Alexander Kristoff wins King Stage in bunch sprint as Alaphilippe holds onto Yellow Jersey
The King Stage of the Tour of California saw race leader Alaphilippe chasedown several attacks including Rohan Dennis (BMC). Peter Sagan attacked the breakaway but was caught. Team Katusha lead Kristoff out to take the sprint by a tire width over Sagan who contested the sprint.
Over the top of the first KOM of Harrison Grade was Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo) with Christopher Jones (United Heathcare) and Rob Squire (Holowesko Citadel) following.
A group of 14 riders got away on the way to King Ridge Summit including Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), Gran Van Amermaet (BMC), Samuel Sanchez (BMC) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Rob Squire (HSD) with a gap of 2 minutes after the 2nd KOM of King Ridge Summit.
By the 3rd KOM of the second rise of King Ridge Summit the gap was down to 40 seconds. A group of 4 riders attacked off the front of the peleton on the steep slopes but race leader Alaphilippe chased them down.
On the very technical descent Rohan Dennis attacked taking Petr Vakoc geting a 30 seconds gap on Alaphillipe chasing.
This lead goup rose to 15 riders, but Alaphilippe chased and caught them.
Back to the leaders Sagan atacked after the 4th KOM at Hauser Bridge. He built up a gap of 40 seconds over Van Avermaet, Squire and Neillands and 1m and 15 seconds on the peleton.
4th KOM over Coleman Valley Road went to Sagan, with Van Avermaet, Restrepo, Valencia and Squire chasing.
Direct Energie and Lotto NL Jumbo took up the pace making in the peleton containing Dennis and Alaphilippe.
It was GC contenders last chance to attack Alaphilippe on the final climb.
Peter Sagan increased his gap with descent of the final big climb of Coleman Valley Road.
With the peleton not really taking up the chase, with 17 miles to go, Sagan had 1m and 40 secs.
Alaphilippe who chased down a handful of attacks and got over the main climbs andlooked to be safe at the top of the GC.
Direct Energie without any stage wins and Katusha took up the chase with Katusha's Sprinter Kristoff in the reminents of the main peleton.
Sagan realised the game was up with only 1 minute and 14 miles to go and sat up waiting for the peleton to come back.
With the reminents of the peleton and the chase all back together it was coming down to a bunch sprint.
Team Katusha lead Kristoff out to take the sprint by a tire width over Sagan who contested the sprint.
Alaphilippe looks to have secured the Yellow Jersey going into tomorrow's final flat 86 miles stage around Sacramento.
Stage 7 Results
3. Van Poppel
Overall Classification after Stage 7
1. Alaphilippe 28h 46m 38s
2. Dennis + 16s
3. Bookwalter + 38s
4. Talansky +47s
5. Powless +1m 8s
6. Craddock +1m 17s
7. Sanchez +1m 17s
8. Laurens Ten Dam +1m 24s
9. George Bennet +1m 45s
10. Van Den Broek +1m 48s
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