SHARE
  • Race teams jockey for position during the early laps in the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • For much of the race, Tanner Putt, right, and Andrei Krasilnikau held a strong lead following an early breakaway in the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • SoundThe gallery will resume inseconds
  • For much of the race, Tanner Putt, left, and Andrei Krasilnikau held a strong lead following an early breakaway in the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Riders in the peloton form a line as they race in the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Team members line up to hand off drink bottles and food to the cyclists during the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Race fans take photos of the cyclists as they zoom past in the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cyclists race up Shoreline Drive in the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cycling teams race down Ocean Boulevard in the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Wth the harbor in the background, the cyclists get ready for the start of the race in the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • For much of the race, Andrei Krasilnikau, left, and Tanner Putt held a strong lead following an early breakaway in the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • For much of the race, Andrei Krasilnikau, left, and Tanner Putt held a strong lead following an early breakaway in the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • A race fan waves her Colombian flag as the cyclists turn onto Pine Avenue in the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Racers stretch out as they make the turn from Pine Avenue onto Shoreline Drive in the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cycling fans bang on the boards as they await the pack of riders near the start/finish line in the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • A young Peter Sagan fan waits for his hero to cross the finish line in the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Stage 1 winner Fernando Gaviria, center, begins to celebrate as he crosses the finish line in the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Stage 1 winner Fernando Gaviria is awarded the yellow jersey after the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Stage 1 winner Fernando Gaviria tosses his bouquet of flowers into the crowd after being awarded the yellow jersey after the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • The top finishers, from left, Caleb Ewan (2nd), Fernando Gaviria (winner) and Peter Sagan (3rd) stand atop the podium after the first stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The cyclists took 12 laps around coastal Long Beach for a distance of 83 miles. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

Show Caption of Expand

By Louis Casiano Jr.

The beginning stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California brought out the crowds on Sunday, May 13, the first time Long Beach has hosted the circuit race in more than a decade.

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

Colombian Fernando Gaviria edged out a crowded pack of riders in a hellish sprint on the final mile to win the first leg of the seven-day competition.

“It was really nice for me… and a really good job for my team,” said Gaviria, 23, following a presentation of the first yellow jersey awarded in this years race and his lobbing of a flower bouquet into the crowd.

Australian Caleb Ewan and Slovakian Peter Sagan took second and third place, respectively, just milliseconds after Gaviria.

American Tanner Putt took an early lead and stayed near the front for most of Sunday until the finish.

“This plan was… to try and take some of the sprint points,” Putt said, referring to the accumulation of points for high finishes in each stage.

Gavirias victory came after sustaining a fracture in his left hand during a race in Italy earier this year.

“I trained for that (Sunday) and I think its a good comeback for the win,” Gaviria told the media.

Seventeen mens teams comprising 117 riders began the race at the start/finish line on Shoreline Drive, near the start and finish line for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The route traversed up Ocean Boulevard and down to Termino Avenue in Belmont Shore.

A turnaround point took racers from Ocean to Junipero Avenue and up to Forth Street to Cherry Avenue before coming back to Ocean and Shoreline Drive

It took Gaviria three hours, two minutes to lap around the 7-mile course 12 times.

Thousands of spectators waited along the route, mostly planting themselves in lawn chairs as they cheered the riders zooming by. The finish line was filled with excitement as Gaviria, Ewan, Putt and a slew of others jockeyed for top place.

Long Beach hosted the last stage of the Tour of California in 2007, its second year of existence. The race is considered a major cycling event in the country. In the end, riders will pedal 645 miles over seven days in cities from Long Beach to Sacramento.

Other stops include Santa Barbara County, King City, San Jose, Stockton and Folsom. The final stage is May 19 in Sacramento.

Long Beach in recent years has been recognized for its friendliness to bicyclists. The city hosts a bike share program and boats hundreds of miles of bike paths.

Sundays race began at 12:40 p.m. in an effort to accommodate restaurants for Mothers Day. Area business owners raised concerns that traffic restrictions could drive away customers on what usually is a lucrative day.

None immediately returned calls asking for comment on Sunday race and how or if it impacted business.

Stage 2 will be held Monday in Ventura. Gaviria said he will enjoy his victory and is focusing on the next leg.

“I will enjoy today, but theres a lot of really good riders… and you never know,” he said.

Editors note: This article has been updated to reflect that Peter Sagan is Slovakian.

0514_NWS_LPT-L-TOC-0514-logo[hhmc]

Monday: Amgen Tour of California, Stage 2

  • Start: Ventura Pier, 1 p.m.
  • Finish: Atop Gibraltar Road

View this document on Scribd

[contf] [contfnew]

daily news

[contfnewc] [contfnewc]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here