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Press Releases | 18.05.2019

Peter Sagan surges to take second in sprint on Tour of California stage 7 as Schachmann and Großsschartner confirm GC top ten positions

On the final day of the Amgen Tour of California, it was a short ride from Santa Clarita to the stage – and the race’s – finish in Pasdena, 126km later. While the street circuit finale, which would be ridden three times before the finish, was almost tailor-made for the sprinters, there was just the small matter of getting over the hills. The profile showed only one categorised climb, but the day as a whole managed to fit in plenty of climbing. The only lifeline for the faster riders was the long descent from the hills, but there was no guaranteeing what type of rider would be in contention for the win – especially with the GC race far from over. After riding so hard on yesterday’s Queen Stage, Maximilian Schachmann jumped in the break, showing he had both the power and the determination to keep on fighting – the young German rider knowing that the time bonuses available on this stage could move him back into the GC top ten. Maximilian’s group of eleven slowly worked to build up a lead, but this didn’t grow any more than two minutes. However, the proximity to the peloton gave a few the chance to bridge, and Felix Grossschartner was one of those who took up the challenge. Constant attacking and acceleration meant the number out in front was changing constantly, but on the long descent back into town, Maximilian jumped once again, he and four others putting some distance between themselves and the other chasers. As the day moved into its final 10km, the peloton was visible behind this committed group, but this didn’t stop them attacking until the last one of them was caught and by the time the catch was made, Maximilian had taken enough time to make it into the GC leaderboard again – as long as he finished with the bunch. From here on in, it was the bunch that was going to contest the win, and having stayed safe over the climbs and the long downhill section, the Slovak National Champion, Peter Sagan, was still in contention. None of the sprint teams could control the finale given how few true sprinters were in the mix, and in the free for all finish, fighting for clean air, Peter found it and put the power through the pedals, but it was just too late, taking second position on the line. Giving it their all until the very end, Felix Grossschartner held onto his eighth spot in the GC, while Maximilian jumped back into the top ten to take tenth after a hard week of racing for the entire team.

 

Results
01 C. Bol           2:53:16
02 P. Sagan         +0:00
03 J. Philipsen    +0:00


General classification
01 T. Pogačar                32:55:12
02 S. Higuita                     +0:16
03 K. Asgreen                   +0:17
08 F. Großschartner           +1:18
10 M. Schachmann            +1:23

 

From the Finish Line
"It was quite a chaotic stage, with so many attacks, counter attacks and moves in the peloton and the breakaways. All that action made it a tough one but in the end, the bunch entered the final lap of the circuit in Pasadena together for a fast sprint finish. I was well positioned in the finale but probably I reacted a bit late to Bol's sprint. I think I can be satisfied with the performance we had here, both mine and of the team. We had a victory, two podium places and put in a great effort throughout the week."– Peter Sagan


"After yesterday's bad luck in the finale on Mount Baldy, I focused all my anger and energy on today's stage. I rode offensively in order to pick the bonus seconds and move up the GC. I think that the fact I was in the breakaway helped our guys in the back because the peloton had to ride very hard as well, which made the sprinters suffer a lot. It's a pity though Peter came so close to victory." – Maximilian Schachmann
 

"I wanted to secure my spot in the GC, so I had to stay with the other GC contenders today when they went on the attack on the climb but still, I'm satisfied with my 8th place overall in what was a very tough edition of the Tour of California." – Felix Grossschartner


"We knew it was going to be a tough stage today but we also knew that Peter had the form to make it over the climbs and be ready for a bunch sprint in Pasadena. At the same time, we wanted Maximilian to enter the top 10 in the GC, so he had to be in all the break moves and stay in the front to pick as many bonus seconds as he could. That's what he did, so he spent nearly all the stage fighting it out in all the leading groups and responding to all the attacks. The first break managed to get more than 2 minutes of advantage, but UAE Emirates and EF were setting an extremely strong pace in the peloton to neutralise it. All breakaways were finally caught but Maximilian's tremendous effort gave him the bonus seconds to finish 10th overall. At the same time, Daniel, Oscar, and Juraj were working for Peter and the sprint. Unfortunately, Juraj had a flat and couldn't be in the finale but Daniel pulled hard for Peter who did a good sprint and took a close second. I think we can be satisfied with our overall results in this Tour of California. It was probably one of the hardest editions we've raced, with very long stages and lots of climbing. Peter had a win, Felix and Maximilian put in a strong effort and the whole team did a solid job in every stage." – Jan Valach, Sports Director

 

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