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Sagan Time Trial Puts Him In The Lead At Amgen

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Three seconds, a first and a third-place finish in the first five stages of this year's Amgen Tour of California would likely have put any other rider in any other year in the yellow jersey long ago.

But, this hasn't been any other year for Peter Sagan of  Tinkoff - Saxo. He's been behind Toms Skujins of the Hincapie Racing Team since day three's stage in San Jose. Skujins broke away from a breakaway and held on to beat Sagan and up-and-comer Julian Alaphilippe from Etixx - Quick Step by about a minute. It was Sagan's third second-place finish in as many days.

He would whittle the deficit down to 18 seconds before winning Friday's time trial from Valencia to Santa Clarita. Sagan finished the 6.6-mile loop in 12 minutes 31 seconds. That was 15 seconds faster that Jos Van Emden of Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo and 19 seconds faster than Alaphilippe.

But, the important number of the day was 46 -the number of seconds Sagan beat Skujins -knocking him into second place overall -28 seconds back. Alaphilippe is third- 1:03 back.

Stage seven on Saturday will feature two climbs of 1300 feet and a final climb of 4000 feet.

It's not likely Sagan will let Skujins duplicate his Stage Three performance during Stage Seven, but considering the eighth-and-final stage is mostly flat, it will be Skujin's only chance to regain the lead.

In the women's fourth-and-final stage on the same course, Evelyn Stevens of Boels Dolmans won in 14:12, followed by Lauren Stephens of TIBCO -SVB and Kristin Armstrong of TWENTY16 p/b.

The time trial was moved due to a threat of snow at Big Bear Lake.


Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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