Team Bahrain-Merida’s Ivan Garcia Cortina moved to the front after the final couple of solo attacks were reeled in by the rest of the field, then sprinted ahead of Maximiliano Richeze and Sergio Higuita to win the fifth stage of the Tour of California on Thursday.
The 136-mile stage from Pismo Beach (San Luis Obispo County) to Ventura featured a finish racked by brutal crosswinds of up to 45 mph.
“The team had full confidence in me,” said Cortina, who got his first WorldTour win after several close calls last season. “I was thinking about, if I can give 200 percent, I can win.”
Tejay van Garderen finished safely in the main field to retain the overall race lead, four seconds over Kasper Asgreen and six over Gianni Moscon.
In the women’s race, which began with an out-and-back ride to Ventura, reigning Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen got loose in the final couple of miles to win the first of three stages.
The sixth stage for the men Friday takes riders just 79 miles, but it includes the torturous climb up Mount Baldy, where the overall race is likely to be decided. Some sections of the climb reach a grade of 16%, eclipsing even some of the steepest European climbs.
The women also will trek through the San Gabriel Mountains before ending up at Mt. Baldy, where defending race winner Katie Hall will stretch her climbing legs.
Big names advance on busy day in Rome
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic each won twice to reach the quarterfinals of the Italian Open after a rainout Wednesday backed up play, but the biggest talking point came after another tantrum thrown by Australian Nick Kyrgios.
Federer beat Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-3, then he saved two match points as he rallied past Borna Coric 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7). Nadal, an eight-time Rome champion, cruised past Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 6-1 then quickly dispatched Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 6-0. Djokovic eliminated Denis Shapovalov 6-1, 6-3 and rolled past Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-0.
Kyrgios walked off the court and threw a chair onto the court during a fit of rage and was disqualified during his second-round match with Norwegian qualifier Casper Ruud. Kyrgios’ latest outburst of unruly behavior has players split on whether he should get a long-term ban.
On the women’s side, Naomi Osaka also won twice to maintain the No. 1 ranking. She opened with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Dominika Cibulkova, then dusted Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3, 6-3.
Soccer: Carli Lloyd scored twice and Alyssa Naeher got the shutout, helping the U.S. women’s national team beat New Zealand 5-0 in an exhibition in St. Louis.
The U.S. next faces Mexico on May 26 in Harrison, N.J., in its final tuneup for next month’s Women’s World Cup in France.
Hockey: Anthony Mantha scored twice to lift Canada to a 5-2 victory over France at the world championship in Slovakia.
Also, Finland came from a goal down to top Denmark 3-1, Gabriel Landeskog scored just 69 seconds into the game to kick-start Sweden’s 9-1 rout of Austria, and Jakub Voracek scored twice and had two assists to help the Czech Republic rally from two goals down to beat Latvia 6-3.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Ivan-Garcia-Cortina-Anna-van-der-Breggen-win-13852575.php.