Kasper Asgreen held back as Tejay van Garderen shredded the remnants of the breakaway on the final climb, then swung past him in South Lake Tahoe to win the second stage of the Tour of California on Monday.
Van Garderen wound up being the big winner anyway.
The American rider for EF Education First put serious time into the other overall contenders with his push toward the finish line. He wound up slipping on the leader’s jersey by six seconds over Gianni Moscon, with Asgreen another second back.
“I made the initial attack and usually if they have the legs, they’ll jump over me,” said van Garderen, who won the overall race in 2013. “I kept looking back and when they didn’t jump I thought, ‘OK, they might not have the best legs.’”
The 133-mile ride began in Rancho Cordova and took riders to the Heavenly Ski Resort.
The third stage Wednesday, the Bay Area stop, takes riders 126 miles from Stockton to Morgan Hill, and includes about 10,000 feet in climbing. It includes a late climb up Mount Hamilton, then a tense descent to the finish line.
• Elia Viviani was stripped of his third-stage win at the Giro d’Italia in Orbetello. Viviani was ruled to have deviated from his line in the final sprint. Fernando Gaviria of Colombia was given the win in the 137-mile stage from Vinci.
Stricker cruises to
1st Champions major
Steve Stricker ran away with his first senior major, closing with a 4-under-par 68 for a six-shot victory at the weather-delayed Regions Tradition in Birmingham, Ala.
Stricker led by two shots heading into the final round at Greystone’s Founders Course and went bogey-free Monday, finishing at 18-under 270. It was the fourth win in 18 PGA Tour Champions starts for the Ryder Cup captain, who plays regularly on the PGA Tour.
Billy Andrade, Paul Goydos and David Toms tied for second.
• Justin Thomas withdrew from this week’s PGA Championship, saying he was not willing to risk more pain in his right wrist by returning before it’s fully healed.
NFL: Tight end Lee Smith rejoined the Buffalo Bills after four seasons with the Raiders, who released him this month.
• Quarterback EJ Manuel, signed this offseason by Kansas City, has decided to retire after four seasons with Buffalo and one season with the Raiders in 2017.
• The Philadelphia Eagles signed quarterback Cody Kessler to back up Carson Wentz.
Hockey: Mark Stone scored with 1.8 seconds left to lift Canada over Slovakia 6-5 at the world championships in Kosice.
• Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler is expected to miss the coming season after right hip resurfacing surgery.
Horse racing: Jockey Luis Saez was suspended 15 days for failing to control Maximum Security and causing interference that resulted in the horse’s disqualification as the Kentucky Derby winner.
Obituary: Longtime NFL coach Gunther Cunningham died Sunday at age 72 in Detroit after a brief illness. He went 16-16 in two seasons (1999-2000) leading Kansas City. He spent four seasons (1973-76) as an assistant coach at Stanford and four seasons (1977-80) as an assistant at Cal.
Courts: Prosecutors cannot use secretly recorded video allegedly showing New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft engaging in massage-parlor sex, a judge ruled, striking a blow to the case against him and others charged with soliciting prostitutes at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla.
• Prosecutors dropped charges against fighter Conor McGregor after he allegedly smashed a fan’s phone outside a Miami hotel.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Tejay-van-Garderen-takes-over-Tour-of-California-13842681.php.