AMGEN Tour of California Stage 4: Boonen Grabs 4th, Heat a Test for all Riders
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team battled through difficult conditions today — particularly, heat that reached 95 degrees Fahrenheit/35 degrees Celsius — and made sure they either were in a break, or set up Tom Boonen for a potential sprint finish once again in the 209km stage on Wednesday, from Sonora to Clovis.
Dries Devenyns entered into an early 11 rider breakaway, which eventually turned into 10 as one was dropped. However, that break was caught with less than 82km to go. While the peloton split briefly on a climb, the peloton sat up and allowed many riders to catch back on easily with 50km left in the race. From then on, it was essentially about setting up for a bunch sprint. Despite some late attempts to thwart such a finish, the entire Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team worked at the front to ensure Tom Boonen had the chance for a stage victory.
Peter Sagan, however, had different ideas and, after taking the sprint victory, now has won all four stages of the AMGEN Tour of California thus far. Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Barracuda) was 2nd, Michael Matthews (Rabobank) was 3rd, and Tom Boonen 4th.
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team will now focus on the 29km time trial in Bakersfield tomorrow, as Peter Velits is currently 12th (+40") in the GC. Levi Leipheimer is 36th, but with the same time difference to the current GC leader Sagan.