Bernal bags fifth to retain lead

15 May 2018

Bernal bags fifth to retain lead

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Egan Bernal put in an assured performance to retain the overall lead at the Tour of California with fifth place on day three.

The Colombian enjoyed strong support from his Team Sky team-mates once again and finished prominently in a reduced bunch sprint on the famed Laguna Seca racing circuit.
 
With Tao Geoghegan Hart and Pavel Sivakov also crossing the line in the same group, Bernal ensured he retain all 25 seconds of his race lead. A strong sprint also meant the 21 year old retained a sweep of the race jerseys, holding the overall, sprints, mountains and young rider garments heading into Wednesday’s time trial.
 
A late move from Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) saw him stay clear to claim the win on the longest stage of the race at 197km.
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What had on paper looked a likely bunch kick ensured that sprinters' teams Quick-Step Floors and Bora-Hansgrohe came to the fore to set the pace for much of the day.
 
Three riders went off the front early on but heading into the final 50km the trio became fractured, making life much easier for the chasing pack, and encouraging fresh attacks.
 
The penultimate climb saw Team Sky return to the head of the race, with Luke Rowe leading the line in a bid to restore order as a number of riders tried to break clear.
 
Sivakov was able to cover off the acceleration of fourth placed Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo) on the final climb, and it was a vastly reduced group that came home eight seconds back on a victorious Skujins.
Stage three result:

1. Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) 4:52:47
2. Sean Bennett (Hagens Berman Axeon) +3"
3. Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) +8"
4. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) s.t.
5. Egan Bernal (Team Sky)

Overall standings:

1. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) 12:09:08
2. Rafel Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) +25"
3. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +31"
4. Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo) +40"
5. Kristijan Durasek (UAE-Team Emirates) s.t.

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