Race: Amgen Tour of California, Stage 3
Start/Finish: Stockton/Morgan Hill, CA, USA
Distance: 208 kilometers
Morgan Hill, California — Charles Planet survived a hard day of climbing and sprinted to a career best Top20 result in a World Tour race, crossing the line in 17th place after a long day in the saddle on Stage 3 of Amgen Tour of California.
After an hectic start 19 riders finally managed to break clear, amongst them our Italian fastman Andrea Peron. The escapees put nearly a minute advantage to the peloton but Team Katusha Alpecin, having missed out on the move, took on the chase and after 20 km it was all back together. Swiftly after Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick Step) and Alex Hoehn (US Cycling) launched an attacked and were given the all clear by the bunch. The intrepid duo worked well together and by the time they crested the summit of Patterson Pass, the first of the 6 KOMs of the day, the gap had ballooned to an excess of eight minutes.
With a total of 2900 meters of climbing on the cards the two riders remained undaunted and managed to keep the advantage until the base of Mt Hamilton, the only HC Category climb of the day, when Cavagna put in a fierce attack dropping his breakaway companion. The young French rider set off solo and even increased the gap on the bunch during the seven kilometers of the climb.
In the end Cavagna took the spoils in Morgan Hill after an impressive solo effort, securing his first win of the season.
The peloton arrived over seven minutes later and Charles Planet sprinted to a strong 17th place notching his first Top20 result in a World Tour race.
Our fast Italian Andrea Peron crashed with 170 km to go, thankfully without any serious consequences and showed his fighting spirit to finish the stage well within the time cut.
Team Novo Nordisk takes on the scenic Stage 4 of the Amgen Tour of California this Wednesday, that starts in Laguna Seca’s Raceway and embarks on a 214.5 km journey through California’s spectacular Big Sur coast to the finish in Morro Bay.
“It’s a great result and I’m very happy about the stage, which once again was very tough. I didn’t believe that I could make it over Mt. Hamilton with the favorites but I gave my all and was there with the best at the summit. I really surprised myself to get a 17th result after another hard day of climbing. I have to thank all my teammates for all their help during the day. I didn’t have to go to the team cars even once to get bottles or food. They did it all for me and I’m incredibly thankful.”
1st: Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick Step): 3:14:10
2nd: Ben King (Team Dimension Data): 0:07:11
3rd: Simon Geschke (CCC): “
17th: Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk): 0:07:47