MORRO BAY, CA – The Amgen Tour of California headed to the coast today with a finish in Morro Bay, just outside San Luis Obispo, for Stage 4 presented by Lexus.
Once again, the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team proved too much, as Fabio Jakobsen took a three-up sprint finish ahead of Belgian Jasper Philipsen (UAE Emirates) and three-time World Champion Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe). It was Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s third stage victory in three days. Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis, Solutions Credits) found himself just off the podium in fourth place.
“I had strong legs today, but also a formidable lead-out, which kept me out of the wind, protected me in those hectic final kilometers and delivered me where I needed to be for the sprint. This uphill drag to the line forced me to push hard, but I was confident and waited for the perfect moment to kick out and take another win for our team”, said Fabio after claiming his fourth success of the year.
“What makes us so successful? We are a great group of riders, all willing to sacrifice ourselves and work hard for each other”, added Fabio when being asked at the press conference about the squad’s superb run at the Tour of California. “It’s worth mentioning also that we came here in good shape and the previous wins this week gave us a lot of confidence, so we’re just riding the wave at the moment and seizing every opportunity we get.”
With a third placed finish on a stage he won in 2017, Sagan, reclaimed the green jersey.
As expected, the day was saw several breakaway attempts, but it was a group of five comprised of the Hagens Berman Axeon’s duo of Ian Garrison and current USA National Champion Jonny Brown, Roy Goldstein (Israel Cycling Academy), Finnish rider Joonas Henttala (Team Novo Nordisk), and Michael Hernandez (USA Cycling National Team) that would eventually make if off the front and held a lead for most of the 133.3-mile stage from the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to Morro Bay along the iconic coastal views of Central California’s Highway 1, which was recently reopened after a massive effort by Caltrans to repair damage from a 2017 landslide.
Hernandez would attack the group in an attempt to steal a stage win, but he would be caught with just over 5 miles to go. The effort would earn him the Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey, which has seen the shoulders of the members of the USA Cycling National Team for two fo the four stages. The team will have two riders in jerseys tomorrow with teammate and reigning U.S. U23 National Champion Alex Hoehn retaining the polka dot jersey.
The General Classification remained largely unchanged despite some late crashes into the finish. Tejay van Garderen (EF Education First Pro Cycling) retained the yellow jersey with the help of teammate Lachlan Morton, who offered up his bike late in the stage because of the crash.