California’18 Stage 5: Win No. 2 For Gaviria!

PeloPics: Quick-Step Floors’ Fernando Gaviria claimed his second win at the 2018 Amgen Tour of California, his sixth of the season. Gaviria further cements his comeback from a hand injury earlier this year, with the stage podium result duplicating Sunday’s Stage 1.

A breakaway formed just after today’s Stage 5 presented by Visit California took off in Stockton and lasted until the last few miles containing Stijn Vandenbergh (AG2R-La Mondiale), Michael Rice (Hagens Berman Axeon Cycling Team), Tanner Putt (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling), and teammates Ruben Companioni and Fabian Lienhard (Holowesko|Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources).

The final miles of the mostly fast and flat course to Elk Grove saw chaos on the road beginning with Team Dimension Data’s decorated sprinter Mark Cavendish suffering a wheel mechanical with under 10 miles left to ride. Despite losing time on the repair, he was able to work his way back up to the main group, narrowly escaping a crash in the final couple of miles that took several riders out of contention.

Favored sprinters for this stage suffered tire punctures in the final few miles: Team Katusha-Alpecin’s Marcel Kittel and Mitchelton-Scott’s Caleb Ewan, who was able to rebound and propel himself in the final meters from fourth position to end the stage in second, just ahead of Bora-hansgrohe’s World Champion Peter Sagan. Ewan’s ride earned him a start tomorrow in the Visit California Sprint Jersey.

There is no change to the overall standings with BMC Racing Team’s Tejay van Garderen retaining the Amgen Race Leader Jersey and his 23-second lead over Egan Bernal, Team Sky’s 21-year-old Colombian rider.

Bernal retains the Lexus King of the Mountain Jersey and the TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey for the fourth day. For his part in the breakaway, Fabian Lienhard received the Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey.

Stage winner, Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors): “We are happy because [it was a] really nice victory today…these guys [teammates] are really strong, and I’m really happy.”

Overall leader, Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “It’s gonna be a really aggressive race tomorrow. Bernal is gonna for sure do everything he can to try to wrestle this jersey off of me, and I’m gonna do everything I can to keep it on my back.”

Amgen Tour of California Stage 5 Result:
1. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors in 4:04:34
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
4. Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
5. John Murphy (USA) Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources
6. Sean Bennett (USA) Hagens Berman Axeon
7. Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
8. Ivo Oliveira (Por) Hagens Berman Axeon
9. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
10. Travis McCabe (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling.

Amgen Tour of California Overall After Stage 5:
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC in 16:55:29
2. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky at 0:23
3. Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:37
4. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:07
5. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Sky at 1:15
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:29
7. Brandon McNulty (USA) Rally Cycling at 2:08
8. Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 2:13
9. Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates at 2:15
10. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 2:34.

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