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Press Releases | 16.05.2019

Peter Sagan grabs the Tour of California green jersey with sprint third in Morro Bay

Skirting the Californian Pacific coast for almost the entire 214.5km stage, the peloton was treated to some incredible views today. Starting at the famous Laguna Seca Raceway, the route took in the famous landmarks of the Big Sur coast with its mix of natural and manmade sights. While the stage was choppy at times, with its two third category climbs and one second category, it was nowhere near as tough as the previous two days’ profiles, but this didn’t mean the day would be easy – a flat finale in Morro Bay meant the sprinters would be contesting the win. In spite of the beautiful scenery, in contrast to the other days, today saw rain falling on the roads. Not to be deterred, a small break of five riders went up ahead, building a commanding lead of more than five minutes, but with their eye on the finale, it was BORA - hansgrohe chipping away at their advantage – Oscar Gatto dragging the peloton along with him, battling against coastal headwinds to bring the gap down to a more manageable two minutes, with this dropping more as the day went on. With 25km to go, it was down to a minute, the peloton timing the catch to make sure there were no late attacks. One brave member of the break held on as long as they could, but it was all over. With the race in its final 10km the peloton took charge, with the BORA - hansgrohe riders driving the pace high and working to keep the front of the bunch under control. Sitting further back, the Slovak National Champion, Peter Sagan, was keeping safe and staying out of trouble as some late crashes shook up the peloton, but in spite of putting in a hard effort in the finale, he was just unable to hold on until the line, taking third to reclaim the race’s green points jersey. Having kept a close eye on their rivals in the GC, both Maximilian Schachmann and Felix Großschartner finished with the bunch and held fifth and ninth respectively in the overall standings.

 

Results
01 F. Jakobsen            5:53:22
02 J. Philipsen             +0:00
03 P. Sagan                 +0:00                             
13 F. Großschartner      +0:00
14 M. Schachmann       +0:00

 

From the Finish Line
"Another long stage over 200km that was decided, as expected, in a fast sprint. The guys, and in particular Oscar Gatto, put in a strong effort to control the breakaway and positioned me very well in the final kilometres. We were at the front when needed and this was important today as we avoided the crashes. I missed just a bit of power in the final metres to take the stage but still, I'm satisfied with getting the green jersey again." – Peter Sagan


"It was a long day, along the Pacific coast on a highway, so it was all calm and we worked for Peter and to secure our GC positions. Unfortunately, in the finale, the peloton was really nervous and stressed and this led to crashes. Luckily, we were all able to avoid hitting the ground and Felix and I made it safely to the finish in the leading group. The top of the leaderboard is still very tight and tomorrow will be another stage where I will give my best." – Maximilian Schachmann
 

"The stage was quite calm until a chaotic and crash-marred finale that made the race really fast. I am satisfied with my performance and happy that I was able to stay safe. We still have some chances left for another good stage result." – Felix Großschartner
 

"Very long stage, up and down all day, with rain intervals and steady headwind from the ocean. The squad did a very good job in controlling the race and Oscar Gatto's performance was remarkable, pulling in the front of the peloton alone during a good part of the stage. The final kilometres turned out chaotic as the strong pace and the tension led to crashes. However, we were well positioned, we avoided all the tricky parts and Peter sprinted to win. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to repeat his victory from 2017 but still, he was a close third.  There were no changes in the GC, so we have to keep fighting." – Jan Valach, Sports Director

 

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