It would be another bunch sprint that decided the 4th stage of the Amgen Tour of California. This time Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) would be able to better his 3 previous 2nd places and take the win. Wouter Wippert (Drapac) would run 2nd while Mark Cavendish had to settle for 3rd.
MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung could be pleased with their efforts on the day after Daniel Teklehaimanot was in the break of the day while Tyler Farrar cracked the top 5 in the sprint finish. Daniel would get away with 4 other riders in the early part of the 173km stage. Initially Daniel wasn’t in the move but once the Eritrean saw the gap was growing for the 4 attackers, he quickly bridged across.
The sprinters teams would keep the aggressors on a very short leash though. Hincapie Development took control early on but it was Etixx-Quickstep and Tinkoff-Saxo that ensured the fugitives were always within 3 minutes. The blustery winds would not help the cause of Daniel and his breakaway mates as they were reeled in with 15km to go.
Tinkoff-Saxo would put the pressure on the rest of the peloton, particularly in the crosswinds of the final 15km. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were alert to the situation and kept Tyler at the business end of the race. Rounding the left hander in the final 500m, Tyler was in a good position to launch his sprint and the American finished with good speed to take 5th. Had the line been a few meters further away, the podium was surely on the cards.
Daniel Teklehaimanot – Rider
I was very happy to be in the break today. It was the plan of the team to have a rider in the breakaway. It was hard with the wind and the bunch wasn’t giving us any gap. At least the team could hide in the bunch and save energy for the finish. Tyler got 5th on the stage so I am happy with my contribution.