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Tour of California 2016: Stage 8

Good morning and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 8 of the Amgen Tour of California set to begin at 11:15 a.m. local time. The men's race begins and finishes in Sacramento, racing for a total of 136.5km that includes three short finishing circuits in the downtown area.

 

Men's start list | Stage 8 details

 

The Women's Amgen Tour of California stage 4 will also be held on the same finishing circuits, used during the men's race. The women will begin at 11:40 a.m. local time, and they will finish their race before the men enter the circuits. The women will race for 20 laps totalling 66km.

 

Women's start list | Stage 4 details

Good morning. We are five minutes away from the start of the finale stage 8 of the Amgen Tour of California. 

 

 

The men have signed in, the staging area is now closed and they are lining up at the starting area.

 

It will be an exciting race today. Stage 8 has tended to surprise at the Tour of California, especially last year.

How can anyone forget how Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) won the overall title thanks to a time bonus in the final sprint. He took the yellow jersey right off the back of Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-QuickStep) in the final moment.

 

 

And they are off! The men will roll for 4.7km of a neutral zone before starting the 136.5km race. 

Tyler Farrar (Dimension Data) is off the back in the neutral zone with a mechanical.

 

Officials are slowing the peloton so that he can get his equipment together and rejoin the field before the official start.

 

And Farrar has rejoined the field. 

 

All the riders are together and the race has official started.

 

Sagan may have taken the overall title from Alaphilippe in the eleventh hour last year, but this year the Frenchman heads into the final stage with 16 seconds on Rohan Dennis and 38 seconds to Brent Bookwalter, both from BMC.


 

 

Tour of California stage 7 overall - Brief Results#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult 1Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step28:46:38  2Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:00:16  3Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:38  4Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:00:47  5Neilson Powless (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman0:01:08  6Lawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:01:17  7Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team   8Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:01:24  9George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:01:45  10Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel) Team Katusha0:01:48 

Here is the top 10 in the overall classification following stage 7.

 

 

 1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step 28:46:38
2 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 00:00:16
3 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 00:00:38
4 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling 00:00:47
5 Neilson Powless (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman 00:01:08
6 Lawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling 00:01:17
7 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team
8 Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 00:01:24
9 George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 00:01:45
10 Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel) Team Katusha 00:01:48

There is a lot of action happening at the start of the stage. Six riders have gained a small lead on the field.

 

Seven riders are now in the front group and their lead is growing as the main field has decided to take a nature break.

 

We will have the names of those riders in the front group shortly.

 

Here are the riders in the breakaway:

 

Jake Kelly (Team WIGGINS)
Alan Marangoni (Cannondale Pro Cycling)
Chris Jones (UnitedHealthcare)
Krists Neilands (Axeon Hagens Berman)
Taylor Sheldon (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)
Robin Carpenter (Holowesko-Citadel Racing)
Emerson Oronte (Rally Cycling)
 

 

10km remaining from 136km

The gap has increased to 1:50

 

The gap is continuing to increase, now at 2 minutes.

 

The field has decided to start chasing, however, lined out single file.

 

But with a two-minute lead, the teams cars are starting to roll forward into the gap to service their breakaway riders.

 

The Women’s Tour of California stage 4 is underway. They will race for 20 laps, totally 66km along a 3.5km circuit, which is the same finishing circuits that the men will use later today.

 

It's sunny but cool in Sacramento today, and although there is little wind felt downtown, the wind has picked up out on the men's larger course.

For the men's race, it began in Sacramento. The capital city of California has hosted the kick-off to the Tour of California for the past two years as well as individual stage finishes; but 2016 marks the first time the city has hosted the overall finale.

 

The course travels along the Sacramento River and cross Tower Bridge twice before returning downtown. The distance of 138km, relatively flat with two intermediate sprints on course in Clarksburg. The stage will end with three finishing circuits. The finishing circuit is 3.5km and they do three circuits.

 

There are time bonuses of 3, 2, 1 seconds for top three at both intermediate sprints today in Clarksburg at 91km and as they arrive on the circuits in Sacramento at 127.5km.

 

Bonuses on the finish line are 10, 6 and 4.
 

 

That's a maximum of 16 seconds available. Hypothetically speaking, if Dennis won both intermediate sprints and the finish, and Alaphilippe none, they would end up tied on time. Dennis could then win the overall based on his time trial victory. It's too bad that Dennis is not known for his sprinting ability.

 

But Alaphilippe is backed by a very powerful Etixx-QuickStep team, and they will likely be in control of this race today.

 

It’s interesting to note that the last time the race was on a similar Sacramento course in 2014, crosswinds briefly split the group before it came together again near the finish.

 

The winds are picking up out there!

 

Crosswinds are blowing strong from the right along a very straight road. 

 

34km remaining from 136km

The six breakaway riders are working very well together and have increased their lead to 2:30.

 

18 laps to go.

 

Evelyn Stevens is on the front of the women's race for her Boels-Dolmans team. We expect Boels-Dolmans to have control over this race for their overall leader Megan Guarnier.

 

Guarnier is leading the overall classification heading into the final stage. She won the opening stage that finished at Heavenly Mountain Resort and has held the jersey through the following two stages.

 

 

 

Guarnier leads the overall by 15 seconds over Kristin Armstrong (Twenty16-Bikerider) and 25 seconds over teammate Evelyn Stevens. It is currently an all-American podium.

 

The L-shaped course in Sacramento has been used three times for the women’s race. Coryn Rivera won the race in 2010, Carmen Small won the race in 2014, and Leah Kirchmann won the finale star 3 during last year’s stage race.

 

Today, the women will have one intermediate sprint at the end of lap 15 where there are 3, 2 and 1 bonus seconds offered.

 

They will also have additional bonus seconds of 10, 6 and 4 at the end of lap 20, which is the finish line.

 

16 laps to go.

Visit Dallas DNA are active at the front, driving a small split of seven riders, but there is only a small three-second gap.

 

In the move are also two Boels-Dolmans riders.

 

Rabo Liv are chasing.

 

Our own Pat Malach spoke with third placed on GC, Brent Bookwalter (BMC), this morning. Here is what he had today about today's stage,

 

"I guess on one hand it would be good to have a chance to mix it up, but everyone has had a pretty intense week, a long week and it looks like the wind is conducive to a controlled together race.

 

"There are some sprinters teams here who have maybe not got what they wanted out of this race, so, yeah, most likely we'll see a big bunch kick today.

 

"But even then, as we've seen in the past in California, these bunch kicks are not exactly a straight cruise to the line.

 

36km remaining from 136km

The seven-rider breakaway is holding their gap steady at 2:30. 

 

There is the first of two intermediate sprints coming up in Clarksburg, they are about 16km away from that.

 

15 laps to go.

 

The small break has grown to 12 riders but field is only two seconds behind.

 

14 to go for the women.

 

Alison Tetrick is driving the pace at the front.

 

But the group all together, and as the field swells back up, the riders are spread across the road.

 

In the men's race, the wind is really blowing today out on course, much more so than it was in downtown Sacramento this morning.

 

The riders are off of the long straight highway 84 and they are back into twisting roads through the countryside, which are slightly more sheltered.

 

 

 

Pat Malach spoke with young American Lawson Craddock this morning. He's sitting in sixth overall, while his teammate Andrew Talanksy is in fourth, both ride for Cannondale. 

 

Here's what he had to say about the overall classification,

 

"I'd say the GG is already settled. It's a great day in Sacramento and it's been a great week of racing, so we're just really excited to be here.

 

"We've had a solid week of racing with two stage wins, so we're looking to go out and have a fun day as well."
 

 

Cannondale also lost Wouter Wippert, and Craddock said that was a blow to the team for today's stage,

 

"That was kind of a big blow. He's a great sprinter and we'd love to have him in Sacramento, but he did a lot of work for the team earlier in the week and it was really selfless of him."

 

12 to go for the women.

 

UnitedHealthcare and Twenty16-Ridebiker were controlling the front of the field on the last lap.

 

But Cylance is now making a move.

 

Overall leader, Guarnier is covering any dangerous moves, and staying close to the front in fourth wheel.

 

Today's breakaway at the Tour of California. https://t.co/QTfx4zbyJD

@Pat_Malach Sun, 22nd May 2016 19:27:53

48km remaining from 136km

The seven breakaway riders are losing time, slightly, with a gap of 2 minutes.

 

They've just turned onto somewhat of a rural road that is nestled between the river and farmland. 

 

Fans are gliding along the water on jet skis as the racers ride by.

 

11 to go for the women's circuit race.

 

Canyon-SRAM have emerged at the front to join UHC and Cylance.

 

Not much activity at the moment, but a handful of riders are off the back.

 


Shara Gillow (Rabo Liv) and Tetrick were both chasing back on.

 

Amber Neben is now attacking.

 

In the men's race, Katusha is the team leading the chase from the front of the main field.

 

Their man, Alexander Kristoff, took the stage 7 victory yesterday in Santa Rosa.

 

You can view the full report, results, images and video highlights right here.

 

The breakaway is losing time, down to 1:38.

 

It's nice to see Taylor Sheldon (Jelly Belly) in the move after his crash yesterday.

 

Unfortunately, Sheldon's teammate Angus Morton had crashed earlier in today's stage along with Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo).

 

The pair were able to get back on their bikes and chased their way back into the field.

 

9 to go for the women.

 

Neben has been brought back into the mix. The field is spread out wide across the road.

 

Hitec Products is at front working for their powerhouse sprinter Kirsten Wild.

 

 

 

60km remaining from 136km

Gap is down to 1:30 for the seven leading men.

 

8 laps to go for the women.

 

Cylance rider are stretching their legs at the front of the field, unwilling to let any other breakaways go.

 

It looks like they are all in for a field sprint, just like Hitec Products.

 

Pat Malach spoke with Taylor Phinney (BMC) at the start this morning. He's predicting a bunch sprint in Sacramento today.

 

"I know Mark Cavendish [Dimension Data] is pretty motivated. They haven't done anything all week.

 

"We're gonna go for Jempy [Drucker] today in the sprint.

 

"I'm just chilling. I'm on taper, stay-out-of-trouble-patrol ahead of Nationals next weekend."

 

6 laps to go for the women.

 

Weber has taken over Cylance at the front of the field.

 

They will get the bell lap for the first and only intermediate sprint today where time bonuses are available for 3, 2 and 1 seconds.

 

 

 

In the men's race, the seven men have picked up an additional 20 seconds, now leading by 1:50 ahead of a field led by Katusha.

 

5 laps to go: Intermediate sprint results:

 

Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) - 3 seconds

 

Emma Johansson (Wiggle High5) - 2 seconds

 

Kristin Armstrong (Twenty16-Ridebiker) - 1 second

 

In the men's race, Katusha is getting some help from Tinkoff and Etixx-QuickStep, that have both emerged to the front of the field to set the pace.

 

4 laps to go for the women.

 

Double junior world champion in the time trial and road race, Chloe Dygert (Twenty16-Ridebiker) is leading the field through the start-finish line. 

 

Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank is also present at the front of the field.

 

In the men's race, Phinney just got a wheel change and he is back in the field.

 

3 laps to go.

 

Dani King (Wiggle High5) has attacked. She has a small lead.

 

We've just received word that there was a crash earlier in the women's race, at 12 laps to go. We'll try and find out more about that shortly.

 

2 laps to go for the women.

 

Sarah Storey is leading the field, which is all together now.

 

 

 

Some of the riders reportedly in the crash were Tetrick, Scotti Lechuga and Linnell.

 

There's also been a crash in the men's race. Haimar Zubeldia (Trek) was one of the two involved. He is getting a bike change.

 

1 lap to go.

 

UnitedHealthcare is leading the field for their sprinter Coryn Rivera. 

 

Overall race leader Guarnier is sitting 10 riders back.

 

 

 

And it is Kirsten Wild (Hitech Products) who takes the win at the fourth and final stage of the Women's Amgen Tour of California.

 

Lisa Brennauer (Canyon-Sram) takes second, Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv) third, and Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare) was fourth.

 

And Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) has won the 2016 Amgen Women's Tour of California.

Stage 4 brief results:

1 Kirsten Wild (Ned) Hitec Products
2 Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon SRAM Racing
3 Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
4 Coryn Rivera (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
5 Amy Pieters (Ned) Wiggle High5

Fina feneral classification after stage 4
1 Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam

 

The men have gone through the first intermediate sprint in Clarksburg. Here are the results.

 

1 Chris Jones (UnitedHealthcare) - 3 seconds

 

2 Alan Marangoni (Cannondale Pro Cycling) - 2 seconds

 

3 Krists Neilands (Axeon Hagens Berman) - 1 second

 

They are losing time, however, as the gap is now down to only one minute.

 

Women's Tour of California stage 4 brief results:

 

1 Kirsten Wild (Ned) Hitec Products
2 Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon SRAM Racing
3 Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
4 Coryn Rivera (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
5 Amy Pieters (Ned) Wiggle High5
6 Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling

 

 

Women's Tour of California final general classification after stage 4:

 

1 Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
2 Kristin Armstrong (USA) Twenty16 - Ridebiker 0:00:17
3 Evelyn Stevens (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team 0:00:25
4 Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team 0:00:37
5 Coryn Rivera (USA) UnitedHealthcare Women 0:00:44

 

“ @MeganGuarnier is also the new overall leader in the #UCIWWT after her overall win in #AmgenToC

@UCIWomenCycling Sun, 22nd May 2016 20:36:07

Guarnier's overall victory at the Amgen Tour of California moves her up into the overall lead of the Women's World Tour.

 

37km remaining from 136km

The breakaway still has 50 seconds on the main field.

 

Up in the breakaway, Marangoni is trying to eat food from out of his rear pocket. 

 

It was reported that the race sped through the feed zone, to roughly 34 mph, which would have made it difficult to grab some food.

 

Tao Geoghegan Hart (Axeon Hagens Berman) also had a rear puncture but he managed to get back into the field.

 

Etixx-QuickStep is riding on the front as their overall leader Alaphilippe is tucked in further back.

 

Both Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) and Brent Bookwalter (BMC) have flat tires. Both have raised their arms to request team support.

 

The main field is riding on a section of very rough roads, full of potholes.

 

Cavendish will surely want to go for the stage win today, and Bookwalter is sitting in third place overall behind leader Alaphilippe and Dennis.

 

Brent Bookwalter needs a wheel change. #amgentoc

@Etixx_QuickStep Sun, 22nd May 2016 20:55:48

Etixx-QuickStep have quickened the pace while Cavendish and Bookwalter are getting their wheel changes.

 

24km remaining from 136km

Tinkoff is sitting slightly behind Etixx-QuickStep, and several other teams are starting to get organized ahead of the entrance of the three final circuits in Sacramento.

 

The main field is riding over a slight incline in the road, causing the field to single out.

 

The seven men still have a lead of one minute, but with teams eager to see a field sprint, it isn't likely that they will stay away.

 

Dimension Data have gotten themselves into a good position beside Etixx-QuickStep. Could it be a day for Mark Cavendish, who won four stages last year, but so far has come up empty-handed this year at the Tour of California.

 

The main field is 5km to the entrance of the finish circuits. 

 

Then, each of the three final circuits is 3.5km.

 

The field is flying over Tower Bridge, over the American river. A bright yellow lift bridge.

 

Tinkoff and Katusha are jockeying for position side-by-side.

 

13km remaining from 136km

The seven-rider breakaway has just raced onto the first of the three final circuits.

 

They still have one minute.

 

Lots of fans lining the sides of the finish circuit.

 

Rally's Oronte is leading the breakaway through the first few corners of the L-shaped circuit.

 

Jones is now taking a turn on the front, as he lead the breakaway through the circuit.  But it looks like Carpenter and Marangoni are taking bigger turns on the front.

 

There are just over 10km to go in the race. The breakaway, which is now on the final circuits, is quickly losing time.

 

Tinkoff is leading the main field on course for their world champion Peter Sagan. But Dimension Data are eager to claim a stage victory with Cavendish, and Katusha are there with Kristoff.

 

Etixx-QuickStep have drifted further back, protecting their overall leader Julian Alaphilippe, and they've allowed the sprinters teams to take over.

 

Manangoni just flicked his elbow, trying to motivate his breakaway companions to continue pushing on to the finish line.

 

But the effort might be futile as the gap is down to 35 seconds.

 

There has been a crash on the final circuits in the main field. Riders from Trek-Segafredo have gone down and their bikes are on the sidewalk.

 

5km remaining from 136km

Tinkoff is leading the field with one and half circuits to go.

 

Bernhard Eisel and Tyler Farrar have pushed their way to the front for Dimension Data and Mark Cavendish.

 

The breakaway is about to get caught as they whole field get the bell lap with one to go.

Dimension Data and Tinkoff are intertwined at the front of the field, dragging their sprinters around the last circuit.

 

It's Tyler Farrar who has taken the reins.

 

2.5km to go and there are a couple of riders trying to attack the fast pace of Dimension Data.

 

All of the breakaway riders have now been caught with 2km to go.

 

Mark Renshaw is now at the front of the field, but Katusha have just stormed by with five riders and Kristoff.

 

1km to go

 

And 500 metres to go, they are now sprinting toward the line.

 

Sagan is going on the right, Kristoff on the left, Cavendish is there too.

 

And it's Cavendish who finally gets the win he was waiting for at the Amgen Tour of California.

 

Julian Alaphilippe has officially won the overall title at the Amgen Tour of California.

 

Peter Sagan was second in the sprint today, behind Cavendish.

 

Alexander Kristoff was third.

 

Cavendish has won 10 stage victories at the Amgen Tour of California.

 

But he will go home happy knowing that he picked up one this year too.

 

Julian Alaphilippe did not leave it to chance today, sprinting to the line and finishing 11th in the bunch kick, securing his overall title.

Here are the top 10 for stage 8 at the Amgen Tour of California:

 

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff Team
3 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha
4 Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky
5 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
6 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
8 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Etixx - Quick-Step
9 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
10 Travis McCabe (USA) Holowesko-Citadel

 

Final general classification after stage 8:

 

1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step 31:47:50
2 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:21
3 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:43
4 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:52
5 Lawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:01:22
6 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:01:22
7 George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:01:50
8 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Team Katusha 0:01:53
9 Neilson Powless (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman 0:01:57
10 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:02:13

 

Thank you for following our live coverage of the Amgen Tour of California men's and women's races. We hope you enjoyed our commentary. 

 

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