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Amgen Tour of California 2015 Stage 1

photo credit @ Twitter 

Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-Step) won the opening stage of this year’s Amgen Tour of California today, with a well-timed final acceleration, that saw the British rider cross the finish with ease ahead of his closest rivals – Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC Racing Team).

Race Highlights

A small breakaway group containing William Clarke (Drapac Professional Cycling), Steve Fisher (Jelly Belly-Maxxis), Rob Britton and Robert Sweeting (SmartStop), eventually got underway during today’s 123 mile stage. However, a mechanical problem would soon nix Britton’s time out front, while the other escapees managed to push on.

Fisher was the next rider to be dispatched from the break, leaving Clarke and Sweeting out front on their way to the final finishing circuits.

From there, Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare) succeeded in bridging himself to the lead duo, subsequently spending a little time out front in the limelight himself, before Tinkoff-Saxo and Etixx-Quick-Step brought the curtains down on his efforts.

As the race headed into the final lap, Etixx began moving their man Cavendish to the front, while Giant-Alpecin, BMC Racing, and the “teamless” Sagan – followed.

With his teammate Cavendish in his slipstream, Renshaw began his lead out, while Sagan struggled stay on terms.

But, there was no holding back the Manx Missile, as he easily glided across the finish ahead of the Slovakian rider.

“I thought Mark Renshaw might have gone a bit long, but when I saw Sagan in the wind I knew I had it,” said Cavendish. “I didn’t go too early, or too late. I went with 200 meters to go, and we timed it just right, and I’m super happy to win again in Sacramento.”

Cavendish hopes to win tomorrow’s stage as well, with the help of Renshaw of course.

“Another two for sure, maybe another three or four, but tomorrow for sure,” said Cavendish, when asked how many more field sprints he believes he can win this week. “I would like to win in the yellow jersey tomorrow.”

“Renshaw hit a pothole in the road, and went down hard. I was riding right next to him, and he literally just disappeared,” said Cavendish. “But he came back and he was not too scratched up. He’s got a bit of a sore neck. We’ll get the physios on him tonight, and hopefully he’ll be good tomorrow.”

In other race news, according to his team’s spokesperson, Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) was forced to abandon the race, due to an upper respiratory problem worsened by allergies.

Stage 1 Results
GBR 1 CAVENDISH, Mark (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) 4:43:27
SVK 2 SAGAN, Peter (TINKOFF – SAXO)
LUX 3 DRUCKER, Jean-Pierre (BMC RACING)
USA 4 MURPHY, John (UNITEDHEALTHCARE)
CAN 5 BOIVIN, Guillaume (OPTUM P/B KELLY BENEFIT STRATEGIES)
BEL 6 WAEYTENS, Zico (GIANT – ALPECIN)
NED 7 WIPPERT, Wouter (DRAPAC)
NED 8 DE KORT, Koen (GIANT – ALPECIN)
NED 9 VAN POPPEL, Danny (TREK FACTORY RACING)
USA 10 CARPENTER, Robin (HINCAPIE RACING TEAM)

General Classification after Stage 1
GBR 1 CAVENDISH, Mark (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) 0

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