Tour of California GC Analysis: Van Garderen steps up in San Jose

The second day for the general classification riders at the Amgen Tour of California saw the yellow jersey change hands again as the anticipated time trial showdown between overnight race leader Egan Bernal (Team Sky) and pre-stage favourite Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) played out in the American’s favour.

Van Garderen won the stage over teammate Paddy Bevin by seven seconds, and over Bernal’s Sky teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart by 32. More importantly, he put 1:23 into Bernal on the stage, and now leads the 21-year-old Colombian by 23 seconds in the overall classification.

EF Education First-Drapac’s Dani Martinez finished 10th, 57 seconds back, and moved into third overall. The 22-year-old Colombian is now 37 seconds behind van Garderen, while Geoghegan Hart moved up to fourth overall at 52 seconds.

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Both Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) lost time and slipped off the general classification podium to fifth and sixth, respectively. Rally Cycling’s Brandon McNulty, meanwhile, suffered a puncture on the course but still put in a good enough ride to move from 12th overall to seventh, now trailed by Laurens De Plus (Quick-Step Floors) in eighth, Kristijan Durasek (UAE Team Emirates) in ninth and Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing) in 10th.

The top five are now separated by just 1:07, while Bookwalter, in 10th, is 2:34 behind teammate van Garderen overall. The next big test for the GC men will come on Friday when they take on the 196.5km monster climbing stage from Folsom to South Lake Tahoe. The route, with a finish at altitude, includes six categorised climbs before the final category 3 kicker to the line.

A strong team

Van Garderen will be relying heavily on his BMC teammates to protect the overall lead, believing they have the strongest roster in the race.

All to play for

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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