Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) sewed up the overall victory at the 2019 Tour of California on Saturday, getting through the final stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena unscathed, having taken the race lead the previous day on Mount Baldy.
Stage 7 was won by Team Sunweb’s Cees Bol, who outsprinted Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Pogacar’s UAE Team Emirates teammate Jasper Philipsen, topping off a tough week of racing that saw Dimension Data’s Mark Cavendish retire from the race on the final stage.
Twenty-year-old Pogacar’s overall win by 16 seconds over EF Education First’s Sergio Higuita – with Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Kasper Asgreen only a single second further back in third – was never truly in doubt, although Bora-Hansgrohe’s Max Schachmann, who started the day 11th overall, 1:28 down on Pogacar, featured in the day’s early breakaway, and at one point held the virtual race lead, and was later joined up front by Asgreen, who was a true danger man for Pogacar.
However, the race came back together in the final 10km, and the only real question then was who was going to win the bunch sprint, with Dutchman Bol coming out on top.
Pogacar, meanwhile, could celebrate the biggest win of his short career so far, while 21-year-old Colombian climber Higuita was arguably even more impressive in what was only his first WorldTour event, having only joined EF Ecucation First from Continental team Euskadi ahead of the race.
Third-placed Asgreen – just 24 – also continued his rapid rise in what is only the Dane’s first full season in the WorldTour with Deceuninck-QuickStep, having joined the Belgian team in April last year.
Watch Bol get the better of Sagan in the final sprint in the video highlights above, while Pogacar takes the biggest win so far of his young career.