Viviani third in Sacramento sprint

14 May 2017

Viviani third in Sacramento sprint

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Elia Viviani claimed third place in a star-studded sprint to kick off the Tour of California.

The Italian found the wheel of world champion Peter Sagan in Sacramento but was unable to overcome the Bora-Hansgrohe rider, or stage winner Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) in a rapid finish to stage one.
 
Viviani had been positioned in the slipstream of the stage winner in the final metres, but with a surge of new riders causing a shake-up there, was no way through at the finish.
 
Team Sky kept their powder dry for much of the opening 167.5-kilometre test, finally hitting the front as the race hit the three traditional city finishing circuits.
 
Tao Geoghegan Hart, Pete Kennaugh, David Lopez and Ian Boswell ensured the pace was high, with the remainder of the team aiming to place Viviani in position ahead of the sprint.

Bonus seconds ensured an early four-second lead for Kittel, whose team combined with Katusha on the front for much of the day – ably controlling the four man breakaway.
Elia Viviani

Elia Viviani

We have a really strong lead-out and the guys put me in the perfect position, so I am really confident for the next sprint.
After the stage Viviani reflected on the sprint, and praised the work of his team-mates. He told TeamSky.com: "We did a perfect job during the stage, conserving energy and being in position when it split in the cross-winds. Then on the finishing circuits we made sure we were always at the front. Pete, Lopez, Tao and Boz did a great job just before the proper lead-out.

"On the final lap Owain (Doull), Danny (van Poppel) and Dibbo (Jon Dibben) put me in the perfect position coming out of the last corner, on Kittel's wheel.

"At 600m to go the Quick-Step train lost a lot of speed, and at that point Katusha came up with Kristoff. So there was a bit of confusion, and when I understood it was time to start the sprint, Kittel and Sagan had already gone. I sprinted for third which was the best I could do in this situation. 

"We have a really strong lead-out and the guys put me in the perfect position, so I am really confident for the next sprint."
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Stage one result:
 
1. Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) 3:45:35
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) s.t.
3. Elia Viviani (Team Sky)
4. John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo)
5. Jempy Drucker (BMC Racing)
 
Overall standings:
 
1. Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) 3:45:25
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) +4”
3. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) +6”
4. Floris Gerts (BMC Racing) +9”
5. John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) +10”
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