The seventh stage of the 2015 Amgen Tour of California makes up for its relatively short length... with pain.
More than three hours into the climb up Mt. Baldy, race leader Peter Sagan could no longer keep up with a group that had been whittled from 144 riders to 30 and then to 17. Sagan finished sixth, but his lead in the overall was gone.
Julian Alaphilippe showed he might not be the best young rider in the tour, but the best rider period -pulling away to win the stage and take the overall lead by two seconds over Sagan.
Sergio Luis Henao Montoya stayed with Alaphilippe for all but the final few miles. He finished the stage 23 seconds back. His effort moved him into third overall.
Stage eight is the final stage and includes a climb of about 600 feet. The rest is gently rolling.
Team strategy will likely play a big role in deciding the winner of the stage and the overall title.
Regardless, Alaphilippe -a name unknown to many occasional cycling fans- has officially arrived.