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Strong wind but no crashes for Amgen Tour racers in SLO County

Marisa Waddell/KCBX
The racers entered San Luis Obispo city limits around 3 p.m.

Professional cyclists racing in the Amgen Tour of California wrapped up Stage 3 of the race in Morro Bay late Tuesday afternoon. Slovakian racer Peter Sagan was the winner of the stage, a 120-mile course that started in Pismo Beach and wound through the streets of San Luis Obispo. 

The race's technical director, Eric Smith, told KCBX there were no crashes and the entire event went very smoothly. Smith said race organizers had the support of about 100 volunteers for Stage 3 to help close streets as the racers moved along the course.

Smith said the biggest challenge to the racers in San Luis Obispo County was the elements.

“It was an interesting day because the wind was strong from the start,” Smith said. He reported there was a breakaway as soon as the racers left Pismo Beach. 15 miles into the race, five of the competitors had a five minute and fifty second lead on the rest of the pack, referred to as the peloton. Yet as the racers neared the finish line in Morro Bay, the racers were all together until Sagan took the lead with an uphill sprint.

“The yellow jersey was protected and there was no change in the order of the top two riders,” at the end of Stage 3, Smith said. The leading racer in each stage is honored with the right to wear a special cycling jersey. As in the Tour de France race, the Amgen Tour uses a yellow jersey to signify the stage winner.

On Wednesday the racers move to Santa Barbara County for Stage 4 of the Amgen Tour.

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