Peter Sagan (Cannondale) won stage 5 of the inaugural Tour of Alberta on Sunday.
The final stage took riders over 129.4km from Okotoks to Calgary, wrapping up with four laps of a downtown circuit.
Fumiyuki Beppu (Orica-GreenEdge), Adam Matthew Farabaugh (Equipe Garneau-Québecor) and Jim Stemper (5-hour Energy-Kenda) were off the front with 15 seconds’ advantage as the race entered the circuit in downtown Calgary.
The trio hung tough until Stempers slid out after a touch of wheels on lap three. Shortly afterward Beppu and Farabaugh were swept up and with one lap remaining a bunch sprint was in the offing.
UnitedHealthcare began setting up on the front of the peloton, while Belkin worked to position Mark Renshaw. Fred Rodriguez (Jelly Belly-Kenda) and Sagan likewise moved forward.
In the final 500 meters Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing) infiltrated the UHC train, hoping to steal a few seconds, but it was Sagan exploding out of the final corner to take the victory.
Luka Mezgec (Argos-Shimano) and Robert Förster (UnitedHealthcare) finished second and third, respectively.
“I’m very happy [to take] the green jersey,” said Sagan. “This was very good preparation for the worlds.” Asked whether he would return for the 2014 edition of the race, he replied: “I like America and Canada. I will be very glad to come back here.”
Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) took the overall by 15 seconds over Bookwalter with Damiano Caruso (Cannondale) third at 30 seconds.
“It’s a huge honor to be the first ever Tour of Alberta winner,” Dennis said, praising his teammates for their help. “The guys, every day, as soon as the gun went, they were straight on the front and really controlled the race.”
In the final stage, he said, “It was all about just keeping me safe in the final laps.”
Editor’s note: Stay tuned for more from Calgary.