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Amgen Tour of California. Stage 6. Davide Ballerini secures KOM jersey, while Hugo Houle made it into the breakaway

With still one stage to go, Davide Ballerini secured the KOM jersey of the 2019 Amgen Tour of California today. Hugo Houle was part of the day’s breakaway and collected the KOM points, so his teammate knew he would be the King of the Mountains. The break with Houle didn’t make it to the finish line in today’s Queen Stage, as they got caught on the final climb with the summit finish on Mt. Baldy. Tadej Pogacar won the stage and is the new overall leader. Jonas Gregaard dropped out of the top 10 overall and is now eighteenth. 

- When we started this Amgen Tour of California, it was not my goal to become King of the Mountains and to win this jersey. But along the way trying to win a stage, I collected so many points that it became a goal. I’m not a climber, so for me, it’s really nice to win this jersey. Together with my team, we worked hard for this, but we’re still aiming for a stage win as well. Tomorrow is the final day, so there’s still an opportunity, - said Davide Ballerini.

- The plan was to go in the breakaway with riders that wouldn’t play a role for the GC so that we could fight for a stage win. After we dropped a rider who could be a threat for the overall, we worked well together until some of them started to attack. From that point, the cohesion in our group was gone and I knew that we wouldn’t make it all the way to the finish. So when we got caught I tried my best to help our leaders for today. I felt good this whole week and I’m happy I could do the work that the team wanted me to do today, - said Hugo Houle.

The Queen Stage of the 2019 Amgen Tour of California was 127,5 kilometers long, starting in Ontario to have the summit finish at Mt. Baldy. Hugo Houle made it in the breakaway with seven other riders, but when some of these riders started to attack, the cohesion of the group was gone and they got caught on the final climb. Tadej Pogacar was the strongest climber of the day, he won the stage and took over the yellow jersey as leader of the race. The first Astana rider to finish was Magnus Cort, taking the thirteenth place. Jonas Gregaard dropped out of the top 10 and is now eighteenth.

The final stage of the Amgen Tour of California will lead the peloton from Santa Clarita to Pasadena, covering 126 kilometers and one categorized climb. 


Photo: ©Getty Images

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