Planet Stars in Breakaway at Tour of California Opener
15 May 2017
Race: Tour of California, Stage 1
Start/Finish: Sacramento/Sacramento, California, USA
Distance: 104.1 miles/167.5 kilometers
Sacramento, California —Team Novo Nordisk’s Charles Planet raced more than 100 miles off the front as part of a four-man breakaway on the opening stage of the Tour of California.
Immediately following the neutral start, Planet attacked and three riders grabbed his wheel. The quartet quickly built a gap of around two minutes, but the peloton never allowed them to gain much more time. Halfway into the 167.5-kilometer stage, the peloton nearly reeled them in due to crosswinds and the formation of echelons. Once everything calmed down, the gap went back out to 1:25. Inside the final 20 kilometers, escapee Ben Wolfe (Jelly Belly presented by Maxxis) attacked and earned a gap of 20 seconds but the break came back together as it approached the finishing laps around downtown Sacramento. In the end, the escapees were caught on the final laps, and the race came down to a bunch sprint with Marcel Kittel (Quick Step-Floors) taking the win. Andrea Peron finished as Team Novo Nordisk’s best-placed rider.
“My goal was to get in the breakaway from the start, so I was the first rider to attack from kilometer zero. It was a really hard day with lots of crosswinds. There were only four of us, but we worked well together. It was fast the whole time and I had a higher wattage than I expected today. I was proud to show off our jersey in the front on such a beautiful stage. I’m a little disappointed that I missed out on the Most Courageous Jersey today so I plan to try again and get the jersey on another stage.”
The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team continues racing at the Amgen Tour of California on Monday with an 89.8-mile (144.5 kilometers) stage that begins in Modesto. Stage 2 will play a roll in the overall general classification with five categorized climbs before an uphill kicker into the Santa Clara Motorcycle Park in San Jose.
- 1st: Marcel Kittel (Quick Step-Floors): 3:45:35
- 2nd: Peter Sagan (BORA-Hansgrohe): Same time as Kittel
- 3rd: Elia Viviani (Team Sky): same time as Kittel
Team Novo Nordisk Results:
- Andrea Peron: 50th: 0:04 behind Kittel
- Martijn Verschoor: 68th: 0:04 behind Kittel
- Javier Megias: 74th: 0:04 behind Kittel
- Joonas Henttala: 99th: 0:04 behind Kittel
- David Lozano: 104th: 0:04 behind Kittel
- Chris Williams: 119th: 0:59 behind Kittel
- Charles Planet: 131st: 2:24 behind Kittel
- Romain Gioux: 132nd: 2:30 behind Kittel