Three-time world champion Peter Sagan produced an impressive finish on the opening day of the Tour of California to earn his 17th career win in the North American race.
The 143km first stage started in Sacramento and came down to a sprint finish in which the Slovakian Bora-Hansgrohe rider held off Travis McCabe (United States) for the victory, completing the stage in three hours, 14 minutes and 10 seconds.
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Sagan, who has only recorded one other victory this season during stage three of the Tour Down Under in January, found himself in the slipstream of rival Welshman Owain Doull (Ineos) in the final sprint but had the power to clinch the leader’s jersey in a photo finish with McCabe.
Team Sunweb’s Max Walscheid rounded out the podium places on the opening day of competition, with Doull the best-placed British rider in sixth, and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) 30 seconds down on Sagan.
The seven-day race continues on Tuesday with a 214.5km stage from Rancho Cordova to South Lake Tahoe.
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