The Tour of California wouldn’t be the Tour of California without a Peter Sagan stage win, and the Cannondale fastman added another on Tuesday, taking the bunch sprint at the end of stage three.
Sagan looked to have been swamped by his rivals’ sprint trains on the wide road running to the line in Santa Clarita, but he somehow curved around Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) find some space and take his ninth stage win in the race.
Janier Acevedo (Jamis) finshed in the peloton to maintain his position in the overall lead ahead of Tejay van Garderen (BMC) at 12 seconds and Irishman Philip Deignan (United Heathcare) in third at 27 seconds.
Earlier in the race, a four-man escape group had dictated the action. Stage one winner Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Leopard) were both involved, and looked recovered from the previous day’s efforts in sweltering 110+ degree temperatures which saw them lose over nine minutes on stage winner Acevedo.
The remnants of the break were swept up inside the final 14km, setting up a bunch sprint.
The race continues with Wednesday’s lumpy stage four from Santa Clarita to Santa Barbara over 134.5km.
Tour of California 2013, stage three: Palmdale to Santa Clarita, 177.7km
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale in 4-20-31
2. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
3. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
4. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
5. Boy van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
6. Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing
7. Alexander Candelario (USA) Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies
8. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
9. Zakkari Dempster (Aus) NetApp-Endura
10. Michael Morkov (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff all same time
Overall classification after stage three
1. Janier Acevedo (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman in 13-59-50
2. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing at 12 secs
3. Philip Deignan (Irl) United Healthcare at 27 secs
4. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing at 45 secs
5. Michael Rogers (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff at 55 secs
6. Francisco Mancebo (Spa) 5 Hour Energ at 1-03
7. Chad Haga (USA) Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies at 1-13
8. Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack-Leopard at 1-15
9. Lawson Craddock (USA) Bontrager at 1-32
10. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 1-40