EF Education First Defends van Garderen’s Overall Race Lead
For the second day in a row, a Deceuninck – Quick-Step cyclist claimed his first WorldTour stage win at the Amgen Tour of California, with 23-year-old French rider Rémi Cavagna spending hours on a solo ride several minutes ahead of the peloton.
About an hour into the race day, a breakaway including the USA Cycling National Team’s reigning U.S. U23 National Champion Alex Hoehn (Lenexa, Kansas) and Cavagna (FRA) built their lead to over 10 minutes and ended up spending 100 miles out front of the peloton.
Stage 3 presented by TAG Heuer featured a 129.2-mile ride from Stockton to Morgan Hill, including the first HC (above category) climb of the race at Mt. Hamilton. A pack of EF Education First Pro Cycling riders led the peloton, protecting their race leader Tejay van Garderen (Tacoma, Wash.) and pulling the gap down by a couple of minutes as the stage progressed. Van Garderen came over the Morgan Hill finish line with his six-second overall race lead intact to retain the Amgen Race Leader Jersey, in the same city where he picked up the 2018 yellow jersey for two days following the Time Trial stage in last year’s race.
Cavagna attacked Hoehn at the base of Mt. Hamilton, lengthening his lead on the way up to crest the summit and continue the rest of the stage solo, securing the Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey for his efforts. Coming over that summit second as well as on the final King of the Mountain (KOM) climb of the day on Quimby Road, Hoehn moves into the lead in the KOM competition and will wear the polka dot jersey tomorrow.
Simon Geschke (GER), a Tour de France stage winner riding for the CCC Team, broke away from the pack to chase the leaders at around 15 miles left to ride and was soon joined by Team Dimension Data’s Ben King (Charlottesville, VA). The duo caught Hoehn about two miles from the finish line, with King sprinting to the second-place stage finish, and Geschke taking third.
The peloton of 19 teams (132 riders) representing 33 countries includes three World Champions, Olympians, Tour de France stage winners and six current National Road Race Champions from around the world. Throughout the week, cyclists will contest 773 miles of California’s most scenic highways, mountain roads and coastlines, visiting 13 cities throughout the state for stage starts and finishes, concluding in Pasadena on May 18.
Tomorrow’s Stage 4 presented by Lexus will feature the iconic coastline views of Highway 1, which has reopened after a massive effort by Caltrans to repair damage from a 2017 landslide, as the race runs 133.3 miles from WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Secato Morro Bay.
The Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM UCI WorldTour race showcasing the world’s best women cyclists will run concurrently for the final three days of the men’s event, beginning in Ventura May 16-18.
TUESDAY, MAY 14
Podium: Stage 3 presented by TAG Heuer
1. Remi Cavagna (FRA), Deceuninck – Quick-Step (BEL) 5h44’22”
2. Benjamin King (USA), Team Dimension Data (RSA), 07’11”
3. Simon Geschke (GER), CCC Team (POL), 07’11”
Jersey Winners after Stage 3:
Amgen Race Leader Jersey – Tejay van Garderen (USA), EF Education First Pro Cycling (USA)
Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Remi Cavagna (FRA), Deceuninck – Quick-Step (BEL)
Lexus King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey – Alex Hoehn (USA), USA Cycling National Team (USA)
Visit California Sprint Jersey – Kasper Asgreen (DEN), Deceuninck – Quick-Step (BEL)
TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey – Tadej Pogacar (SLO), UAE Team Emirates (UAE)
Photos Darrell Parks / darrellparks.com
Photos – Getty Images