Van Garderen Secures Second Overall in California After Bunch Sprint on Stage 719. May 2018, Sacramento, California (USA) — Road Team
Tejay van Garderen headed onto the podium in Sacramento this afternoon after finishing safely alongside his BMC Racing Team teammates in the bunch sprint to secure second overall on the General Classification.
The final stage of the AMGEN Tour of California started and finished in the state capital and saw the riders tackle a 143km pan flat course that drew to a close with three laps of a 3.5km circuit in the heart of the city.
As expected, once the day’s breakaway went clear, it was the sprinters’ teams that took responsibility for the pacemaking at the front of the peloton in anticipation of a final fast and furious finish in California.
The advantage of the four leaders, who went clear after a fast opening 15km of racing, was never allowed to extend beyond 2’15” and behind, BMC Racing Team was sitting comfortably around van Garderen in the first half of the main bunch.
At the 50km to go mark, the gap was hovering around 1’30” with the chase heating up 15km later, and by the time the race reached the first local lap, just 25 seconds separated the breakaway from the rest of the field.
The peloton was stretched out in single file as the catch was made, and the battle for position began, just before the bell rang to mark the start of the final 3.5km lap.
After a photo finish, it was Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) who took the stage win while van Garderen, who was kept well-positioned by his teammates in the closing kilometers of the race, finished safely in the peloton to secure second overall, 1’25” behind Egan Bernal (Team Sky).
Quotes From the Finish Line:
Tejay van Garderen:
"It's been great to be back racing over here and hear the crowds and hear my name. I have a stage win and a podium finish here and obviously, a victory is nice but I think we can look back on this week and be proud. I think he [Egan Bernal] played his cards well. We knew he was going to attack in the mountains and I had to nail the time trial and in the end, the race went in his favor. I did everything that I could do and I can't think of any mistakes or anything I would do differently to come out on top."
"I came here with the goal to win. That's not me saying that I am not stoked to finish in second place but I came here thinking I had the ability to win. I think I showed I have pretty good form and we are still a couple of months away from July so I have a little room to improve but I think I am on track."
"When I won here in 2013, I think the level was a little lower. It wasn't a UCI WorldTour race and there weren't as many WorldTour teams here. With the importance that WorldTour points have, I think teams send a deeper roster to the race with more ambition and a higher level. I'm not going to say it was easy to win here in 2013. I would never disrespect the field in that way but it was certainly a deeper race this year."
Sports Director, Jackson Stewart:
"Today was a sprinters' stage with a little bit of wind but in the end, it wasn't enough to do anything decisive. It was a fast finish and all of the sprinters' teams were really going for it. We managed to stay out of trouble. We had a little bit of a scare with both Danilo and Tejay needing wheel changes in the final 25km but the group was still pretty compact at that point and we got into the final circuit without any trouble. Tejay secured second place on the podium so it was a good day."
"Our number one objective coming into this race was to finish on the podium and we did that. Then, secondly we wanted to get a stage win which we also did so, I think we have met our major goals for the race, and we can be happy. We rode to win and we were able to get second. It was a job well done from everyone this week, both team staff and riders, and overall we've enjoyed the past two weeks we've spent in California."
AMGEN Tour of California
Stage 7: Sacramento > Sacramento, 143km
Top 3: 1. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) 2. Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb) 3. Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 19. Patrick Bevin 30. Michael Schär 35. Danilo Wyss
Top 3 on GC: 1. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) 2. Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) 3. Daniel Martinez (EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale)
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 2. Tejay van Garderen 21. Brent Bookwalter 29. Joey Rosskopf
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.