Fabio Jakobsen sprinted to victory on the fourth stage of the Tour of California on Wednesday as overnight leader Tejay van Garderen clung onto the yellow jersey after an incident-packed day of racing.
The Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider held on to finish first after a fierce late burst from Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) and Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) in the closing stretch of the picturesque 214.5 kilometre run from Laguna Seca Raceway to Morro Bay.
It was Deceuninck-QuickStep’s third straight stage victory after wins for Remi Cavagna on Tuesday and Kasper Asgreen on Monday.
Jakobsen’s sprint to victory was the final act of a dramatic stage which saw race leader van Garderen’s serene progress jolted by a series of mishaps.
The EF Education First rider looked comfortable with around six miles remaining of a stage which had passed by Big Sur and some of the most spectacular scenery on the California coast.
But the 30-year-old was sent flying after his chain snapped, forcing him to complete the stage on Australian team-mate Lachlan Morton’s bike.
With blood seeping out of a gash on van Garderen’s leg, the American then lost more valuable time after taking a wrong turn and was then held up by a mass crash near the finish.
Van Garderen finally crossed around 55 seconds behind the leaders, initially leaving Denmark’s Asgreen in the overall lead with three stages remaining.
But Asgreen’s ranking at the top of the general classification was later wiped out by race officials, allowing van Garderen to retain the yellow jersey.
“The mass crash near the finish of stage 4 was just outside the 3km to go. The commissaires have decided to treat the crash such that all riders affected by the incident and the road blockage will receive field time,” Tour of California officials said in a statement.
The revised classification means van Garderen leads Gianni Moscon by six seconds, with Asgreen seven seconds back heading into stage 5.
Tour of California 2019 – stage 4 results (Raceway Laguna Seca – Morro Bay):
|1||Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|2||Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates)|
|3||Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|4||Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis)|
|5||Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data)|
|6||Davide Ballerini (Astana)|
|7||Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Merida)|
|8||Kristoffer Halvorsen (Team Ineos)|
|9||Danny van Poppel (Jumbo-Visma)|
|10||Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
Tour of California 2019 – general classification after stage 4:
|1||Tejay Van Garderen (EF Education First)|
|2||Gianni Moscon (Team Ineos)|
|3||Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|4||Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)|
|5||Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|6||Rob Britton (Rally)|
|7||Jonas Gregaard (Astana)|
|8||David de la Cruz (Team Ineos)|
|9||Felix Großschartner (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|10||George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma)|