A ‘mechanical’ and then being caught up behind a crash put paid to Mark Cavendish contesting for the sprint in stage five of the Amgen Tour of California, finishing in Stockton.
The stage was won by Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep-Floors), his second victory of the race having won in Long Beach.
The race, as expected, saw an early breakaway of five riders stay away for most of the day with the peloton in control and all looking at putting their respective sprinters in position for the frantic finale.
Disaster struck for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka as it appeared that contact from another riders wheel damaged the 32-year-old’s which required a change with just over 10km to go.
The team dropped back into the convoy and paced him up to the peloton where they were looking to take up their positions for the finish. But a big crash with around 3km to go dashed those hopes with Mark Renshaw and Julien Vermote caught up in it, and Cavendish just behind them.
That put paid to any hopes of challenging for the line with the only consolation from the day being that all of the riders managed to cross the line with no injuries.
Friday’s penultimate stage is 196.5km from Folsom to South Lake Tahoe including the climb up to Carson Pass summit at 2,615m high with race finishing o Saturday in Sacramento.