Stage 3 took us on some fresh roads we’ve never raced before at the Amgen Tour of California and then brought us back to the finish from 2016 on the Laguna Seca Raceway.
The new sections were those roads you love to ride but are super challenging to race. Think bumpy, broken surface roads that are narrow with steep ups and downs; it almost feels like mountain biking on a road bike.
Once again the depth of the field showed itself over those sections. The pace was high, but not high enough to prevent a few brave souls from attacking.
We did our best to stay around Tejay and keep him protected and well positioned, which was essential because there were a few crashes and plenty of sketchy moments.
The final kilometers on WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca were an explosive sufferer fest! I was digging deep to stay up front and in position for what we thought would be a small bunch sprint. Yet an inspired late surge from the break and some super gusty wind conditions played a role.
You hear it over and over--only the podium or winning matters. Yet judging by the aggressiveness in the sprint for third, that cliché is far from the truth. I did my best to time my surge and put myself into good position heading into the last corner, but a few guys still swiped me on the inside.
Overall, I was pleased to be up there in the mix, feel that finish line fire and get into the top 10 in a stacked field of fast guys.
📷 Chris Graythen/Getty Images for AEG