SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) – 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.

Boels-Dolmans teammate Anna van der Breggen was second and Astana’s Arlenis Sierra was third.

Guarnier took advantage of a lead-out from teammates Amy Pieters and Karol-Ann Canuel that delivered her in position at the base of the final climb. The win capped a comeback of sorts after a concussion sustained in her second race of the season sidelined Guarnier for six weeks.

The three-time U.S. champion will take a 4-second lead into the second of four stages Friday, which takes riders on a 67-mile loop in the Lake Tahoe area. The men’s race begins Sunday.


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.


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