Amgen Tour of California Stage 2: Astana’s Jonas Gregaard 6th, Davide Ballerini is first King of Mountain
NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM - After a spectacular first mountain stage, Jonas Gregaard claimed the sixth place while Davide Ballerini took the polka dot jersey as the first King of the Mountain. Ballerini was part of the early breakaway and was able to pick up KOM points along the four categorized climbs. In the final, Ballerini was in the leading group together with Jonas Gregaard, but after an attack of Ballerini, it was a group of four riders taking over with Kasper Asgreen as the stage winner and Tejay Van Garderen as the new overall leader. Jonas Gregaard finished sixth behind this group, he's now seventh in the overall, Astana Pro Team's press office informs.
"It was a really long day on the bike, but I felt quite good all day. In the final I think we did good teamwork, we tried to go for the win. It didn't happen today, but we will try again the next days with aggressive riding as we showed in this stage. For myself, I hope I can continue with this good feeling the next days, and see what it can bring for the GC," said Jonas Gregaard.
"My goal was to get the KOM jersey and to win today's stage, and I came very close, but it was just not enough to follow the four riders taking over after my attack. I felt strong during the day and I'm happy that I was able to take the King of the Mountain jersey because I really had to fight for it today. I think everybody in the team worked well today and I'm looking forward to the days to come, as I'm sure we can achieve more results here in the Amgen Tour of California," said Davide Ballerini.
Today the riders started climbing in the Tour of California, with stage 2 starting in Rancho Cordova to finish at South Lake Tahoe after 214,5 kilometers of racing conquering five categorized climbs. It was Davide Ballerini who took off with six other riders to create the first breakaway of the day, gaining an advantage around 2/3 minutes during the stage. He finished in the top 3 of every KOM, securing the King of the Mountain jersey. A strongly reduced group caught the remaining leaders in today's final, and a new breakaway was formed straight away including Jonas Gregaard and again, Davide Ballerini.
After an attack of Ballerini, four riders took over to claim the stage win, Kasper Asgreen, and the overall lead, Tejay van Garderen. It was youngster Jonas Gregaard who came in sixth, he's now seventh in the overall classification.
Tomorrow another long and challenging stage awaits. Starting from Stockton to finish in Morgan Hill, stage 3 will be a 208-kilometer-long stage heading towards the Pacific coast including six categorized climbs, of which one HC.
Photo: ©Getty Images