Peter Sagan won the seventh stage of this year’s Tour of California in a field sprint today, while Bradley Wiggins continued to retain his grip on the overall race lead.
The Slovakian rider accelerated off the front during the final corner to claim the 88.7 mile stage from Pasadena to Santa Clarita in 3:24:33.
"Finally, I got another one," said Sagan." "We (his team) pulled at the front all day until the finish. I was an important win for the team and for me."
Following his victory, Sagan, who’s known for his animated victory celebrations, raised his hands off his handlebars and appeared to be playing the piano.
"I was just waving to the fans," Sagan said.
Meanwhile, Wiggins finished safely in the main field to maintain his 30-second lead over Australia’s Rohan Dennis, with American Lawson Craddock in third place overall, at 1:48 back.
"It was a relatively straightforward stage," said Wiggins, who has held the race lead for a week since winning the stage-2 time trial. "We didn’t have to do too much. But it was a pretty fast and tough run-in to the finish. You always have to aware of a breakaway or a crash."
Thor Hushovd finished second in today’s stage, followed by Danny Van Poppel of the Trek team.
There were no changes at the top of the overall standings, with all of the top 10 contenders finishing in the front group.
Unfortunately, for Luis Romero of the Jamis-Hagens Berman team, the Cuban rider miscalculated the course, when he raised his arms in victory as he crossed the line along the finishing circuit – only to realize that he was one lap shy of the finish.
Romero was subsequently absorbed by the field – ultimately finishing in 18th position.
In the meantime, Garmin-Sharp’s Ben King and BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet entered the final circuits with a 15 second lead, but the two riders were caught by the chase with approximately 5 miles remaining in the stage.
Stage 7 Results SVK 1 SAGAN, Peter (CANNONDALE) 3:24:33 NOR 2 HUSHOVD, Thor (BMC RACING) NED 3 VAN POPPEL, Danny (TREK FACTORY RACING) AUS 4 DEMPSTER, Zakkari (NETAPP – ENDURA) GER 5 DEGENKOLB, John (GIANT-SHIMANO) ITA 6 TRENTIN, Matteo (OMEGA PHARMA – QUICK-STEP) BEL 7 KEUKELEIRE, Jens (ORICA GreenEDGE) NED 8 VAN DER LIJKE, Nicky (BELKIN) USA 9 REIJNEN, Kiel (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) USA 10 PHINNEY, Taylor (BMC RACING) USA 11 CRADDOCK, Lawson (GIANT-SHIMANO) USA 12 RATHE, Jacob (JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS) GBR 13 YATES, Adam (ORICA GreenEDGE) GER 14 ZEPUNTKE, Ruben (BISSELL DEVELOPMENT TEAM) GBR 15 WIGGINS, Bradley (SKY) USA 16 JONES, Carter (OPTUM P/B KELLY BENEFIT STRATEGIES) ESP 17 MEGIAS LEAL, Javier (NOVO NORDISK) CUB 18 AMARAN, Luis Romero (JAMIS – HAGENS BERMAN) USA 19 HOWES, Alex (GARMIN SHARP) USA 20 STETINA, Peter (BMC RACING)
General Classification after Stage 7 GBR 1 WIGGINS, Bradley (SKY) 25:28:15 AUS 2 DENNIS, Rohan (GARMIN SHARP) + 30 USA 3 CRADDOCK, Lawson (GIANT-SHIMANO) + 1:48 POR 4 MACHADO, Tiago (NETAPP – ENDURA) + 2:02 GBR 5 YATES, Adam (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 2:14 USA 6 STETINA, Peter (BMC RACING) + 2:30 COL 7 CHAVES RUBIO, Jhoan Esteban (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 2:39 NED 8 TEN DAM, Laurens (BELKIN) + 3:01 COL 9 ACEVEDO COLLE, Janier Alexis (GARMIN SHARP) + 3:05 ESP 10 DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, David (NETAPP – ENDURA) + 3:06 USA 11 JONES, Carter (OPTUM P/B KELLY BENEFIT STRATEGIES) + 3:19 ESP 12 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Haimar (TREK FACTORY RACING) + 3:45 USA 13 BUSCHE, Matthew (TREK FACTORY RACING) + 3:57 NZL 14 BENNETT, George (CANNONDALE) + 4:11 USA 15 DANIELSON, Thomas (GARMIN SHARP) + 4:27 NED 16 OLIVIER, Daan (GIANT-SHIMANO) + 4:51 CRC 17 OBANDO BRENES, Gregory (JAMIS – HAGENS BERMAN) + 7:30 SLO 18 KOREN, Kristijan (CANNONDALE) + 8:00 FRA 19 DAMUSEAU, Thomas (GIANT-SHIMANO) + 8:23 COL 20 JARAMILLO DIEZ, Daniel Alexander (JAMIS – HAGENS BERMAN) + 9:28
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