The Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 presented by Lexus ended with the expected sprinter shootout – UAE Emirates’ Jasper Philipsen launched the final attack to the finish line, trailed by BORA-hansgrohe’s three-time World Champion Peter Sagan. With just meters to go, Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Fabio Jakobsen rocketed past both to claim the team’s third stage in three days. Cofidis, Solutions Credits Nacer Bouhanni followed the trio across the line in fourth place.
Sagan, who won the 2017 Morro Bay stage on this same finish route, took third place today and moves into the green jersey, which he has worn regularly during his years at this race.
Meanwhile, the peloton encountered the unexpected. When race leader Tejay van Garderen (Tacoma, Wash.) came off his bike and suffered a mechanical issue with about 5 miles left to ride, EF Education First Pro Cycling teammate Lachlan Morton offered up his bike and the team worked to pace their leader back up to the main group. A crash at the back of the peloton that affected multiple GC riders neutralized the time gap that resulted, with the leader board ending up unchanged after today’s stage.
A rain-dotted ride from WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to Morro Bay featured the iconic coastal views of Central California’s Highway 1, which has reopened after a massive effort by Caltrans to repair damage from a 2017 landslide.
The breakaway that held for most of the 133.3-mile stage included two current National Champions – Hagens Berman Axeon’s Jonny Brown (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Israel Cycling Academy’s Roy Goldstein (ISR) – as well as Brown’s teammate Ian Garrison (Decatur, Georgia), Team Novo Nordisk’s Joonas Henttala (FIN), and USA Cycling National Team’s Michael Hernandez (Claremont, Fla.).
Hernandez was the last to be caught with just over 5 miles to go and earned the Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey. USA Cycling National Team will have two riders in jerseys tomorrow with teammate and reigning U.S. U23 National Champion Alex Hoehn (Lenexa, Kansas) retaining the polka dot jersey.
Fabio Jakobsen, Deceuninck – Quick-Step – “My decisive moment was at 2-3K to go when I felt the wind coming from the left and we were close to the coast. I decided ‘OK, now I just have to go left through the wind and around because you know the bunch is going to come to the right side and there was a crash.’ I found my teammates, and they delivered me on the bottom of the sprint with 500 to go. Then it’s about who has the legs, and luckily, I had the best legs today in the sprint.
The atmosphere on the team is always very nice because everybody works hard, and we are willing to help each other and sacrifice our own chances for someone else.
(On if he just needed a bit more road to beat Peter): I still doubt that I would have beat him, but I had great legs, I came with speed. I was a little bit further behind. I think I came from maybe two wheels back from Peter. I’m happy with second. Doesn’t matter where you start the sprint, just matters where it ends. Like I said, I’m happy with second. It’s a great little birthday present for me from USA Cycling, so it’s good.”
Alex Hoehn, USA Cycling National Team – “Today was a lot easier. I was not in the break today, thankfully. I don’t know if I could’ve done it again. It would have been very difficult. I was able to keep the jersey for the day while my teammate was up there taking the points for me and making sure that no one else did that was up on the competition – grateful for that.”
Michael Hernandez, USA Cycling National Team – “My mom is an ovarian cancer survivor, and she still battles it now. It’s been close to seven years since she got diagnosed Stage 4 when it first came about, so it was really rough. Thankfully, she’s still here, and she was able to come out for the first couple of stages and watch me do my biggest race ever. It has meant a lot to me to now be in the Breakaway from Cancer® jersey. It has an extra special feeling to it.
We came into this race and we were the last team to get in. First, thank you to Amgen Tour of California for letting us get into this race and USA Cycling for putting this together. I think it’s pretty impressive the fact that we’ve had somebody on the team wear every jersey except the yellow one. That in and of itself is a huge accomplishment.”
Results after Stage 4:
WEDNESDAY, MAY 15
Podium: STAGE 4
- Fabio Jakobsen (NED), Deceuineck Quick-Step 05:53:22
- Jasper Philipsen (BEL), USA Cycling National Team +00
- Peter Sagan (SVK), BORA-hansgrohe +00
Jersey Winners after Stage 4:
- Amgen Race Leader Jersey – Tejay van Garderen (USA), EF Education First Pro Cycling
- Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Michael Hernandez (USA), USA National Team
- Lexus King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey – Alex Hoehn (USA), USA Cycling National Team
- Visit California Sprint Jersey – Peter Sagan (SVK), BORA-hansgrohe (BOH)
- TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey – Tadej Pogacar (SLO), UAE Team Emirates
Tomorrow’s Stage 5 presented by Lexus from Pismo Beach to Ventura is the longest road day of the week at 136.4 miles.
The Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM UCI WorldTour race kicks off in Ventura, showcasing the world’s best women cyclists. It will run concurrently for the final three days of the men’s event, May 16-18.