Tour of California: Pogacar seizes control on Mt. Baldy
18 May 2019 03:07
Tadej Pogacar's overall victory at the UCI 2.HC Volta ao Algarve in February turned a lot of heads as the 20-year-old neo pro got the better of more-well-established riders like Wout Poels (Team Ineos), Enric Mas (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) and Deceuninck-QuickStep's Zdenek Stybar. The UAE Team Emirates rider took his accomplishment up a notch this week at the Amgen Tour of California – a WorldTour-level race – riding consistently up the general classification after the stage 2 slog to South Lake Tahoe and taking a decisive win and the race lead on the stage 6 'queen stage' to Mt. Baldy. "This feels different," the young Slovenian said at the post-stage press conference, comparing his win at Algarve to Friday's accomplishment in California.ADVERTISEMENT "It's quite a bit more amazing. It's the highest level, and I hope tomorrow I can hold onto the jersey, which would then be the biggest win of my career. This is a more important win – it feels amazing – and I think it gives me more confidence for the next races." Pogacar seized the stage win and the overall lead on the upper slopes of Mt. Baldy Road, where he left a select group behind and bridged to EF Education First's Colombain climber Sergio Higuita, who was alone up the road after a vicious attack once EF team leader Tejay van Garderen had lost pace, and with it the overall lead. "On the last climb, I started feeling good," Pogacar said. "I followed a few attacks, and when Higuita attacked, I tried to follow, but I couldn't quite get on his wheel, so I tried my tempo.
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