Two riders under 22 years old made up the main bout of the knock-down battle on Friday’s queen stage of the Tour of California, with UAE-Emirates’ young Slovenian Tadej Pogačar earning the win by beating out EF Education First’s new Colombian Sergio Higuita, who joined the team on May 1. Pogačar took over the race lead from Higuita’s teammate Tejay van Garderen, more good news for UAE-Team Emirates after the team withdrew Kristijan Durasek from the race based on findings in Operation Aderlass after yanking Juan Molano from the Giro d’Italia due to a red flag in the squad’s internal testing. Pogačar’s Italian teammate Valerio Conti also leads the Giro.

Friday was Stage 6 of the men’s Amgen Tour of California and Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race, both of which followed similar routes to the peak of Mount Baldy. There is one day to go in both races.

In the second of three stages of the women’s race, Boels-Dolmans enjoyed a one-two finish atop Mount Baldy, with Katie Hall taking the win and Anna van der Breggen padding her lead by coming runner-up. Van der Breggen powered to the victory on Thursday’s Stage 1, with Leah Kirchmann fourth. Kirchmann was 16th on Mount Baldy, which dropped her to 15th on GC. One hilly stage remains for van der Breggen and the seven Canadians racing.

The men’s race shared the same final 47-km as the women’s race, with the Cat. 1 Glendora Ridge Road Summit thrown in for good measure. The Mount Baldy showdown has been instrumental in four of the 13 editions of the Tour of California.

Canadian Hugo Houle was in the day’s breakaway and took the maximum KOM points atop Glendora Ridge Road Summit. The break fragmented and reform on the penultimate climb, the Cat. 1 Glendora Mountain Road Summit. Trek-Segafredo and EF Education First worked hard to bring the peloton over to most of the fugitives midway up 8.2 km, 8.4 percent Mount Baldy.

But fifth place Max Schachmann had bridged over to the escape between the last two climbs and he managed to elude the streamlined peloton even after Houle and company were absorbed. Third place Gianni Moscon faded back and then the race leader van Garderen lost contact.

Higuita attacked to shed the others, but fourth place Tadej Pogačar found his wheel before the red kite. Eighth place George Bennett (New Zealand/Jumbo-Visma) drew closer. Higuita took the final left turn a little too wide and the Slovenian pounced to take the victory. The top Canadian was Rob Britton in ninth, which bounced him up to 12th on GC.

2019 Tour of California Women’s Race GC
1) Anna van der Breggen (The Netherlands/Boels-Dolmans) 5:12:37
2) Katie Hall (U.S.A./Boels-Dolmans) +0:29
3) Ashleigh Moolman (South Africa/CCC-Liv) +1:06
15) Leah Kirchmann (Canada/Sunweb) +2:53
30) Jasmin Duehring (Canada/Sho Air-Twenty 20) +9:07
34) Marie-Soleil Blais (Canada/Astana) +10:11
48) Alison Jackson (Canada/Tibco-SVB) +17:32
50) Sara Bergen (Canada/Rally-UHC) +17:40
66) Karol-Ann Canuel (Canada/Boels-Dolmans) +22:09
76) Gillian Ellsay (Canada/Rally-UHC) +28:39


2019 Tour of California GC

1) Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia/UAE-Team Emirates) 30:01:56
2) Sergio Higuita (Colombia/EF Education First) +0:16
3) Kasper Asgreen (Denmark/Deceuninck-Quick Step) +0:20
12) Rob Britton (Canada/Rally-UHC) +1:38
23) Alex Cataford (Canada/Israel Cycling Academy) +3:44
40) Hugo Houle (Canada/Astana) +22:11

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