Amgen Tour of California, Stage 4
Monterey, CA. –May 14, 2014–By Jim Freibert
Team Sky – 21st Century Fox’s Bradley Wiggins is still the overall leader of the Amgen Tour of California after 13 hours 53 minutes 51 seconds of racing in the last 4 days.
Garmin’s Rohan Dennis of Australia is 28 seconds back, and 3rd place overall is Tiago Machado of Portugal racing for NetApp, back one minute 9 seconds.
But the real story of the day was Will Routley, King of the Mountain’s leader who looked like the freshest rider in today’s long break, winning not only ALL three KOM’s, but also Stage 4’s final sprint.
On a normal morning in Monterey you might hear seals barking near their world class Aquarium. But at the start this Wednesday morning everyone knew a bike race had taken over with gridlock for several blocks in any direction from the start to California’s Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway.
From 9 AM, until noon, ten minutes after the 125 men left the center of Monterey, a race dubbed “the most beautiful” stage, made driving in Monterey “most difficult.”
When the racers went South, any challenges that the course lacked (and it had plenty), were more than made up for by record breaking heat. Officially 102.6 miles in temperatures from 85, in the shade, to 100+ degrees fahrenheit in the sun.
To stay cool,Team Sky wore mesh Rapha jerseys you could see through like a screen door.
The six-man breakaway held off the field to finish the rolling 102-mile race in 3 hours 48 minutes and 37 seconds.
One minute and 17 seconds behind the breakaway’s finish – Mark Cavendish solidified his position in the sprinters Jersey competition by beating Peter Sagan, and Matthew Goss over the line.
Another young American, former World Champion, Taylor Phinney finished, 10th today, just behind the sprint specialists, proving his value as an all-rounder, as he was also third in Monday’s individual time-trial.
But by virtue of more high placings, Routley “leads” the Sprinters competition, for now, even though he and Cavendish both have 19 points.
For the KOM competition Routley has no close second, with more points than his next two challengers combined.
Tomorrow, Thursday’s Stage 5 will be another rolling race departing from Pismo Beach, then going 107 miles/173 kilometers through more of California’s Wine Country to our Gold Coast, finishing in Santa Barbara, back along the Pacific Ocean.