Cycling

Gaviria wins opening stage of Tour of California

2018-05-14 07:56
Fernando Gaviria (Gallo Images)

Long Beach - Fernando Gaviria claimed the opening stage of the 2018 Tour of California on Sunday, winning the 30th stage of his career and picking up the 30th stage win of the season for his Quick-Step team. 

The 24-year old became the first Colombian in four years to win a stage at the biggest race in North America which began in Long Beach and ends on Saturday in Sacramento. 

Gaviria won a sprint to the finish, edging Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) and world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the 134.5km (83 miles) opener. 

He picked up a 10 second bonus for winning the stage and leads the overall classification by four seconds ahead of Ewan, who secured a six-second bonus. 

Pre-stage favourite Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) placed fourth, and Norway's Alexander Kristoff (Team Emirates) was fifth. 

In the overall standings, Tanner Putt (UnitedHealthcare), was in third, four seconds back. Sagan was bumped down to fourth overall at six seconds back. 

Two-time Belarus national champion Andrei Krasilnikau is fifth overall. 

Gaviria had to outduel Krasilnikau at one point in the final breakaway as the two bumped heavily but managed to remain on their bikes. 

Krasilnikau led late, but the peloton was able to reel him in and the field was reset for the final push to the finish. 

The Quick-Step team then went to work, setting the stage for Gaviria's final fireworks despite a strong challenge from Ewan. 

Defending champion George Bennett decided to skip the California event, opting instead for the Giro d'Italia which runs at the same time. 

Monday's 157km second stage goes from Ventura to Gibraltar Road, taking the riders through the race's most demanding climb.

Results and standings from Sunday's 134.5 km first stage of the Tour of California on an 11.2 km circuit in Long Beach:

Stage one

1. Fernando Gaviria (COL/Quick-Step) 3hr, 2min, 23 sec, 2. Caleb Ewan (AUS/Mitchelton) same time, 3. Peter Sagan (SVK/Bora) s.t., 4. Marcel Kittel (GER/Katusha) s.t., 5. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/Team Emirates) s.t., 6. Jasper Philipsen (BEL/Hagens Berman Axeon) s.t., 7. Kiel Reijnen (USA/Trek) s.t., 8. Max Walscheid (GER/Team Sunweb) s.t., 9. Tyler Magner (USA/Rally Cycling) s.t., 10. Mark Cavendish (GBR/Dimension Data) s.t.

Overall standings

1. Fernando Gaviria (COL/Quick-Step) 3hr 2min 13sec, 2. Caleb Ewan (AUS/Mitchelton) at 4sec, 3, Tanner Putt (USA/UnitedHealthcare) same time, 4. Peter Sagan (SVK/Bora) 6, 5. Andrei Krasilnikau (BLR/Holowesko) s.t., 6. Mark Cavendish (GBR/Dimension Data) at 9, 7. Alvaro Hodeg (COL/Quick-Step) s.t. 8. Marcel Kittel (GER/Katusha) 10, 9. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/Team Emirates) s.t., 10. Jasper Philipsen (BEL/Hagens Berman) s.t.

Read more on:    tour of california  |  cycling
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