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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

Photo: Leonard Basobas/LB Photos

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.

Gavira_Stg1In 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.

Podium_2018_AToC_Stg1Stage 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

TannerJersey 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

Lenny B
Leonard Basobas - Among my many and varied interests are cycling and writing. I am deeply passionate about both. Strangely enough, neither has come very easy to me.I had such a horrible crash as a small child that I did not attempt to ride again until the 6th grade. From that point forward, you could say that I have had a love affair with two-wheels. When I was not out on my bike, I could be found tearing apart or putting back together other bikes. The frames and parts found in my parents’ basement today are a testament to that fact. Around the same time that I began riding again, a young rider named Greg Lemond had just won the U23 World Championships. Following his career was my entry point into the sport of cycling, but I never participated in organized racing until I was past my cycling prime. Today, a healthy curiosity about racing has me lining up on the road and in the nearest velodrome.In regard to writing, I am not a trained journalist. My writing, instead, strikes a creative bent in the form of short stories, at least when I not writing for my day job in clinical research. Although I have yet to be published for my creative writing, I have authored several abstracts and papers, and been published as the lead author for a paper in a well-known peer reviewed medical journal.I have covered the sport of cycling, as both writer and photographer, at such races as the Amgen Tour of California (2008 to 2014) and the US Pro Cycling Challenge. I was also the featured Guest Contributor for LIVESTRONG.com, commentating and moderating the site's live blogging feed during the 2009 Tour de France.

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