California’18 Stage 6: Bernal Bounces Back!
PeloPics: Egan Bernal, Team Sky’s 21-year-old Colombian rider, may have ceded his King of the Mountains lead to Trek-Segafredo’s Toms Skujins in Friday’s mountainous stage, but he regained the overall Amgen Tour of California race lead with a daring solo uphill finish that pulled him 1:25 ahead of BMC Racing Team’s Tejay van Garderen, who now sits second overall going into Saturday’s Sacramento race finale.
Presented by Visit California, Stage 6 was a 122.1-mile trek from Folsom to South Lake Tahoe with seven categorized climbs that began in short order after the riders departed. Bernal, who won Monday’s mountainous Stage 2 atop Gibraltar Road, attacked on today’s penultimate Daggett Summit climb and continued to put time on overall race leader van Garderen, who had ousted Bernal at Wednesday’s time trial.
Bernal had nurtured his solo lead to 1.5 minutes on the chase group with 1km to go to the uphill finish line at Heavenly Mountain Resort. Most of the top-10 GC riders were off the front of the main group on the descent before the final climb, including Michelton-Scott’s Adam Yates, Team Sky’s Tao Geoghegan Hart and Rally Cycling’s Brandon McNulty, who took second, third and fourth for the stage respectively, as well as Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale’s Daniel Martinez, who successfully retained third place in the overall standings, van Garderen placed seventh for the stage.
Bernal also won the TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey for the fifth day. The Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey went to Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale’s Lawson Craddock.
Stage winner and overall leader, Egan Bernal (Sky): “Today was a long day, but I felt so good, and the last long climb the team did a really good job,” said Bernal. “They made a really hard pace….After this climb we were like 10km to ride, so I just kept pushing hard, but I’m happy with the result and I’m happy for the team.”
Amgen Tour of California Stage 6 Result:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky in 5:30:58
2. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:28
3. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Sky at 1:30
4. Brandon McNulty (USA) Rally Cycling at 1:33
5. Jai Hindley (Aus) Sunweb at 1:38
6. Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R-La Mondiale
7. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
8. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:45
9. Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:46
10. Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 1:50.
Amgen Tour of California Overall After Stage 6:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky in 22:26:40
2. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 1:25
3. Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 2:14
4. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 2:16
5. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Sky at 2:28
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 3:01
7. Brandon McNulty (USA) Rally Cycling at 3:28
8. Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 3:50
9. Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates at 3:59
10. Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R-La Mondiale at 4:01.