Stage 3: Auburn - Modesto - 196.2km

Stage three could present another day for the sprinters with a relatively flat to undulating 196.2 kilometre route beginning in Auburn and ending in Modesto. Opportunistic sprinters will have a chance to contest three Herbal Life intermediate sprints for points located in Folson, Ione and Oakdale at kilometre 30, 80 and 160 respectively. The peloton will continue along flat to undulating roads into the finishing circuits in Modesto.

Chris Horner:

"Stage three will definitely be the first time that a breakaway could possibly go the distance. Another factor could be the cross winds. If it is really windy that day, strong cross winds could cause splits in the field on the way into Modesto. It is a day that could give a breakaway a chance at making it to the line. However, I would bet more money on the sprinter teams being able to bring all the breakaways back, unless the cross winds are really strong."

Mike Tamayo:

"At a first glance to the profile, you might think; 121 miles flat boring stage. But, racing through the central valley of California equals, open agricultural fields and possible high winds. With the course heading predominantly south, the west wind could cause some major splits in the field.

"It is not a GC deciding day, but it won’t be a rest day either. For these guys fighting for position and the wheel of your teammate can be exhausting over the course of five hours. For a second day, watch out for the top sprinters to be grinning at the start line. It’s one of the few opportunities they will have to showcase their speed."

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