Tour of California: Cavendish wins opening stage

Mark Cavendish won the blazing fast opening stage of the 2014 Tour of California by a razor-thin margin over Gent-Wevelgem winner John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) in Sacramento. The Omega Pharma-Quickstep rider took the win and first race lead after race officials reviewed the photo finish, winning by mere millimeters.

Moreno Hofland (Belkin) got past Tour of California stage win record-holder Peter Sagan (Cannondale) to take third. Cavendish now leads the general classification over Degenkolb heading into Monday's 20km individual time trial in Folsom.

"I won Milan-San Remo by 10cm and I knew I won," Cavendish said, recalling some of the other close finishes in his career. "I lost a stage of the Giro by three centimeters and I knew I had lost. Today was the first time in my career that I didn't know the result until it was confirmed to me. John was strong in the finale, but my team did the perfect job to keep me in good position. I'm very happy with the win today."

Cavendish and his Omega Pharma teammates were not simply waiting for a bunch sprint on the 198km stage. Just before the day's breakaway of six - Tom Leezer (Belkin), Isaac Bolivar (UnitedHealthcare), Charles Planet (Novo Nordisk), Will Routley (Optum), Matt Cooke (Jamis-Hagens Berman) and Tao Geoghegan Hart (Bissell Development Team) - were caught, Omega Pharma conspired with Team Sky to split the bunch in the crosswinds and try to shatter the field. The move succeeded, and a small lead group of about 22 riders that peeled away caught the breakaway with 54.6km remaining.

With the original breakaway riders and others falling back, the lead group consisted of 18 riders, including Sky's Bradley Wiggins, sprinters Matt Goss (Orica), Hofland and BMC's Greg Van Avermaet. Cannondale, which missed the group, waited patiently before putting in an effort to close down the gap.

Despite the best efforts of Omega Pharma's Tom Boonen, Wiggins and Taylor Phinney (BMC), the winds did not favor the split, and by 22km to go the peloton was back together.

"I figured it would come back, but it was a good group," Phinney said. "It was too bad for us because we didn't have [Peter] Stetina in that group, otherwise Greg and I would have given it full gas. The Omega Pharma guys were pulling hard, and obviously Sky was with Wiggins. If Wiggins hadn't been there we could have gone faster, but we all knew it was a headwind run into the finish, and there are a lot of teams here that want to do a sprint."

Attacks flew over the next 10km, but only one: Jacob Rathe (Jelly Belly-Maxxis), Keil Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare) and Gregory Daniel (Bissell) was non-threatening enough to stick. Reijnen was the last man caught with 4km to go as the peloton flew around the three finishing circuits in downtown Sacramento.

Cannondale took control of the sprint, but Sagan's team left it too late, and it was Degenkolb and Cavendish who rocketed to the line, side by side. Degenkolb had an early advantage, but he couldn't hold off the final charge to the line from Cavendish.

"My team did a great job to do a perfect lead out for me, and I had to do a good sprint in the end," Degenkolb said. "Sometimes it's just one or two centimeters, but you can feel it straight away. It was very close today. I knew that [Cavendish] was right behind me, but I also new that I was going to do a long sprint. I planned it well; I didn't go too early or too late.

In the end, I saw him on the right side coming. Slowly but surely he was there. I knew at the line he won, that I was too slow."

Optum's Routley won the sole mountain sprint to take that jersey for the next two stages, finishing off the team's plan heading into Monday's time trial.

"There was no shortage of wind today," Routely said of the day's major challenge. "We wanted to go for the KOM because we could have the jersey for two stages with no KOM tomorrow."

Cavendish took the lead in the points classification along with the overall race lead. Bissell's Geoghegan Hart now leads the young rider classification thanks to the time bonuses taken out on the road. Novo Nordisk's Planet earned the jersey for most courageous rider.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team4:44:17
2John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano
3Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
4Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
5Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
6Guillaume Boivin (Can) Cannondale
7Eric Young (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
8Matthew Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
9Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
10John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
11Nicolai Brochner (Den) Bissell Development Team
12Tanner Putt (USA) Bissell Development Team
13Ken Hanson (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
14Ryan Eastman (USA) Bissell Development Team
15Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek Factory Racing
16Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk
17Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Team NetApp-Endura
18Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Jamis - Hagens Berman
19Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team
20Daan Olivier (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
21Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-Shimano
22George Bennett (NZl) Cannondale
23Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
24Lawson Craddock (USA) Team Giant-Shimano
25Tiago Machado (Por) Team NetApp-Endura
26Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek Factory Racing
27Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
28Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
29Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
30Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky
31Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale
32Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge
33Eloy Teruel Rovira (Spa) Jamis - Hagens Berman
34Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica GreenEdge
35Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
36Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
37Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing Team
38Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
39Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale
40Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica GreenEdge
41Michael Schar (Swi) BMC Racing Team
42Caleb Fairly (USA) Garmin Sharp
43Mark Renshaw (Aus) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
44Ted King (USA) Cannondale
45Lawrence Warbasse (USA) BMC Racing Team
46Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team
47Leopold König (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura
48Javier Megias Leal (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk
49Fred Rodriguez (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
50Andrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk
51Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Bissell Development Team
52Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team
53Clement Chevrier (Fra) Bissell Development Team
54Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Giant-Shimano
55Ryan Anderson (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
56Scott Zwizanski (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
57Luis Romero Amaran (Cub) Jamis - Hagens Berman
58David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Team NetApp-Endura
59Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
60Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek Factory Racing
61Matthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory Racing
62Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
63Kirk Carlsen (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
64Lucas Euser (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
65Serghei Tvetcov (Mda) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
66Tom Zirbel (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
67Jesse Sergent (NZl) Trek Factory Racing
68Danny Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
69Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin Sharp
70Ben King (USA) Garmin Sharp
71Gregory Obando Brenes (CRc) Jamis - Hagens Berman
72Ian Boswell (USA) Team Sky
73Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) Bissell Development Team
74Janier Acevedo Colle (Col) Garmin Sharp
75Scott Thwaites (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura
76Nathan Earle (Aus) Team Sky
77Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Jamis - Hagens Berman
78Bradley Huff (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
79James Oram (NZl) Bissell Development Team
80Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky
81Phillip Gaimon (USA) Garmin Sharp
82Alexander Candelario (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
83Joshua Edmondson (GBr) Team Sky
84Daniel Alexander Jaramillo Diez (Col) Jamis - Hagens Berman
85Lachlan Morton (Aus) Garmin Sharp
86Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura
87Joe Dombrowski (USA) Team Sky
88Nicolas Lefrancois (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk
89Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
90Maarten Wynants (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
91Jens Voigt (Ger) Trek Factory Racing
92Thomas Damuseau (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano
93Damien Howson (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
94Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin Sharp
95Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:00:19
96Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:00:22
97Paul Voss (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura
98Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano0:00:35
99Gregory Daniel (USA) Bissell Development Team0:00:38
100Kevin De Mesmaeker (Bel) Team Novo Nordisk
101Jack Bobridge (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
102Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
103Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
104Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale0:00:41
105Charles Planet (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk0:00:54
106Isaac Bolivar Hernandez (Col) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
107Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:58
108Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
109Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky
110Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky
111Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team0:01:11
112Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica GreenEdge0:01:18
113Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica GreenEdge0:02:48
114Tom Leezer (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:03:40
115Jacob Rathe (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:04:37
116Jose Joao Pimenta Costa Mendes (Por) Team NetApp-Endura
117Will Routley (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:12:13
118Matt Cooke (USA) Jamis - Hagens Berman
119Alex Howes (USA) Garmin Sharp0:13:58
120Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing
121Cameron Wurf (Aus) Cannondale0:13:58
122David Lozano Riba (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk
123Joonas Henttala (Fin) Team Novo Nordisk
124Luis Davila (Mex) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
125Steve Fisher (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
126Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
127Sean Mazich (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
128Robbie Squire (USA) Jamis - Hagens Berman
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Sprint 1 - Lincoln
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tom Leezer (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team5pts
2Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Bissell Development Team3
3Will Routley (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies1
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Sprint 2 - Auburn
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tom Leezer (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team5pts
2Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Bissell Development Team3
3Isaac Bolivar Hernandez (Col) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team1
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Sprint 3 - Sacramento
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gregory Daniel (USA) Bissell Development Team5pts
2Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team3
3Jacob Rathe (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis1
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Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team15pts
2John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano12
3Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team10
4Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale7
5Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing6
6Guillaume Boivin (Can) Cannondale5
7Eric Young (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies4
8Matthew Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge3
9Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team2
10John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team1
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Mountain 1 - CA 49
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Will Routley (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies6pts
2Matt Cooke (USA) Jamis - Hagens Berman5
3Isaac Bolivar Hernandez (Col) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team4
4Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Bissell Development Team3
5Charles Planet (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk1
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Young riders
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing4:44:17
2Nicolai Brochner (Den) Bissell Development Team
3Tanner Putt (USA) Bissell Development Team
4Ryan Eastman (USA) Bissell Development Team
5Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek Factory Racing
6Daan Olivier (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
7Lawson Craddock (USA) Team Giant-Shimano
8Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge
9Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Bissell Development Team
10Clement Chevrier (Fra) Bissell Development Team
11Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
12Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) Bissell Development Team
13James Oram (NZl) Bissell Development Team
14Joshua Edmondson (GBr) Team Sky
15Damien Howson (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
16Gregory Daniel (USA) Bissell Development Team0:00:38
17Charles Planet (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk0:00:54
18Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing0:13:58
19Luis Davila (Mex) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
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Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cannondale14:12:51
2Bissell Development Team
3Team Giant-Shimano
4Trek Factory Racing
5Omega Pharma-QuickStep
6UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
7BMC Racing Team
8Orica GreenEDGE
9Belkin Pro Cycling Team
10Team NetApp-Endura
11Team Optum By Kelly Benefit Strategies
12Jamis - Hagens Berman
13Team Novo Nordisk
14Jelly Belly P/B Maxxis
15Team Sky
16Garmin-Sharp
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General classification after stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team4:44:07
2John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano0:00:04
3Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:00:06
4Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Bissell Development Team
5Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale0:00:10
6Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
7Guillaume Boivin (Can) Cannondale
8Eric Young (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
9Matthew Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
10Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
11John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
12Nicolai Brochner (Den) Bissell Development Team
13Tanner Putt (USA) Bissell Development Team
14Ken Hanson (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
15Ryan Eastman (USA) Bissell Development Team
16Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek Factory Racing
17Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk
18Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Team NetApp-Endura
19Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Jamis - Hagens Berman
20Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team
21Daan Olivier (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
22Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-Shimano
23George Bennett (NZl) Cannondale
24Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
25Lawson Craddock (USA) Team Giant-Shimano
26Tiago Machado (Por) Team NetApp-Endura
27Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek Factory Racing
28Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
29Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
30Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
31Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky
32Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale
33Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge
34Eloy Teruel Rovira (Spa) Jamis - Hagens Berman
35Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica GreenEdge
36Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
37Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
38Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing Team
39Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
40Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale
41Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica GreenEdge
42Michael Schar (Swi) BMC Racing Team
43Caleb Fairly (USA) Garmin Sharp
44Mark Renshaw (Aus) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
45Ted King (USA) Cannondale
46Lawrence Warbasse (USA) BMC Racing Team
47Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team
48Leopold König (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura
49Javier Megias Leal (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk
50Fred Rodriguez (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
51Andrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk
52Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team
53Clement Chevrier (Fra) Bissell Development Team
54Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Giant-Shimano
55Ryan Anderson (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
56Scott Zwizanski (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
57David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Team NetApp-Endura
58Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
59Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek Factory Racing
60Matthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory Racing
61Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
62Kirk Carlsen (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
63Lucas Euser (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
64Serghei Tvetcov (Mda) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
65Tom Zirbel (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
66Jesse Sergent (NZl) Trek Factory Racing
67Danny Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
68Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin Sharp
69Ben King (USA) Garmin Sharp
70Ian Boswell (USA) Team Sky
71Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) Bissell Development Team
72Janier Acevedo Colle (Col) Garmin Sharp
73Scott Thwaites (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura
74Nathan Earle (Aus) Team Sky
75Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Jamis - Hagens Berman
76Bradley Huff (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
77James Oram (NZl) Bissell Development Team
78Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky
79Phillip Gaimon (USA) Garmin Sharp
80Alexander Candelario (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
81