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Megan Guarnier grabs overall title of women’s Tour of California cycling race

Cyclists in the women’s Amgent Tour of California race Stage 4 come around a corner in Sacramento on Sunday.
Cyclists in the women’s Amgent Tour of California race Stage 4 come around a corner in Sacramento on Sunday. @Blarob Twitter

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 of the women's Tour of California 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.

Alexis Ryan (Canyon-Sram) of Germany was second and Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv), of the Netherlands, the winner of stage 3, was third in the 20-lap route held on a several-lap radius round the State Capitol.

Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare) of Tustin, who won the women's sprint to Sacramento in 2010, placed fourth.

Guarnier, the only U.S. athlete currently qualified to compete in roads events in the Summer Olympics, took the race lead after riding to a solo in the windy stage 1 last Thursday in South Lake Tahoe.

The leader of the Boels-Dolmans team maintained her advantage throughout the women's four-day event, the first of only two U.S. races on the inaugural year of the women's WorldTour. Her squad finished second in the stage 2 team time trial in Folsom and Guarnier placed fourth Saturday in the 69-mile stage 3 road race in Santa Rosa.

Since beginning her season in February, Guarnier has raced well consistently and now has four wins.

In addition to her stage win and overall title at the Tour of California, Guarnier won stage 4 of Euskal Emakumeen Bira in Spain on April 17. Three days later, she finished third in the La Flèche Wallonne Feminine in Belgium. Guarnier also has three runner-up finishes and 12 top-10 finishes in her 20 race days this season.

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