Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) claimed the bunch sprint in the seventh stage of the Amgen Tour of California, only just holding off Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) who had spent much of the day up the road, while overall leader Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-QuickStep) managed to cling to his overall lead.

The stage, contested over 175 kilometres, saw the main break of the day head off just after the first King of the Mountain sprint, with some 14 riders including big names like Sagan, Greg van Avermaet (BMC), and former stage winner Toms Skujins (Cannondale). With most of the big teams represented at the front, the move was to everyone’s liking, apart from Etixx-QuickStep, which had to work to protect the overall lead of Alaphilippe.

With the tough profile of the route, featuring numerous climbs, along with tight, twisty descents, the composition on the lead group was constantly changing, with intermittent radio connection between the break and the race meaning that the peloton was in a state of constant confusion as to just who was actually up the road.  In one of the reshuffles of the break, Kiwi George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) managed to make it into the lead group as well, sending the alarm bells ringing back in the peloton, as Bennett found himself high up in the overall classification, sitting in ninth place.

However, Sagan clearly felt the break was not working hard enough, and under his sustained pressure it fractured, leaving only six riders at the front after a climb at the 80 kilometre mark.

With some of the riders riding in defence of the overall position of their team mates back in the peloton, Sagan was not getting as much help as he would have liked, and eventually decided to go it alone. He quickly gained time on his former companions, but in the peloton behind Etixx-QuickStep had found some additional help in the form of Katusha, riding for their sprinter Kristoff, as well as Direct Energie, riding for their sprinter Bryan Coquard.

With the added firepower behind, and the lack of impetus in the break, it was only a matter of time before they were swept up by the peloton, with Sagan eventually being brought back after almost 30 kilometres on his own.  However, Sagan was not quite done yet, and as Katusha gained control of the front of the peloton in the run in to the line, he managed to position himself behind Kristoff in anticipation of the sprint.  As Kristoff launched off a perfect leadout by his team, Sagan came very close to coming around him for the sprint win, but the long day in the break took the edge of his sprint ever so slightly and he had to settle for second, with Danny van Poppel (Sky) taking third.

In spite of a very tough day of racing, the overall classification remained unchanged, with Alaphilippe retaining his 16 second lead over Rohan Dennis (BMC) in second place, and Brent Bookwalter (BMC) in third, 38 seconds off the lead. George Bennett managed to hang on to his place in the top ten as well, sitting 1:45 off the race lead in ninth place.

 

Stage results:

Rank Name Nat. Team Result
1 Alexander KRISTOFF NOR KAT 4:19:52
2 Peter SAGAN SVK TNK +0
3 Danny VAN POPPEL NED SKY +0
4 Mike TEUNISSEN NED TLJ +0
5 Bryan COQUARD FRA DEN +0
6 Jasper STUYVEN BEL TFS +0
7 Travis MCCABE USA HSD +0
8 John DEGENKOLB GER TGA +0
9 Timo ROOSEN NED TLJ +0
10 Ruben GUERREIRO POR AHB +0
11 Greg VAN AVERMAET BEL BMC +0
12 Robin CARPENTER USA HSD +0
13 Petr VAKOC CZE EQS +0
14 Julian ALAPHILIPPE FRA EQS +0
15 Brent BOOKWALTER USA BMC +0
16 Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK BEL KAT +0
17 Tao GEOGHEGAN HART GBR AHB +0
18 Samuel SANCHEZ GONZALEZ ESP BMC +0
19 Janez BRAJKOVIC SLO UHC +0
20 Michael MORKOV DEN KAT +0
21 Daniel TEKLEHAIMANOT ERI DDD +0
22 Rohan DENNIS AUS BMC +0
23 Christopher JONES USA UHC +0
24 Lawson CRADDOCK USA CPT +0
25 Michael GOGL AUT TNK +0
26 Javier MEGIAS LEAL ESP TNN +0
27 Julien BERNARD FRA TFS +0
28 Michael SCHÄR SUI BMC +0
29 George BENNETT NZL TLJ +0
30 Alan MARANGONI ITA CPT +0
31 Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE ESP TFS +0
32 Peter STETINA USA TFS +0
33 Andrew TALANSKY USA CPT +0
34 Rob BRITTON CAN RLY +0
35 Laurens TEN DAM NED TGA +0
36 Antoine DUCHESNE CAN DEN +0
37 Robbie SQUIRE USA HSD +0
38 Neilson POWLESS USA AHB +0
39 John HORNBECK USA HSD +0
40 Taylor SHELDON USA JBC +0
41 Daniel Alexander JARAMILLO DIEZ COL UHC +0
42 Jhonatan RESTREPO COL KAT +10
43 Tiago MACHADO POR KAT +12
44 Maximiliano Ariel RICHEZE ARG EQS +59
45 Krists NEILANDS LAT AHB +59
46 Toms SKUJINS LAT CPT +59
47 Alexey VERMEULEN USA TLJ +0
48 Romain SICARD FRA DEN +1:15
49 Fabrice JEANDESBOZ FRA DEN +9:45
50 Matt BRAMMEIER IRL DDD +25:42
51 Benjamin KING USA CPT +25:42
52 Nathan HAAS AUS DDD +25:42
53 Koen DE KORT NED TGA +25:42
54 Kiel REIJNEN USA TFS +25:42
55 Tom BOONEN BEL EQS +25:42
56 Adam BLYTHE GBR TNK +25:42
57 Mark CAVENDISH GBR DDD +25:42
58 Patrick BEVIN NZL CPT +25:42
59 Christopher LATHAM GBR WGN +25:42
60 Zdenek STYBAR CZE EQS +25:42
61 Markel IRIZAR ARANBURU ESP TFS +25:42
62 Michael SHEEHAN USA JBC +25:42
63 Robert WAGNER GER TLJ +25:42
64 Charles PLANET FRA TNN +25:42
65 Maarten WYNANTS BEL TLJ +25:42
66 Joonas HENTTALA FIN TNN +25:42
67 Roy CURVERS NED TGA +25:42
68 Jacques JANSE VAN RENSBURG RSA DDD +25:42
69 Tyler FARRAR USA DDD +25:42
70 Andrea PERON ITA TNN +25:42
71 David LOZANO RIBA ESP TNN +25:42
72 Nikolas MAES BEL EQS +25:42
73 Phillip GAIMON USA CPT +25:42
74 Martijn VERSCHOOR NED TNN +25:42
75 William BARTA USA AHB +25:42
76 Jean-Pierre DRUCKER LUX BMC +25:42
77 Christopher WILLIAMS AUS TNN +25:42
78 Ben WOLFE USA JBC +25:42
79 Taylor PHINNEY USA BMC +25:42
80 Oscar GATTO ITA TNK +25:42
81 Mark RENSHAW AUS DDD +25:42
82 Martin VELITS SVK EQSD +25:42
83 Niccolo BONIFAZIO ITA TFS +25:42
84 Søren Kragh ANDERSEN DEN TGA +25:42
85 Bradley WIGGINS GBR WGN +25:42
86 Logan OWEN USA AHB +25:42
87 Chris PUTT USA JBC +25:42
88 Oscar CLARK USA HSD +25:42
89 Marco CANOLA ITA UHC +25:42
90 Adam DE VOS CAN RLY +25:42
91 Andrei KRASILNIKAU BLR HSD +25:42
92 Owain DOULL GBR WGN +25:42
93 Caleb FAIRLY USA TGA +25:42
94 Dylan GROENEWEGEN NED TLJ +25:42
95 Angus MORTON AUS JBC +25:42
96 Danilo WYSS SUI BMC +25:42
97 Danny PATE USA RLY +25:42
98 Andrew FENN GBR SKY +25:42
99 Sindre SKJOESTAD LUNKE NOR TGA +25:42
100 Pierrick NAUD CAN RLY +25:42
101 Dennis VAN WINDEN NED TLJ +25:42
102 Bernhard EISEL AUT DDD +25:42
103 Brian NAULEAU FRA DEN +25:42
104 Evan HUFFMAN USA RLY +25:42
105 Emerson ORONTE USA RLY +25:42
106 Vladimir ISAYCHEV RUS KAT +25:42
107 Nikolay TRUSOV RUS TNK +25:42
108 Jacopo GUARNIERI ITA KAT +25:42
109 Erik BASKA SVK TNK +25:42
110 Adrien PETIT FRA DEN +25:42
111 Daniel PATTEN GBR WGN +25:42
112 Gianni MOSCON ITA SKY +25:42
113 Marco HALLER AUT KAT +25:42
114 Michal KOLÁR SVK TNK +25:42
115 Juraj SAGAN SVK TNK +25:42
116 Vasil KIRYIENKA BLR SKY +25:42
117 Julian David ARREDONDO MORENO COL TFS +25:42
118 Xabier ZANDIO ECHAIDE ESP SKY +25:42
119 GREGORY DANIEL USA AHB +25:42
120 Andzs FLAKSIS LAT HSD +25:42
121 Jacob RATHE USA JBC +25:42
122 Ramon SINKELDAM NED TGA +25:42
123 Michael THOMPSON GBR WGN +25:42
124 Angelo TULIK FRA DEN +25:42
125 Andrew TENNANT GBR WGN +25:42
126 Maxime BOUET FRA EQS +25:42
127 Tanner PUTT USA UHC +25:42
128 John MURPHY USA UHC +25:42
129 Will ROUTLEY CAN RLY +25:42
130 Daniel EATON USA UHC +25:42
131 Geoffrey CURRAN USA AHB +25:42
132 Jake Kelly GBR WGN +25:42
133 Jonathan CLARKE AUS UHC +26:00
DNF Lars Petter NORDHAUG NOR SKY  
DNF Mark CHRISTIAN GBR WGN  
DNF Wouter WIPPERT NED CPT  
DNF Jordan CHEYNE CAN JBC  
DNF Joseph LEWIS AUS HSD  
DNF Jesse ANTHONY USA RLY  

 

Photo: Sirotti

 

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