Gaviria Opens Quick-Step Account In Long Beach – 2018 Amgen Tour of California, Stage 1
Ewan and Reigning World Champion Sagan Round out Podium after 83.6-mile Circuit Race
Long Beach, CA – 13 May 2018 – It was an all-star dash to the finish as the 2018 Amgen Tour of California got underway in Long Beach, with Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) outsprinting the world-class lineup that included World Champion BORA-hansgrohe’s Peter Sagan, Marcel Kittel (KATUSHA ALPECIN) and Team Dimension Data’s Mark Cavendish (GBR). Young Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-SCOTT) claimed second place and Sagan, who took second place on last year’s opening stage, ended today in third.
Stage 1 presented by Breakaway from Cancer® featured 12 laps of a 7-mile circuit that showcased crowds lining downtown Long Beach iconic locations including the waterfront, Bixby Park and Retro Row. An early breakaway pulled away to a 2-minute lead at the midpoint of the stage, containing Holowesko|Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources’ Andrei Krasilnikau (BLR) and United Healthcare Pro Cycling’s Tanner Putt (Boulder, Colo.) who was awarded the Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey for his inspiring ride.
“My legs felt really good during the race. I’m happy to do a good job for my team, and we’re happy to win the stage,” said Gaviria.
In addition to claiming the stage win, 23-year-old Gaviria, who is making a comeback from a hand injury earlier this season also closed today with the TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey and the Visit California Sprint Jersey. Rounding out the top five for the stage were KATUSHA ALPECIN’s Marcel Kittel (GER) in fourth, and UAE Team Emirates’ Alexander Kristoff (NOR) in fifth.
Stage 1 – Long Beach Circuit (83.6 miles)
1. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) – 3h02’23”
2. Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-SCOTT) – s.t
3. Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) – s.t
Jersey Winners After Stage 1
Amgen Race Leader Jersey – Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors)
Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Tanner Putt (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team)
Visit California Sprint Jersey – Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors)
TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey – Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors)
Next – Stage 2, Ventura to Gibraltar Road – The Queen Stage comes early this year with tomorrow’s Stage 2 presented by Lexus leading cyclists 96.3 miles from first-time host Ventura to a fan-favorite finish atop Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara County. The stage features 7,700’ in elevation gain and a 3,100’ climb over the final eight miles.
Photos: Leonard Basobas