5.18.2015

California: Sagan: "I believed that I could do it"

Embedded image permalinkPeter Sagan
“I’m very happy, and I want to pay a big thanks to all my teammates for doing an incredible job. We lost two riders on the third stage, as Michael Kolar had allergy while Maciej Bodnar suffered a bad crash. I’m very happy and relieved as it was so close right until the end. I never would have thought that I could have won the GC, when I started the race so it’s also a surprise for me.
After the finish I didn’t know if I was third or fourth and I had to wait. My soigneur came running to me and yelled “you’re third, you’re third” and I asked him several times, if he was sure and then the race organizers confirmed it to me three times and in the end I believed them. I am very pleased.
Embedded image permalinkI didn’t have any further strategy in the final sprint, and I just had to go for it, it’s not just Tinkoff-Saxo and Etixx-Quikstep as there were many others trying to get a result and we had to pay attention to many factors and teams today in order for us to secure this win.
All the stages have been incredible and especially yesterday on the queen stage to Mt. Baldy, where I must admit that I felt really good and had to dig really deep. For me the last kilometers yesterday on Baldy were so hard, my legs were burning but I had to continue on the climb, as I knew that it was still within reach of Alaphilippe.
I believed that I could do it. I don’t know if it was the hardest effort that I’ve ever done, but it was tough. It was just 129k, while the Classics for instance are much longer and drain your energy slowly. But yes, yesterday I was in pain almost throwing up. But now everything is OK."

Embedded image permalinkMark Cavendish:
"I'm happy to finish off a strong Amgen Tour of California with my 4th win, and the 5th for the team out of eight stages. Really it's about the team and how we rode all week. We were on the podium every day. We rode so strong. We went for the stage today and still protected Alaphilippe in the GC with some great racing all day, leaving it up to a photo finish in the sprint. In the end we got two jerseys, yet another stage win, and a 2nd place overall. I'm super proud of what we've done here and think things are going in the right direction ahead of the Tour de France. I really have to congratulate Julian for how he performed this week going for the overall. He is really talented. I didn't actually know how talented he was in the big mountains until yesterday. We already saw him in the Ardennes Classics finishing 2nd behind guys like Alejandro Valverde. But to do what he did yesterday really shows his form. But even more, it is about his personality on and off the bike. He's got a winner's attitude. He doesn't care what anyone thinks, he's going to go for it anyway, and that is someone who is going to go far in life. He's a good kid too, a super nice kid. As for me, I've been happy with my form all year, which to me is the same as my form last year at this time. Had I not crashed in the first stage of Le Tour in 2014 I am fully confident I could have gone for multiple stages. So we'll see what I can do this year. I'm feeling really good. My team is fully committed and focused. I go next to Tour de Suisse and the British National Championships, and we'll see what I can do to improve my form even more before July." 

Julian Alaphilippe:
"Today the goal was to try and defend my jersey. The guys did it perfectly. Mark sprinted for the intermediate sprint and then I did the best sprint possible both in the intermediate sprint, and at the finish, to try and take away the seconds from Sagan. But it was pretty impossible to beat him. I was hoping for it, because you have to always try to go for the best results. But I would say I'm not very disappointed about it. I considered wearing the yellow jersey into the final stage like a bonus. The glass is half full, not half empty. My first experience at Amgen Tour of California included my 2nd career victory, a 2nd place in the GC, perfect teamwork, Mark winning four stages, and us on the podium every day. We won two jerseys, including me in white as best young rider. What more can I expect? If someone told me at the beginning of Tour of California that I'd be able to win a stage and finish 2nd in the overall, I'd have probably told them they are crazy. so I think in the end I have to be happy I lost to a great champion, and this race will be forever in my heart." 

Embedded image permalinkDaniel Oss:
"This was strange for me because I was always in the breakaways, accumulating points. But I am not a climber. I weigh 80 kilos. But I was looking for this jersey after the first breakaway and getting some points. I said, 'this is something we have to do,' so we went after it.
I didn't know what I could do. This was my first race after the classics season. I felt fresh and I felt good and I was just looking to see what I could do to build my shape up for the second part of the season."

RESULTS
STAGE

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx - Quick-Step 2:14:55  
2 Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac  
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
4 Tyler Farrar (USA) MTN - Qhubeka
5 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
6 Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Jamis - Hagens Berman
7 Zico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin
8 Andrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk
9 Logan Owen (USA) Axeon Cycling Team
10 Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk
GC
1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 28:13:12  
2 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:03  
3 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Team Sky 0:00:37
4 Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:14
5 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:01:15
6 Haimar Zubeldia Aguirre (Spa) TrekRacing 0:01:16
7 Ian Boswell (USA) Team Sky 0:01:23
8 Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) TrekRacing 0:01:24
9 Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:44
10 Rob Britton (Can) Team SmartStop 0:02:10
11 Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac 0:02:19
12 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:02:21
13 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Axeon Cycling Team 0:02:36
14 Phillip Gaimon (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 0:02:53
15 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:03:16
16 Carter Jones (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:03:23
17 Ben King (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:03:40
18 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:04:10
19 Manuel Senni (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:04:46
20 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 0:04:48
JERSEYS
POINTS
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx - Quick-Step
SPRINTS
1 Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team
YOUTH
1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step
TEAM
1 Team Sky 84:43:10

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