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
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
Two-time Belarus national champion Andrei Krasilnikau is
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
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:
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.
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.