Race report

Chaotic sprint finish in California sees Team Sunweb miss out

Amgen Tour of California

After yesterday’s stage saw the break take the spoils, the peloton and the sprint teams were in no doubt as to how today was going to go. A break of five managed to escape the bunch just out of the neutral zone and quickly built up their advantage. However, that advantage was never allowed to go out any further than just over five minutes and with a nagging headwind all day, the peloton was always in control.

The inevitable catch was made within the last ten kilometres of the stage and Team Sunweb moved up to the front of the bunch, staying in a good position. There were a few pinch points on the twisting and winding roads and that made for some nervous racing. A crash outside the three kilometre to go banner caused a split in the group and all the Team Sunweb guys made it through safely. However, the crash had caused chaos in the bunch and the lead-out trains were spread throughout the peloton. Casper Pedersen kept the pace high coming into the last two kilometres but with Cees Bol slightly hampered by the crash and out of position, the Team Sunweb train was missing one of its members. There was a big fight for position into the corner at one kilometre to go, with riders taking risks around the corner to move up in the bunch. Unfortunately, Max Walscheid came out of the turn a little bit out of position and would be too far back to compete for a top result on the stage once the sprint opened up.

“Our goal was to be in front when exiting the highway at the six kilometres to go point,” explained Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek at the finish. “We were in a reasonably good position until we got a little disconnected but Roy did a good job at getting everyone back in line. We really wanted to be in front for the left hand corner at one kilometre to go and we put all our energy into it. However, we were a little bit short of gas though as Cees got disconnected from the train after the crash and it meant we were one man short. The other teams took over and Max didn’t have a good position going into the left hand corner and the sprint was over for us. It’s a shame as the guys did a good effort and we took the initiative from the moment we needed to. Casper also punctured with eight kilometres to go but he managed to get back on and miraculously do a lead-out after finding the rest of the team. We can’t complain about the efforts and intentions from the guys, they tried it, but we ended up a little bit short at the important point and the sprint was over for us from there.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 JAKOBSEN Fabio Deceuninck - Quick Step 5:53:22 40
2 PHILIPSEN Jasper UAE-Team Emirates ,, 15
3 SAGAN Peter BORA - hansgrohe ,, 6
15 WALSCHEID Max Team Sunweb ,, -
40 FRÖHLINGER Johannes Team Sunweb ,, -
62 BOL Cees Team Sunweb ,, -
68 CURVERS Roy Team Sunweb ,, -
77 NIEUWENHUIS Joris Team Sunweb ,, -
78 PEDERSEN Casper Team Sunweb ,, -
115 STORER Michael Team Sunweb ,, -