The 3rd stage of the Amgen Tour of California saw another sprint finish and this time it was the world champion, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) who took the spoils. Rick Zabel (Katusha) got up for 2nd and in 3rd it was Simone Consonni (UAE Emirates).
Stage 3 of the Tour of California took riders on a 186km route, leaving from Pismo Beach and finishing in Morro Bay. It was a stock standard sprinters day with very few notable undulations to speak of. 5 riders tried their luck in the early breakaway but it was never going to amount to much with the big sprint teams of Quickstep and Trek-Segafredo committed to the chase.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka had two main objectives today, protect the GC aspirations of Lachlan Morton and then deliver Reinardt Janse van Rensburg to a good position for the sprint finale. Our African Team had no trouble out on course despite some blustery wind making the peloton slightly nervous.
As the break was snapped up around 10km to go it was all about position for the final 5km. Bernie Eisel and Tyler Farrar were on duty and our 2 experienced heads were able to deliver Janse van Rensburg to a good position from where he could freelance to the line. It was a tough finishing straight with a constant uphill drag over the final 500m which proved testing for a number of the big name sprinters.
Sagan was one rider who had no problems though, he was able to jump down the left in the final 200m and took a good victory. Our South African champ ended up coming from a few places too far back but he finished with a real kick to cross the line in 6th position. Morton finished safely in the bunch to keep 4th overall and his best young rider jersey.
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg – Rider
Again, it was pretty windy out there but nothing really happened, it just made the bunch a little nervous. The final was pretty technical with a tough finish as it started kicking up just after a kilometer to go. I got through it all pretty well with Bernie and Tyler looking after me and then I jumped onto a few trains in the last kilometer. I was maybe a bit too far back but I still managed to get onto the wheel of Sagan through the last corner. I couldn’t match his power in the end though.