The 2018 Tour of California opened with a straightforward looking stage for the big-name sprinters of the peloton, with a modest 134.5km circuit race in Long Beach.
This year’s start list for the American WorldTour stage race boasts a host of top name sprinters, including world champion and former overall winner Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin), Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors), Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) and Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates).
The opening stage is one of three potential sprints, with stages five and seven of the week long race offering opportunities for the fast men.
Many of the riders taking on the Tour of California will be returning from a mid-season break after the Classics season, as they begin to build towards the 2018 Tour de France on beginning on July 7.
Mixed with a plethora of domestic American riders, the start list also features some notable overall contenders, including Britain’s Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) who makes his return from injury, as well as Tour de Romandie stage winner Egan Bernal (Team Sky) and former overall winner Tejay van Garderen.
Catch-up with the highlights from the first stage of the 2018 Tour of California in Long Beach above, or read the full report of the day’s action here.
The Tour of California runs from Sunday May 13 to Sunday May 20 with mountain days on stage two, three and six as well as a crucial 24.7km time trial from San Jose to Morgan Hill.