Tour of California #1: Gaviria wins as Cavendish builds

The opening stage of the Tour of California saw Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep-Floors) take the line honours in Long Beach.

The 134.5km course consisted of 12 laps in a race featuring some of the world’s best sprinters and after a few overcast days the sun came out for perfect conditions in the Golden State.

A two-man breakaway led for the majority of the race but were controlled by the peloton with the gap never reaching more than 2’30”.

Our team sat comfortably in the bunch with Mark Renshaw looking at positioning himself to give Mark Cavendish an opportunity in the expected sprint finish.

Cavendish, who recently raced at the very tough Tour de Yorkshire, finished 10th after earlier he’d picking up a couple of intermediate sprint points.

Mark Renshaw – Rider

It was a relatively easy stage today and as expected it came down to a bunch sprint. We tried to get Mark Cavendish into the best position possible which was quite difficult there in the run-in with a lot of teams – riders and leadouts here – so he lost me a little bit there with 1.5kms to go.

He managed to find a couple of wheels there and just scraped inside the top 10.

It gives us something to work on. The legs felt good and I think now we can just work on making sure we get in a better position for a better sprint.