Defending champion Megan Guarnier won the opening stage of the women's Tour of California, pulling away from a reduced bunch on the final uphill climb to the finish. The win capped a comeback of sorts after a concussion sustained in her second race of the season sidelined Guarnier for six weeks.
On the main stage after the race, she talked about that struggle. "My team believed in me today and I was happy to pull it off today".
Boels Dolmans teammate Anna van der Breggen finished second.
Sierra leads the best young rider classification over Ruth Winder and Coryn Rivera of the United States.
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Early breaks by Cylance Pro Cycling's Alison Tetrick (Petaluma, Calif.) and then by two national champions - Mexico's Ingrid Drexel (Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank) and New Zealand's Rushlee Buchanan (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) - were reeled in by a thundering peloton.
Hall will take a three-second lead on van der Breggen into the third stage Saturday, which takes riders 73 miles from Elk Grove to Sacramento.
Stage 2 will take the riders on a completely different route and a lot of climbing in the mountains around Lake Tahoe.
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