Peter Sagan taking the win in Big Bear Lake
Stage 3 was a sprinter’s race. As a strong headwind came out of the southwest, the breakaway group managed to maintain their gap for most of the race. The group was comprised of Shaun Bennett (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis), Ben Wolfe (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis), Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe), Danny Pate (Team Rally) and Greg Daniel (Trek-Segafredo), who won the American Championship last year.
At 27 miles miles out, the speed started picking up, with Quick Step Floors organizing the lead out group. Both the breakaway group and the peleton maintained a speed of 20 mph. The peleton continued to let the breakaway group have their way until San Luis Obispo.
Fredrico Zurlo (UAE Team Emirates) made a break at the 17.7 mile mark to take the sprint points, followed by Shaun Bennett (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis) and Danny Lozano (Novo Nordisk). The peleton remained about a kilometer behind with Uri Sagan, Peter’s older brother who has trained in Big Bear Lake, leading the peleton. The announcers credited his cycling improvement with training at altitude.
Ben Wolfe, from Old Lyme, Connecticut, made his move at 12.2 miles out and opened it up. The cars in the gap were pulled and the peleton was 40 seconds out. Within the peleton, BMC Racing and Team Sky moved forward. Ben Wolfe continued hauling, creating a 25 second gap between him and the chase group.
The peleton caught the chase group before they hit the 8 mile mark, but the lone Wolfe created a 30 second gap with his impressive stamina. He managed to stay in front for 115 miles.
Bora-Hasgrohe took the front of the peleton and closed the gap to 20 seconds. Sprint teams organized and prepared to go around the peninsula. With 3 miles to go, Astana led the pack up a kicker, causing the peleton to reform. Sagan freestyled through the peleton keeping himself in striking distance.
With 1 mile to go, Trek took the front, preparing for two tricky right hand turns to the finish. The finish was an uphill 6% incline. Sagan waited for the last moment to make his move and powered past Kristoff to a clear victory.
Rafla Majka retains the yellow jersey
Daniel Jaramillo (UHC) leads King Of the Mountain
Peter Sagan moves into the Green Jersey
Lachan Morton leads best young rider competition