By Diane Pucin
3:33 PM EDT, May 19, 2013
SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- Peter Sagan, a 23-year-old Slovakian who won five stages a year ago, won a sprint finish in the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California on Sunday, sneaking past American Tyler Farrar of the Team Garmin-Sharp and Daniel Schorn of Team NetApp-Endura for his second stage win.
But the big winner was 24-year-old American Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing team. Van Garderen has stamped himself as the top young American rider by taking his first big stage race in dramatic fashion, dominating Friday's time trial in San Jose and holding his own up the mountaintop finish at Mt. Diablo on Saturday.
Sunday was more a victory ride in the wine country for Van Garderen, who was first discovered by Riverside's Bob Stapleton, who put him on his HTC team before the team dissolved two years ago.
“It's a big relief. It's a weight off my shoulders,” Van Garderen said. of his Tour of California victory. “Hopefully this gets the ball rolling.”
Van Garderen won the event in 29 hours 43 minutes. Australian Michael Rogers was second, 1:47 behind Van Garderen. Colombian Janier Acevedo was third, 3:26 off the winning pace.
Sagan, who won five stages last year, controlled the finish after he moved through the middle of the pack to overtake Schorn.
Sunday's final and eighth stage started in San Francisco and traveled 80.7 miles to Santa Rosa. The peloton traveled over the Golden Gate Bridge on its 75th anniversary.
Carter Jones won the King of the Mountains polka dot jersey and the overall points jersey. Sagan won the green jersey that goes to the best sprinter, and he did that by edging Farrar.
This 750-mile stage race began last Sunday in temperatures that pushed 105 degrees in Escondido.
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