World champion Peter Sagan wins Tour of California opener
Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) won opening state in Tour of California on Sunday. After winning his 14th career Tour of California stage, the world champion will now begin stage 2 in the yellow jersey he wore at the finish of last year's race.
The 109-mile first stage race started and ended along the San Diego waterfront. At the last possible moment, Sagan unleashed a influential sprint and overcame Dutch riders Wouter Wippert and Dylan Groenewegen to win the race.
The Slovakian superstar remained quiet all day in the peloton, then freelanced his way via the field and picked up on the broad boulevards to the finish. He beat Wippert and Groenewegen by less than a tire's length.
Speaking to reporters after the race, he said, "Today was a good day; it was a little bit hard stage. After 50-60 kilometers it was one long climb then descent, it was a little bit windy, but the temperature was good, cloudy but a little bit of sun, but not very hot. I am very happy to win today."
The opening stage of the race included merely one serious climb, midway via the route. Thus, there was a lot of time for the field to come together. When there were just three racers left, they were swept up altogether with less than two miles left to go.
The second stage of the race, a 92-mile ride from Pasadena to Santa Clarita, is scheduled to take place on Monday. It could give Sagan a chance to hang onto the leader's jersey. Last time, Sagan won the world championship in September 2015 in Richmond, Virginia.
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