Los Angeles, May 17, 2017 (AFP) – Unheralded American Evan Huffman won Wednesday’s fourth stage of the Tour of California between Santa Barbara and Santa Clarita while Poland’s Rafal Majka retained the yellow jersey as overall leader.
The 27-year-old Huffman won the 159.5-kilometer stage from the breakaway by finishing ahead of Canadian teammate Rob Britton and Dutchman Lennard Hofstede. “I can’t believe we did it,” Huffman said. “It’s surreal, amazing. I was thinking about last year’s stage during the last 10km, and how much it would suck to not win again. I gave it everything I had in the last 100 metres.”
Huffman and his teammates narrowly withstood the challenge of a peloton that featured some marquee sprinters. Slovakian Peter Sagan, winner of the third stage on Tuesday and Majka’s teammate, settled for sixth. Majka has led the Tour since his victory in the second stage on Monday. He now has a two-second lead in the general classification ahead of New Zealander George Bennett. American Ian Boswell is third, only 14 seconds behind.
Thursday’s fifth stage, considered the most difficult of the event, is a
climb up Mount Baldy that could result in a dramatic change to the leaderboard. “Today was a very hard day but I had a great team to support me and my teammate Peter,” Majka said. “We had all our teammates there, all at the front. I’m suffering a little today but maybe tomorrow will be better for me.
“I will have a lot of support from the team and I hope to have a great day. It’s the first time that I will do this climb so we will see how it goes and how my legs are. If I have good legs then I will try to attack but if I’m tired I might follow. “I hope I have good legs.”
1. Evan Huffman (USA/Rally Cycling) 159.5km in three hours, 41 minutes, 52 seconds
2. Rob Britton (CAN/Rally Cycling same time
3. Lennard Hofstede (NED/Sunweb) s.t.
4. Mathias Leturnier (FRA/Cofidis) s.t.
5. Gavin Mannion (USA/UnitedHealthcare) s.t.
6. Peter Sagan (SVK/Bora) s.t.
7. John Degenkolb (GER/Trek) s.t.
8. Marcel Kittel (GER/Quick-Step) s.t.
9. Alexander Kristof (NOR/Katusha) s.t.
10. Simone Consonni (ITA/UAE Team Emirates) s.t.
1. Rafal Majka (POL/Bora) 16 hours 4 minutes 48 seconds
2. George Bennett (NZL/LottoNL) at 2sec
3. Ian Boswell (USA/Sky) 14
4. Lachlan Morton (AUS/Dimension Data) 16
5. Robert Gesink (NED/LottNL) 45
6. Brent Bookwalter (USA/BMC) 48
7. Sam Oomen (NED/Sunweb) s.t.
8. Andrew Talansky (USA/Cannondale) s.t.
9. Vegard Laengen (NOR/UAE Team Emirates) s.t.
10. Maximilian Schachmann (GER/Quick-Step) s.t.