Thrilling Finale in California: Dennis Second and Bookwalter Third on GC22. May 2016, Sacramento, California (USA) — Road Team
Sacramento provided the backdrop to a thrilling finale of the Amgen Tour of California that saw BMC Racing Team secure two of the top three spots on the General Classification.
A seven rider breakaway looked like they might cause an upset to the predicted bunch sprint as it took right up until the last kilometer for the peloton to reel them back in.
From that point on it was down to the sprinters with Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data) taking the final win of the week. Jempy Drukcer was the first BMC Racing Team rider across the line as he mixed it up in the sprint to finish seventh.
Behind the sprinters, Rohan Dennis and Brent Bookwalter finished safely inside the main group to secure their podium spots. Dennis, who won the Stage 6 individual time trial on Friday, finished in second place, 21 second behind Julian Alaphilippe (Ettix-Quick-Step), while Brent Bookwalter took the final place on the rostrum, 43 seconds back.
Samuel Sánchez also finished inside the top ten on the General Classification. The Spaniard finished his week in California in sixth place, 1'22 behind Alaphilippe, while the BMC Racing Team secured victory in the team classification.
Quotes of the day
Rohan Dennis said: “The stage was a little bit stressful today with people worried about losing the GC or getting caught in the crosswinds and the peloton blowing up but we all got through fairly well. The breakaway was really strong today and I don’t think the guys that were riding at the front realised how strong they actually were because it took a lot of effort to get them back.”
“I pleased with how I have performed this week. Obviously winning would have been better but it’s been a rough season for me so far and considering I haven’t done a whole lot of racing, I am happy with where I’m at and where I am going from here. This week has definitely given me a confidence boost going in to the next couple of races. It’s great that things are starting to come into place and that I am able to be at the pointy end as well as helping out the team when needed.”
Brent Bookwalter said: “Today was not a parade by any means. I had one tense moment before we came into the final circuits, I got a flat which put a little panic into me but as they have been doing all week the guys were awesome, they kept me calm and brought be back no problem.”
“Coming in to the race the goal was to win but seeing how the week unfolded and how we rode, I am really pleased with the third place that I got and the second over that Rohan got. I’ve had some other success in week long stages in the US but this was really the first time that the team have given me more responsibility and the chance to lead and prepare accordingly and have the team committed to me. I am really grateful for that opportunity and I’m humbled and inspired to have had such a world class group of guys riding for me all week and hopefully it’s not the last one.”
Sport director, Jackson Stewart said: "The breakaway came pretty close today. It was pretty windy out there and always changing direction and I think that, couple with the bad roads, made everyone a little nervous. There was a lot of people just trying to stay out of trouble and stay safe in the wind which meant the break was able to go out in front. Then, as we started to head towards town the peloton started to pick up the pace to catch them and our guys sat back a little and let Jempy [Drucker] try and go for the sprint. He ended up seventh and did what he could and then the guys stayed out of major trouble to keep their podium spots.”
“Samu [Samuel Sánchez] moved up to sixth on GC as well today so, in the end, to come here and get three guys in top ten and two on podium is pretty successful. We were really competitive this week and even though everyone wanted that elusive GC win, I think we still delivered. We left everything out there and we did our best job.”
Tour of California (UCI 2.HC)
Stage 8: Sacramento - Sacramento, 138km
Top 3: 1. Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data) 2. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) 3. Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha)
BMC Racing Team Top 3:
7. Jempy Drucker
17. Taylor Phinney
18. Samuel Sánchez
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.