FOUR IN A ROW FOR SPECIALIZED
Fabio Jakobsen sprinted to victory on the fourth stage of the Tour of California on Wednesday as overnight leader Tejay van Garderen clung onto the yellow jersey after an incident-packed day of racing. Deceuninck-QuickStep rider Jakobsen of the Netherlands held on to finish first after a fierce late burst from Peter Sagan in the closing stretch of the picturesque 214.5 kilometer (133-mile) run from Laguna Seca Raceway to Morro Bay.
Jasper Philipsen of UAE Team Emirates took second while three-time road cycling world champion Sagan, a winner of Sunday’s opening stage, finished third.
It was Deceuninck-QuickStep’s third straight stage victory after wins for Remi Cavagna on Tuesday and Kasper Asgreen on Monday.
Jakobsen’s sprint to victory was the final act of a dramatic stage which saw race leader van Garderen’s serene progress jolted by a series of mishaps. The American EF Education First rider looked comfortable with around six miles remaining of a stage which had passed by Big Sur and some of the most spectacular scenery on the California coast. But the 30-year-old was sent flying after his chain snapped, forcing him to complete the stage on Australian team-mate Lachlan Morton’s bike.
With blood seeping out of a gash on van Garderen’s leg, the American then lost more valuable time after taking a wrong turn and was then held up by a mass crash near the finish.
Van Garderen finally crossed around 55 seconds behind the leaders, initially leaving Denmark’s Asgreen in the overall lead with three stages remaining. But Asgreen’s ranking at the top of the general classification was later wiped out by race officials, allowing van Garderen to retain the yellow jersey.
“The mass crash near the finish of stage 4 was just outside the 3km to go.
The commissaires have decided to treat the crash such that all riders affected by the incident and the road blockage will receive field time,” Tour of California officials said in a statement.
The revised classification means van Garderen leads Italy’s Gianni Moscon by six seconds, with Asgreen seven seconds back heading into Stage 5.
STAGE 4 HIGHLIGHTS