Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California concluded with a photo finish in the state’s capitol city of Sacramento. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) took the first stage win of the race, barely etching out Travis McCabe (USA Cycling National Team) who nearly caught Sagan at the final second, followed by Maximilian Walscheid (Sunweb). This is Peter Sagan’s 17th stage win at the Tour of California, and his first win in nearly four months of the 2019 UCI World tour.
Immediately following the neutralized zone at the start of the 143-kilometer stage, a breakaway formed of four riders Charles Planet (TNN), Laurens De Vreese (Astana), Michael Schar (CCC), and Tyler Stites (USA Cycling National Team). With a breakaway of 1 minute and 20 seconds, the four riders were never able to extend the gap past 2 minutes and the peloton closely approached as the race lead on. When the breakaway approached the sprint bonus, Stites masterfully made a break from the pack as Schar followed with the first attack. Stites ultimately earned the 3 second time bonus as he quickly raced up over the line.
After the bonus segment, the peloton caught up to riders with 19 km left, and the breakaway fizzled out with Charles Planet as the last rider to be resorbed. This left the fate of the race to the 3-lap sprint circuit in downtown Sacramento. George Bennett (TJV) led into the circuit with Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) going for time bonus seconds. Bennett’s fast-pace picked up a time bonus of 1 second at the second intermediate sprint.
With one lap to go, the peloton transformed into a rip roaring sprint. Owain Doull (Ineos) tried to lead out his teammates, but instead he led out Peter Sagan who was locked on his wheel. As Sagan inched closer to the finish line, weaving in and out towards the front, Travis McCabe, went full power and nearly caught Sagan at the last minute. McCabe, who was celebrating his 30th birthday, was not quick enough and ultimately Peter Sagan proved to be the winner.
Peter Sagan, BORA-hansgrohe – “I’m very happy. Thanks to all the teammates at BORA-hansgrohe, they helped me a lot today, keeping me in the front, and in the end we stayed with a few riders for a sprint, and I won. Also, congrats to my teammate (Pascal) Ackermann, he also won today at the Giro (d’Italia), and to have double in the team is very nice.”
Travis McCabe, USA Cycling National Team – “I felt great. I was in perfect position with 1K to go. It’s a long sprint, a little slightly uphill with a bit of a headwind usually, but I was on the right wheels following Peter [Sagan], and was able to open up and have legs, so I’m ecstatic to get second place and represent USA Cycling.”
(On if he just needed a bit more road to beat Peter) “I still doubt that I would have beat him, but I had great legs, I came with speed. I was a little bit further behind. I think I came from maybe two wheels back from Peter. I’m happy with second. Doesn’t matter where you start the sprint, just matters where it ends. Like I said, I’m happy with second. It’s a great little birthday present for me from USA Cycling, so it’s good.”
Results after Stage 1:
SUNDAY, MAY 12
Podium: STAGE 1 presented by Amgen
- Peter Sagan (SVK), BORA-hansgrohe (GER) 3h14’10”
- Travis McCabe (USA), USA Cycling National Team (USA) +00”
- Maximilian Richard Walscheid (GER), Team Sunweb (GER) +00”
Jersey Winners after Stage 1:
- Amgen Race Leader Jersey – Peter Sagan (SVK), BORA-hansgrohe (BOH)
- Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Charles Planet (FRA), Team Novo Nordisk (USA)
- Lexus King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey – N/A
- Visit California Sprint Jersey – Peter Sagan (SVK), BORA-hansgrohe (BOH)
- TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey – Tyler Stites (USA), USA Cycling National Team (USA)
Stage 2 presented by Visit California begins in the first-time race Host City of Rancho Cordova, with the cyclists then journeying 133.3 miles and climbing 14,500 feet to the finish at the slopes of South Lake Tahoe’s Heavenly Ski Resort.
The Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM UCI WorldTour race showcasing the world’s best women cyclists will run concurrently for the final three days of the men’s event, beginning in Ventura May 16-18.