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Tour of California 2018: Stage 7

Good morning and welcome to the finale stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California, a 143km race in Sacramento.

Tour of California - Preview

Tour of California - start list

Tour of California: Bernal wins mountainous stage 6

Amgen Women's Race: Hall wins queen stage to South Lake Tahoe

Giro d'Italia: Chris Froome conquers Monte Zoncolan

 

We are back in Sacramento for finale stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California.

 

The riders will, hopefully, enjoy this flat stage that is expected to finish in a heated bunch sprint, as there are several world-class sprinters who have yet to win a stage this week.

Lots of fans are out to watch the final stage around the state Capitol, which finishes at the Capitol Park.

 

The riders are off! Not officially, though, as they need to complete a short neutral section.

 

Stage 7 is a flat route that finishes with circuits around the Capitol complex in downtown Sacramento. The men will race 143km, with one larger loop in the downtown area and three shorter finishing circuits on the outskirts of Capitol Park.

 

There are two intermediate sprints at the 62km mark in Winters, and then as they cross the finish line for the first time at the start of the circuits.

 

We also have the finale stage 3 of the Amgen Women's Race in Sacramento today.

 

Leading the overall classification in that race is Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare) by 29 seconds ahead of Tayler Wiles (Trek-Srops) and 1:07 over Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM).

 

The women's stage 3 will tackle 20 laps of a six-corner, 3.5km loop, for a total of 70km.

 

The men are just 2km into their race and attacks are flying.

Here are the overall classification standings after the mountainous stage 6 yesterday.

 

General classification after stage 6


1 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky 22:26:40
2 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 00:01:25
3 Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 00:02:14
4 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 00:02:16
5 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky 00:02:28
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:03:01
7 Brandon McNulty (USA) Rally Cycling 00:03:28
8 Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 00:03:50
9 Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates 00:03:59
10 Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale 00:04:01

 

We don't expect any changes to the overall GC, as Egan Bernal (Team Sky) has a healthy lead.

 

We do expect a bunch sprint.

 

The all-star cast of sprinters in the field here in California include world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin), Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors), and Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott).

 

In the previous two sprints; stage 1 in Long Beach and stage 5 in Elk Grove, the podiums were identical with Gaviria taking the wins ahead of Ewan and Sagan. 

 

The Colombian will no doubt be looking for a third win today, but the other sprinters will not want to leave the US without a victory.

 

There have been several small breaks off of the front of the field but Katusha-Alpecin is trying to hold the field together.

 

As they races alongside the Sacramento River, there has been a successful split of four riders that have cleared the field.

 

The gap is 50 seconds

 

The breakaway includes Neilson Powless (LottoNL-Jumbo), Adam De Vos (Rally), Mikkel Bjerg (Hagens Berman Axeon), Jonny Clarke (UnitedHealthcare).

 

Mitchelton-Scott on the front, followed by Quick-Step and Katusha

 

Gap has stretched out to 55 seconds

 

 

129km remaining from 143km

The four-man breakaway has just over one minute on the chasing field.

 

The peloton is racing alongside local farmlands, that are currently being sprayed.

 

The team cars are passing the peloton and moving into the gap, to service their breakaway riders.

 

If you missed today's stage 14 of the Giro d'Italia, you can catch up on the details here.

 

Chris Froome (Team Sky) won the stage at the summit of the famed Monte Zoncolan, holding off a chase from maglia rosa Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).

Side note, you can pre-order our next film on Vimeo. It's called CRESCENDO, and we're going to focus on the final week of the Giro, with more behind the scenes tales from the race. It's out on June 1 but you can pick it up at our special pre-order price now. 

 

And you can still download the hugely popular THE HOLY WEEK too. 

Back to the Tour of California, they are racing on some very exposed road now, although the wind seems to have died down a bit.

 

120km remaining from 143km

The gap to the four-rider breakaway has gone up to 1:20, just 23km into the stage.

 

Breakaway rider De Vos has had a great season so far. He wore the leader's jersey for two das at the Tour de Langkawi, and was involved in the stage 2 breakaway as well.

 

His team Rally Cycling is auctioning custom-painted bikes from Tour of California.

 

You can bid on a unique DiamondBack bike to help the UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation.

 

Find out more here.

 

113km remaining from 143km

Gap has grown slightly to 1:20

 

Correction!

 

The gap is now 2 minutes and we are 30km into the stage.

 

Amgen Women's Race

 

The women are being called to the start line, they will begin momentarily. A 70km race on short circuits in Sacramento.

 

 

 

Last year, Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare) lost the race by a mere one second to Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolman), after the Dutchwoman collected an intermediate sprint time bonus in Sacramento.

 

Hall has a much healthier lead of 29 seconds this time around, but she vowed not to let the Amgen Women's Race come down to bonus sprints again.

 

Read more here.

 

The men's peloton is leaving the residential area and going back into agricultural tracts, but there are quite a few people lining the streets to watch the race.

 

107km remaining from 143km

Gap is 2:10

 

Amgen Women's Race - The women have officially started and the field is all together led by Hagens Berman Supermint.

 

Along with Rally's De Vos, Jonny Clarke (UnitedHealthcare) has also had a strong start to the season, securing second overall at the Tour of Taiwan after leading the race for two days.

 

The team's director Sebastian Alexandre noted the importance of being active in the breakaways this week. They have two sprinters with Travis McCabe and Sebastian Haedo, but Alexandre said it would be tough to beat the quality sprinters in the peloton.

 

Apparently Hagens Berman Axeon's Ian Harrison is from Woodland, which we passed through today.

 

This stage is so flat and exposed, but the wind doesn't seem to be causing any problems.

 

102km remaining from 143km

De Vos, Powless, Clarke and Bjerg have a lead of 2:10

 

Powless was marked as one to watch for the overall classification this week.

 

However, he struggled to stay with the likes of Egan Bernal (Team Sky) on the ascents.

 

He is currently 15th overall, 7:28 behind Bernal in GC, while his LottoNL-Jumbo teammate Antwan Tolhoek has faired a little better in 13th overall at 7:03 back.

 

Powless was 8th in the San Jose time trial.

 

So far, we've passed massive crop fields, poppy fields, corn fields, wheat fields... 

 

 

Katusha-Alpecin is leading the peloton in the chase. They have help from Bora-Hansgrohe's Juraj Sagan and one Mitchelton-Scott rider.

 

93km remaining from 143km

The breakaway has 2:15

 

And now we get to the sunflower fields! Only it's too soon for them to flower.

 

Amgen Women's Race - There have been several attempts at breakaways from Sunweb and USA Cycling National Team, but the field is all together with 14 laps to go.

 

Back in the men's race, the breakaway has lost a few seconds, as the gap dropped to two minutes with 55km to go.

 

86km remaining from 143km

The breakaway has five kilometres to the first intermediate sprint of the day.

 

Bjerg is a strong time triallist, and a good worker in a breakaway. He was sixth in the time trial in San Jose, but has a history of top performances.

 

He won the under-23 time trial at the World Championships in Bergen last year. He was also second at the European Continental Championships in the under-23 time trial and third at the Danish Championships in the time trial, both last year.

 

The breakaway has reached Winters, where the intermediate sprint is located.

 

The crowds are out in plenty.

 

81km remaining from 143km

De Vos crossed the intermediate sprint line first.

 

 

 

Intermediate sprint results -

 

1- Adam De Vos (Rally)

2- Jonny Clarke (UnitedHealthcare)

3-Neilson Powless (LottoNL-Jumbo)

 

77km remaining from 143km

Following the intermediate sprint in Winters, the gap has dropped to 1:55.

 

Amgen Women's Race - The field is together with a line of UnitedHealthcare riders setting a quick pace. They are seeing 10 laps to go.

 

73km remaining from 143km

There are 70km to go in the men's race, Mitchelton-Scott has taken the lead of the peloton, while Katusha-Alpecin and Quick-Step Floors follow suit.

 

Gaviria has won two sprint stages so far, while Ewan and Sagan have placed second and third, both times.

 

Gaviria no doubts wants a third stage victory, but Sagan, who has a record 16 stage wins at the Tour of California, won't want to leave empty-handed this year.

 

72km remaining from 143km

The work that the sprint teams are putting in is paying off, and the gap is down to 1:30.

 

Amgen Women's Race - 9 laps to go

 

USA Cycling National Team is now trying to hold the field together, a former overall winner Megan Guarnier is leading the field. They have two quick sprinters in sisters, Samantha and Skylar Schneider.

 

Team Sunweb is also on the hunt for a sprint victory with Coryn Rivera.

 

UnitedHealthcare will be happy let the sprint teams take over now, and keep the field intact, for their overall leader Katie Hall.

 

The men's race has passed through the feedzone and some riders have taken on food and drink. Although it is a short stage at 143km, the route is exposed to the sun and wind.

 

Team Sky have surrounded their overall leader Egan Bernal. The British team is lined up behind the main sprint teams; Katusha-Alpecin, Mitchelton-Scott.

 

BMC Racing is also nearby with Tejay van Garderen, winner of the San Jose time trial and second overall. 

 

Amgen Women's Race - 5 laps to go

 

Shannon Malseed (Tibco-SVB) took first-place points in the intermediate sprint. 

 

The sprint teams seem happy to let this move hold onto a one minute lead. They won't want to bring this move back completely, yet, to avoid further attacks.

 

 

 

Team Sky are dominant at the front of the peloton, keeping overall leader Egan Bernal safe, along with some riders from Mitchelton-Scott.

 

The British team will be pleased to have learned that their teammate Chris Froome won stage 14 on the summit of Monte Zoncolan at the Giro d'Italia earlier today.

 

 

 

Side note, you can pre-order our next film on Vimeo. It's called CRESCENDO, and we're going to focus on the final week of the Giro, with more behind the scenes tales from the race. It's out on June 1 but you can pick it up at our special pre-order price now. 

 

And you can still download the hugely popular THE HOLY WEEK too. 

Amgen Women's Race - 3 laps to go

 

There were some attacks from Team Sunweb, but UnitedHealthcare is back on the front with a firm hold on the peloton. 

 

 

 

Mark Cavendish is sitting comfortably in the field with his Dimension Data teammates. He is a 10-time stage winner at the Tour of California, and won the bunch sprint in Sacramento four times.

 

Amgen Women's Race - 1 lap to go

 

The field is together with UnitedHealthcare leading into the last lap, overall leader Katie Hall safely in the field.

 

 

 

Amgen Women's Race

 

Sunweb is the dominant lead-out in the last few hundred metres.

 

 

 

Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare) wins the overall title at the Amgen Women's Race.

 

Arlenis Sierra (Astana) wins the final stage in Sacramento.

 

 

 

37km remaining from 143km

The men's race is seeing 36km to go, and the main field is still spread wide across the road.

 

One rider from Quick-Step Floors is leading the field followed by one rider from Katusha-Alpecin.

 

The peloton is racing alongside the Sacramento River, as they head back toward the downtown area.

 

European Champion, Alexander Kristoff, is also sitting in the field looking quite comfortable. So is world champion Peter Sagan, no doubt considering the final sprint.

 

33km remaining from 143km

Powless, Clarke, De Vos and Bjerg, are still working well together. 

 

They will want to at least make it to the finish circuits ahead of the field.

 

The gap is holding at one minute.

 

Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) jumped out of the main field, in an attack ahead of the next intermediate sprint.

 

Naesen is back in the field, but the move has caused the field to get nervous.

 

Bora-hansgrohe has now moved to the front with Peter Sagan.

 

30km remaining from 143km

The peloton is now only 35 seconds behind the four breakaway riders.

 

Amgen Women's Race - top 10

 

1 Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women’s Team 1:37:32
2 Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAM Racing
3 Emma White (USA) Rally Cycling
4 Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women
5 Annette Edmondson (Aus) Wiggle High5
6 Skylar Schneider (USA) USA Cycling National Team
7 Jennifer Valente (USA) Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air
8 Macey Stewart (Aus) Wiggle High5
9 Sara Bergen (Can) Rally Cycling
10 Lauretta Hanson (Aus) Unitedhealthcare Women

 

Final general classification after stage 3


1 Katharine Hall (USA) Unitedhealthcare Women 7:51:11
2 Tayler Wiles (USA) Trek-Drops 0:00:29
3 Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM Racing 0:01:07
4 Erica Magnaldi (Ita) BePink 0:01:12
5 Brodie Chapman (Aus) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank 0:01:16
6 Caro Rodríguez (Mex) Astana Women’s Team 0:01:20
7 Sara Poidevin (Can) Rally Cycling 0:01:43
8 Leah Thomas (USA) Unitedhealthcare Women 0:02:24
9 Juliette Labous (Fra) Team Sunweb Women 0:02:28
10 Marcela Elizabeth Prieto (Mex) Swapit Agolico 0:02:31

 

The main field, led by one rider each from Quick-Step, Katusha and Mitchelton-Scott, are racing along a wide-open highway that heads back into Sacramento.

 

Once in town, they will begin three finish circuits around Capitol Park.

 

Downtown Sacramento is looming off in the distance. For now, the field is riding along, at moderate speeds, and the sprinter teams have not yet started their surge forward.

 

The organisation is starting to happen, though, as teams Quick-Step, Mitchelton-Scott and DImension Data group together, as are Team Sky and BMC Racing.

 

19km remaining from 143km

The breakaway riders are still working well; De Vos is taking his turn on the front, followed by Bjerg, Clarke and Powless. 

 

They are about 10km from the start of the circuits, where there is a second intermediate sprint available.

 

Several riders have needed service for mechanicals in the last 20km, among them were Kristoff and Van Garderen. But they are all safely back in the bunch.

 

The peloton is making a left turn and they are now on the downtown city boulevard in Sacramento. 

 

The four leaders are still fighting to stay ahead of the field, as they are not quite at the circuits yet.

 

The are 5km away from the start of the circuits.

 

They are crossing over Tower Bridge

 

There is a time bonus available at the intermediate sprint.

 

One rider is trying to jump ahead of the peloton.

 

Powless attacks the breakaway and is quickly followed by his rivals.

 

Powless is still dragging the breakaway as they start the circuits, they are passing under the 1km to go banner, before they reach the circuits.

 

 De Vos sprints for the intermediate bonus

Team Sky are in control of the main field, with overall leader Egan Bernal sitting in, and probably hoping for these circuits to finish as quickly as possible.

 

Mitchelton-Scott has taken over from Team Sky, and that will signal the start of the lead-out trains for the final sprint.

 

7km remaining from 143km

The breakaway is still holding a 20-second advantage.

 

Mitchelton-Scott are being rivalled by Katusha-Alpecin as they round the left corner on the circuits.

 

When they cross through the finish line, they will see two laps to go.

 

Clarke looks over his shoulder and sees the peloton charging down the straightaway behind him.

 

Dimension Data has now moved forward with Mark Cavendish.

 

Powless isn't giving up and he has attacked the breakaway again.

 

The L-shaped circuit has eight corners on wide, open city boulevards, covered by mature trees as it wraps around Capitol Park.

4km remaining from 143km

Katusha-Alpecin makes the catch and the breakaway has been absorbed into the main field.

 

The peloton is hearing the bell, signalling one lap to go, and the field is all together.

 

Mitchelton-Scott is trying to hold their position at the front, with Caleb Ewan on their wheels.

 

But Katusha-Alpecin is giving them a run for their money, coming up on the left side of the road.

 

Katusha appears to have a firm hold on the front of the field.

 

There's been a crash at the back of the field.

Katusha still have three riders on the front, as one just peeled off. Marcel Kittel is in a good position to win this stage.

 

They pass under the 1km to go banner. Katusha still have three riders up front.

 

But Quick-Step takes over with Gavira on their wheels.

 

Three Quick-Step riders launch off the front, with Gaviria.

 

Ewan is also sprinting on the left.

 

Peter Sagan is on the left.

 

Max Walschied who pushes his way through the centre. And it's a photo-finish!

 

Walschied looked like he had the faster sprint but Gaviria threw his bike at the line and took the stage win for Quick-Step Floors.

 

Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) wins stage 7 at the Tour of California

 

Max Walscheid (Sunweb) was second, Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) was third and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hasgrohe) was fourth.

 

Gaviria will leave the Tour of California with three stage wins; stage 1 in Long Beach, stage 5 in Elk Grove and stage 7 in Sacramento.

 

It's been a good week for the Colombian and his dominant Quick-Step Floors team.

 

Egan Bernal (Team Sky) wins the 2018 Tour of California

 

Tour of California stage 7 - Brief results

1 Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
2 Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb
3 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5 Miguel Bryon (USA) Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources

 

Final general classification after stage 7


1 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky 25:34:19
2 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:01:25
3 Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:02:14
4 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:02:16
5 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky 0:02:28
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:03:01
7 Brandon McNulty (USA) Rally Cycling 0:03:28
8 Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:03:50
9 Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates 0:03:59
10 Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:01

Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare) is being awarded the final golden jersey as the winner of the Amgen Women's Race.

 

Egan Bernal (Team Sky) is awarded the jersey as the overall winner of the men's Tour of California. 

 

Both riders stand on stage and wave to the fans in Sacramento, and each receive keys to new Lexus cars.

 

Thank you for following along with our live coverage of the 2018 Tour of California.

 

Join us tomorrow for live coverage of stage 15 at the Giro d'Italia.

 

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