Cavendish wins stage 2 of Tour of California
LODI, Calif. (AP) Britain's Mark Cavendish earned his second straight win over Peter Sagan of Slovakia and extended his race lead Monday in the second stage of the Tour of California.
Cavendish, who rides for the Etixx-Quick Step team, earned his 11th win of the season with a late surge in the 120.4-mile road stage from Nevada City in 4 hours, 47 minutes and 2 seconds.
''There were four of us (teammates) at the last corner and I had to come around Peter,'' said Cavendish, who earned his 130th pro career win. ''I was a bit nervous and I didn't know if I had it.''
Sagan, who has 11 career wins in the event, again bolted to the front of the mass sprint. But he was passed by Cavendish by a quarter-wheel. Wouter Wippert of the Netherlands finished third in the stage.
Cavendish leads Sagan by eight seconds in the eight-day race. American Rob Carpenter is third overall, 11 seconds behind.
''Today, I did better,'' said Sagan who moved to the front earlier in the opening stage sprint. ''There was a gap and everyone was fighting for position. Cavendish is a pure sprinter and he is faster. Maybe tomorrow I will do better.''
For the second straight day, a breakaway developed early in the stage. Carpenter, Daniel Oss of Italy, Markel Izizar Aranburu of Spain and Luis Romero Amaran of Cuba established a five-minute lead after 25 miles.
Amaran fell back in the waning miles and the main field began the final two circuits together.
Several riders crashed about five miles from the finish. The group included Americans Ben Jacques-Maynes, Fred Rodriguez and Tom Zirbel.
Jacques-Maynes of Corralitos, Calif., suffered a dislocated shoulder and facial injuries and will not continue.
Rodriguez of Berkeley, Calif., a four-time national road titlist, and Zirbel of Boulder, Colo., a national time trial champion, will continue.
The eight-day race, which began Sunday in Sacramento, will continue Tuesday beginning and ending in San Jose. The 105.7-mile third stage has six climbs, including the first substantial ascent of the event, a 3.6-mile effort up Mount Hamilton.