TOUR OF CALIFORNIA
Peter Sagan times late burst to perfection
Los Angeles — World champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia won the third stage of the Tour of California on Tuesday, timing a late burst to perfection to win a sprint finish in the coastal town of Morro Bay.
Sagan, the 2015 Tour of California winner, bided his time in the peloton before accelerating through traffic in the final 500m to win the 192.5km stage.
German rider Rick Zabel of Team Katusha was second with Italy’s Simone Consonni third. Second stage winner Rafal Majka retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey.
Sagan’s victory came after an entertaining stage which saw a five-man group break away almost as soon as the peloton left Pismo Beach.
Jelly Belly-Maxxis rider Ben Wolfe led the attack along with teammate Sean Bennett, with American Danny Pate, Spain’s David Lozano and Federico Zurlo joining the group.
Wolfe attacked again 18km from home but the peloton inevitably caught the group 8km from the finish to set the stage for Sagan’s late burst.
Meanwhile, Latvian rider Toms Skujins’ withdrawal from the race was confirmed following his heavy fall on Monday.
Video of a dazed and confused Skujins stumbling back to his bike, narrowly avoiding oncoming riders as he resumed riding in the race, went viral following the crash, prompting questions about the failure of officials to prevent the rider from getting back on his bike.
Skujins was later confirmed to have suffered a concussion, a left collarbone fracture and severe road rash.