Tadej Pogacar has the queen’s stage of the Tour of California won. The 20-year-old Slovenian of UAE Emirates overtook it on Mount Baldy for the Colombian, Sergio Higuita (EF Education First). George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) finished third, five seconds. Tejay van Garderen had to be the favorites, let it ride and loses his leader’s jersey. Pogacar is now the new leader with 16 seconds bonus on Higuita and 20 on Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick Step)
The queen’s stage had three solid passes on the program for the riders, especially the final climb to Mount Baldy to the imagination, did speak, with the finish line at almost 2,000 meters in elevation. The battle for the gc should be supplied, although not that many riders tried to jump away in the early flight.
After a fierce battle managed nine riders managed to drive away from the pack. Owain Doull (Team Ineos), Hugo Houle (Astana), Lennard Hofstede (Jumbo-Visma), Michael Storer (Team Sunweb), Pawel Bernas (CCC Team), Herman Pernsteiner (Bahrain-Merida), Matteo Badilatti (Israel Cycling Academy), Mikkel Bjerg (Hagens Berman Axeon) and Fabio Jakobsen, all would quickly be caught by the peloton.
The pack allowed to have them, not much bonus. The battle for the championship had to be decided and with still 16 miles ahead, remained single Lennard Hofstede, Pawel Bernas, Matteo Fabbro and Hugo Houle (Astana) with 1-minute bonus.
EF Education First’s leader Tejay van Garderen, and also Pull-Segafredo, for Richie Porte, took over the reins uphill and the group dunde. Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-hansgrohe) wanted the final climb not to wait and pulled at 14 kilometers from the end in the attack. The German made a fast crossing to the front runners and left them behind soon. Virtual he drove even in the yellow, but he would not until the end uitzingen. In the peloton, with favorites went first to the light in Gianni Moscon, surprisingly enough, was then the leader himself, who at 4.2 km from the end, had to unload. Team mate Rigoberto Uran was him for a moment, but the American fell drastically and the battle for the yellow jersey burst is not fast then release.
First launched George Bennett, the winner in 2017, at 3.9 kilometers, but soon locks Sergio Higuita, Tadej Pogacar, and Richie Porte, at 3.5 km was Schachmann there for the effort. Pogacar accelerated to 3.4 km, only Higuita had a response in the legs and would then even pull away when the Go in Bennet, an ally to be found after the sore to close. In the meantime, got Porte to deal with faulty material and he would not have any role to play anymore in the front. The battle was between Pogacar, Higuita and Bennett, but the New Zealander could be a demarrage of the Colombian’t answer, Pogacar clung in the wheel and the duo drove together to the meet. Bennett would still close, but it was Pogacar that with a clever maneuver in the turn to the victory and the yellow jersey sprinted.
The ranking is Pogacar now leader with 16 seconds ahead of Higuita. Asgreen is third at 20 seconds with only the stage on Saturday on the menu.
Pogacar: “The loot is still not within”
Tadej Pogacar won last year as a promise to the Round of the Future, the beginning of this season in February at the Tour of the Algarve and now it seems he is after his victory on Mount Baldy well on the way to the gc in the Tour of California to rijven. “I don’t want to be asked to applaud,” he said after his double win Friday, “the final stage is still quite difficult.”
“I had the profile of the final climb and that last mile a good look,” he said afterwards, “I knew that I turn inside-had to take and pick up the victory and the yellow jersey. This is incredible, I amaze myself.”
Last year was the Slovenian is still a promise and he won the Round of the Future, in his first year as a pro he rode to a stage win and the overall victory in the Tour of the Algarve, now he books also success in the World Tour. “I surprise myself,” he says, “I didn’t think I was this today could realize, but I saw first that Tejay was struggling and looked after just the cat a little out of the tree. Then it went Higuita, I remained calm, took with Bennet, an ally, and he closed the sore. Then he jumped further away, but I saw that he was hard, and I hurried toward him. In the sprint I was than cheer. The final standings? The outside is certainly not yet, but I’m going to that sweater but me tooth and nail to defend. Tomorrow is a short ride (from Santa Clarita to Pasadena), but with two climbs (the second and third category), so that may have something to give (although the last 40 km in to the falling line and plane). I’m going to do my best and hopefully it is worth that.”
Van Garderen: “I have no apologies, it just went too quickly”
Tejay Van Garderen, this year’s Tour of California, not for a second time on his list to write. The American (EF Education First) crunched in the lock and fell back to a ninth place in the standings. “I’m disappointed,” was the honest.
Van Garderen had the past week a hand in the back of the jury in the Tour of California, but saw on Mount Baldy that he is after his victory in 2013, six years later, not the same piece of cake for each other would bring. However, pating his team the peloton uphill, but the lights went out at 4.2 km from the end. “I got it all tricky in the beginning of the climb”, he admitted. “When we Schachmann almost got had, I thought that the pace, however, as would bags, but it remained hard going and I was, that could pace no longer follow. I have no excuses, it just went too fast.”
He is now at 1:22, on a ninth place, team-mate Higuita is second, on 16 counts. “That is price,” he said. “I think I have a good koersweek behind me, but on that last climb I came deficiency. I still have many weeks of training ahead of us and can still improve (with the eye on the Tour). This is not a disaster, but I admit: I am disappointed.”
1. Tadej Pogacar (Sln/UAD)
2. Sergio Higuita (Col/EF1) at 0:00
3. George Bennett (Ur/TJV) 0:05
4. Richie Porte (Aus/TFS) 0:10
5. Riccardo Zoidl (Austria/CPT) 0:20
6. Kasper Asgreen (S/DQT) 0:22
7. Simon Spilak (Sln/TKA) 0:25
8. Rohan Dennis (Aus/TPM) 0:47
9. Rob Britton (Can/RLY) 0:47
10. Jesper Hansen (Den/COF) 0:47
11. Felix Grosschartner (Oos/BOH) 0:49
12. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger/BOH) 01:12
13. Magnus Cort (Den/AST) 01:18
14. Gavin Mannion (VSt/RLY) 01:26
15. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF1) 01:28
16. Lachlan Morton (Aus/EF1) 01:28
17. Tejay van Garderen (Usa/EF1) 01:28
18. Hermann Pernsteiner (Oos/TBM) 01:35
19. Darwin Atapuma (Col/COF) 02:02
20. Natnael Berhane (Eri/COF) 02:02
1. Tadej Pogacar (Sln/UAD)
2. Sergio Higuita (Col/EF1) at 0:16
3. Kasper Asgreen (S/DQT) 0:20
4. George Bennett (Ur/TJV) 0:29
5. Richie Porte (Aus/TFS) 0:41
6. Simon Spilak (Sln/TKA) 01:03
7. Jesper Hansen (Den/COF) 01:18
8. Felix Grosschartner (Oos/BOH) 01:18
9. Tejay van Garderen (Usa/EF1) 01:22
10. Rohan Dennis (Aus/TBM) 01:23