Monday, May 16, 2016

Tour of California

Peter Sagan (right) winning Stage 1 of the 2016 Tour of California (photo from CyclingNews)
The 2016 Tour of California began on Sunday is San Diego. There should be some exciting sprints in this race, since it features sprinters like Mark Cavendish, Alexander Kristoff and Peter Sagan. Surprising, neither Cavendish or Kristoff were factors in the stage 1 finish, which Sagan won with a late surge to pass Wouter Wippert just before they reached the finish line. All this week we'll have the race on from 5 to 7 in the afternoon for NBC Sports' coverage. The race concludes on Sunday in Sacramento with coverage from 4 to 6.

There are 18 cycling teams in this year's race, including BMC and Team Sky. Also competing is Team Novo Nordisk, which is composed entirely of cyclists who have diabetes. Their goal is to make it into the Tour de France by 2021.

The 2015 Tour of California was the closest finish ever. Peter Sagan, better known as a sprinter, made it up Mt. Baldy on stage 7 with a time good enough to keep him within two seconds of the leader, Julian Alaphillipe.The last stage was flat, which meant it was unlikely he could gain any time, except for time bonuses. At a mid-stage sprint, Sagan picked up a two second time bonus, while Alaphillipe got a single second to maintain his lead. At the end of the stage, Sagan was able to finish in third place by about the width of tire. This gave him the final time bonus of four seconds and the overall victory.

Peter Sagan won the 2015 Tour of California by narrowly finishing third on the final stage

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