AMGEN Tour of California Stage 3: Meersman 4th, Two OPQS Top 10
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Gianni Meersman was 4th in the bunch sprint finish in the 178km Stage 3 of AMGEN Tour of California on Tuesday.
Sylvain Chavanel of OPQS was also 8th. OPQS helped chase down a four rider breakaway, that eventually was reduced to just Chad Beyer (Champion System), with 13.5km to go. The gap dropped dramatically in the final 33km that was mostly descending to the finish.
OPQS battled for sprint position in the final kilometers with some very well organized leadout trains, despite being down three riders due to injuries, and heat illness from the extreme temperatures of Stage 2.
In the final kilometers, Cannondale Pro Cycling came to the front for Peter Sagan and set him up for the stage win as he launched his sprint up the right side. Michael Matthews (Orica Green-EDGE) was 2nd, and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) 3rd.
OPQS looks next to a 134.7km stage on Wednesday, which only has two climbs (one Cat. 3, one Cat. 4) and could possibly end in another bunch sprint.