Mark Cavendish of Great Britain claimed stage 8 by two bike lengths over Slovakian Peter Sagan while young Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe secured his expected overall title Sunday at the Amgen Tour of California.
Cavendish (Etixx-Quick Step), a winner of 26 Tour de France stages and now 10 Tour of California stages, moved to the left of the lead sprinting group before crossing the line in the 85.7-mile road race in 3 hours, 1 minutes and 12 seconds.
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Sagan (Tinkoff) of Slovakia, who won stages 1 and 4 and finished second in stage 7, assumed a slight margin in the waning yards. But Cavendish powered to the front just before the line and claimed his fourth career stage in Sacramento.
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) Norway, winner of stage 7 in Santa Rosa, was third in finale of the 11th annual race that began May 15 in San Diego and advanced 782 miles to three 2.2-mile finishing circuits around a few-block radius of the State Capitol.
Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step), who finished second overall to Sagan in last year's Tour of California by three seconds, took the race lead after winning alone in the mountainous finish in stage 3 just outside Santa Barbara. He finished 11th in the final stage and became the youngest and only French rider to win the event.
Alaphilippe, 23, who maintained the race lead for the final five days, was victorious by 21 seconds over Rohan Dennis (BMC) of Australia. Brent Bookwalter of Asheville, N.C., who also rides for BMC, finished third, trailing by 43 seconds.
On the women’s side, Kirsten Wild (Hitec) of the Netherlands claimed stage 4 in a tight sprint Sunday and Megan Guarnier, the reigning U.S. national road champion, secured the overall title with a main field finish in the 43.5-mile stage circuit in downtown Sacramento.
Guarnier, 31, who lives in France and San Mateo, victorious by 17 seconds over Kristin Armstrong (Twenty16-RideBiker), the two-time Olympic time trial gold medalist from Boise, idaho. Evelyn Stevens of Claremont, the women's hour word record-holder from Claremont and Guarnier's teammate, finished third overall, 25 seconds behind.
Meanwhile, Neilson Powless (Axeon Hagens Berman) of Roseville finished ninth overall in the men’s race and claimed the best young rider classification. Evan Huffman (Rally) of El Dorado Hills, who finished second in stage 2, placed overall 84th overall in the field of 131 and claimed the King of the Mountain (best climbers) division.