Moscon well placed ahead of queen stage

16 May 2019

Moscon well placed ahead of queen stage

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Tour of California – Stage five: Pismo Beach – Ventura, 219.4km

A strong team performance ensured Gianni Moscon sits just six seconds off the lead heading into the Tour of California queen stage.
Team INEOS were able to protect the Italian across an active fifth stage, putting him in position on the final climb, before eventually finishing in the lead group amidst a reduced bunch sprint.
Now sitting third overall, Moscon crossed the line alongside race leader Tejay Van Garderen (EF Education First), with attention now turning to Friday’s tough test on Mt Baldy.
In contrast to 24 hours earlier the peloton whipped along at a high pace, with a 12-man break, which included Leonardo Basso, pushing hard and making life difficult for the peloton.
An early three-second time bonus saw Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) leapfrog Moscon on GC, with the standings set to evolve further on the penultimate stage.


- Brett Lancaster

"Today it was important to have someone up there in the break. Luke (Rowe) did a huge amount of work for the team which was amazing as always. It took about 60km for the break to go and the average speed was up about 50kph. So it was a very hard and fast day. We got Leo in the break and towards the end we grouped together and got Kristoffer in position before the small final 1km climb. 

"Unfortunately he didn't quite get over it in the group of 30 but we had Gianni in there, so he's in third place now. It's good that he recovered from his crash and he's in good spirits.

"After we lost David the tactics heading into tomorrow aren't rocket science. We'll try and get Gianni into the best position possible for the climb and he has to just try and hold on. If he's got the legs to attack then he'll do so."
The stage began without David de la Cruz, with the Spaniard forced to abandon the race and his eighth position following injuries sustained from Wednesday’s late crash.
Basso’s group were finally caught heading into final 10km, at which point Team INEOS came to the front, pacing the group onto final climb. Moscon was alert on the final ramp and was there as the race came back together into Ventura. Kristoffer Halvorsen was just unable to remain in contact, eventually finishing in the second group home.
What’s Next?
All eyes are on Friday’s stage, with the race winner more than likely to be decided on the steep slopes of Mount Baldy. The queen stage packs in the climbing ahead of the famous summit, which is made tougher by finishing at almost 2000 metres.
Stage five result:

1. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain Merida) 4:56:11
2. Max Richeze (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) s.t.
3. Sergio Higuita (EF Education First)
4. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Team Sunweb)
5. Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)
17. Gianni Moscon (Team INEOS)

Overall standings:

1. Tejay Van Garderen (EF Education First) 26:13:01
2. Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) +4"
3. Gianni Moscon (Team INEOS) +6"
4. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) +16"
5. Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) +22"

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