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Amgen Tour of California. Stage 5. Davide Ballerini reclaims KOM jersey, Hugo Houle finished tenth in sprint

By winning the maximum amount of KOM points at stage 5 of the Amgen Tour of California, Davide Ballerini reclaimed the polka dot jersey as King of the Mountains. He was part of a twelve-man breakaway, but this group didn’t make it to the finish line. The stage finished in a sprint of a reduced group after a small climb just before the finish, won by Ivan Garcia Cortina. Hugo Houle was the first Astana rider to finish, he sprinted to the tenth place. Jonas Gregaard retained his seventh place overall on the day before the Queen Stage at the 2019 Amgen Tour of California.

- I’m very happy that I was able to collect all the KOM points so I could wear the polka dot jersey again after losing it a few days ago, but I’m disappointed about the stage. We hoped we could stay clear from the peloton today, but the peloton chased hard during the whole stage. We worked well together, but in the end, this wasn’t enough to fight for a stage victory. Another opportunity lost, but the race is still not over. And of course, now I will try to defend the KOM jersey until the end of the Amgen Tour of California, - said Davide Ballerini.

Stage 5 started in Pismo Beach for a race of 219,5 kilometers to Ventura. Another hard day on the road, with five categorized climbs. A fast and furious start, as many riders tried to take off for the breakaway. After almost fifty kilometers, finally, a group was able to go clear, including Davide Ballerini. The group of twelve riders worked well together in an attempt to make it to the finish line. Ballerini collected all the KOM points during the stage, reclaiming the polka dot jersey. In the final 20 kilometers, everything came back together just before a final punchy climb leading towards the final kilometers of the stage. A reduced group sprinted for the stage win, with Ivan Garcia Cortina being the fastest sprinter of this group. Astana rider Hugo Houle finished tenth in the sprint after leading Jonas Gregaard in a good position for the final.

Tomorrow the Queen Stage of the 2019 Amgen Tour of California awaits, 127,5 kilometers from Ontario to the summit finish at Mount Baldy. 


Photo: ©Getty Images

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