Race: Tour of California, Stage 7
Start/Finish: Santa Rosa/Santa Rosa, California, USA
Distance: 109.1 mile, 175.5 kilometers
Santa Rosa, California — Team Novo Nordisk’s Javier Megias bridged up to a breakaway during Stage 7 of the Tour of California and earned a time bonus by taking third through the final intermediate sprint. The Spaniard remains in the top 20 overall.
Saturday’s 109.1-mile race featured six categorized climbs before three finishing laps in downtown Santa Rosa. The day began with a large 14-man breakaway but as the race reached Hauser Bridge Road, it came back together and five new riders attacked. Megias’ goal for the day way to move back into the top 15 overall, so he bridged up to this group on the hunt for time bonuses. According NBC commentator Phil Liggett, Megias’ move was a feat of sheer willpower.
Five kilometers before the day’s final intermediate sprint, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) attacked the break. Megias took third through the ensuing sprint and then slipped back to the peloton in anticipation of a bunch finish. With 20 kilometers remaining, Sagan and the other escapees had all been reeled in by the peloton. When the race reached the finishing circuits, only 41 riders made the front group. Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha) won the reduced bunch sprint with Megias finishing in the same time. Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step) retained the overall leader jersey with Megias in 16th overall, 3:18 behind.
“I think today was the hardest day of the race. It was really fast from the gun. I tried to do my best. I made the break in an attempt to get some seconds for the general classification but it was really, really, really difficult and I didn’t have anything left in my legs,” Megias said. “Overall, I’m really happy, especially with my team, and I hope to carry this form into the next races.”
Team Novo Nordisk finishes racing at the Amgen Tour of California on Sunday with the final stage. Stage 8 is an 85.7-mile (138-kilometer) flat circuit race around downtown Sacramento.
- 1st: Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha): 4:19:52
- 2nd: Peter Sagan (Tinkoff): same time as Kristoff
- 3rd: Danny Van Poppel (Team Sky): same time as Kristoff
Team Novo Nordisk Results:
- Javier Megias: 26th: same time as Kristoff
- Charles Planet: 64th: 25:42 behind Kristoff
- Joonas Henttala: 66th: 25:42 behind Kristoff
- Andrea Peron: 70th: 25:42 behind Kristoff
- David Lozano: 71st: 25:42 behind Kristoff
- Martijn Verschoor: 74th: 25:42 behind Kristoff
- Chris Williams: 77th: 25:42 behind Kristoff