 10:15 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.). The women will contest 20 laps of the 2.2-mile Capitol circuit downtown (approx. 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.). The race champions and the week’s big winners will be recognized in a special ceremony on stage near the finish line immediately following the men’s conclusion.