Sagan Powers to Stage 3 Victory in Tour of California 2013
On a route favoring the sprinters, Team Cannondale Pro Cycling’s Slovakian Peter Sagan blasted past Team GreenEdge’s Australian Michael Matthews to claim Stage 3 of the 2013 Amgen Tour of California with the length of half a tire. Matthews held on to take second place today after his team channeled him to the front of the peloton in the last 500 meters.
Sagan broke three-time Champion Levi Leipheimer’s Amgen Tour of California stage win record of seven last year when he took a remarkable five stage wins. His stage wins at the Tour of California now total nine, including today’s dramatic victory.
“The last three kilometers were crazy with all the sprinters who wanted to win,” said Sagan of today’s finish. “When I won I knew it was a good stage for me.”
After several breakaways on the windy 110-mile (177.7 kilometer) course, the peloton came back together in the final ten kilometers culminating in a tightly packed bunch sprint over the finish line after several leader changes. Team Garmin-Sharp’s Tyler Farrar (Wenatchee, Washington) claimed third place in the fast finish. There was no change in the overall standings after today’s stage with Team Jamis-Hagens Berman’s Columbian Janier Alexis Acevedo keeping the Amgen Race Leader Jersey before tomorrow’s stage.
“I felt very tired today after yesterday. The legs never felt good, I just tried to stay in the group, eat, and drink, and recover,” Acevedo explained.
Sprint points leader Lieuwe Westra of the Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team was part of the early breakaway, which also featured RadioShack-Leopard’s Andy Schleck and American Chad Beyer riding for Champion System Pro Cycling in its debut Amgen Tour of California appearance. Beyer’s role in the breakaway earned him the Most Courageous Rider Jersey.
The peloton caught up to the breakaway with less than twenty kilometers to go, and the final eight kilometers saw attempts by several teams to bring their sprinters to the front, including Team Saxo-Tinkoff, 5-hour ENERGY presented by Kenda Racing Team, BMC Racing Team and UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team.
In the final 5 kilometers, RadioShack-Leopard’s Markel Irizar Aranburu of Spain made a move to the front, with Team Garmin-Sharp and a formidable line of Cannondale Pro Cycling Team members on his heels powerfully led by Ted King. The Cannondale Pro Cycling Team ultimately succeeded in propelling team leader Sagan the top of the stage podium.
“Ted King pulled me from 3 km, and Boivin pulled me on the front from the last 500 meters. Maybe I came to the front in the final 100 meters,” Sagan explained.
BISSELL Pro Cycling’s Carter Jones (Boulder, Colorado) continues to hold onto the Nissan King of the Mountain Jersey for the third day, with Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team’s Dutchman Lieuwe Westra keeping the Visit California Sprint Jersey again tomorrow. The Best Young Rider Jersey will continue to be worn by Bontrager Cycling Team’s 21-year-old cyclist Lawson Craddock.