Liquigas-Doimo rider Francesco Chicci used a well-timed acceleration to throw himself across the finish line first, winning a bunch sprint in Modesto. Close behind him was Team Saxo Bank's J.J. Haedo, taking his second runner-up finish of the Tour of California.
Most notably, however, was the third-place finish of green jersey leader Mark Cavendish, whose early charge to the line didn't hold up. Despite coming around the final turn behind only HTC-Columbia teammate Mark Renshaw, Cavendish couldn't fend off the surging Haedo and Chicci. Whether it was a disorganized leadout train or a smarter peloton, HTC-Columbia looked vulnerable in the closing kilometer as they attempted to set the Stage 1 winner up for another victory.
The peloton fought windy conditions and a touch of rain on their way from San Jose. As the group rode the flat, straight roads near Modesto, Team RadioShack attemtped to use the wind to splinter the field. They couldn't create a big enough gap, however, and the peloton eventually reformed to finish its pursuit of four breakaway riders. Lars Boom of Rabobank held out the longest, finally getting aborbed into the field around the 8-kilometer mark.
The peloton stayed together long enough over the final circuit through Modesto to ensure no change in the overall classification.
Steven Cozza (right) leads his Garmin-Transitions teammates on the way to Modesto.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Stage 4 Results
- Francesco Chicchi - Liquigas-Doimo 4:55:02
- Juan Jose Haedo - Team Saxo Bank +00:00
- Mark Cavendish - HTC-Columbia +00:00
- Theo Bos - Cerv?lo Test Team +00:00
- Jonathan Cantwell - Fly V Australia +00:00
- Alexander Kristoff - BMC Racing Team +00:00
- Ken Hanson - Team Type 1 +00:00
- Andreas Stauff - Quick Step +00:00
- Alex Candelario - Kelly Benefit Strategies +00:00
- Guillaume Boivin - Spidertech Powered by Planet Energy +00:00
- David Zabriskie - Garmin-Transitions – 18:04:35
- Michael Rogers - Team HTC-Columbia +00:04
- Levi Leipheimer - Team Radioshack +00:06
- Peter Sagan - Liquigas-Doimo +00:21
- Marc De Maar - Unitedhealthcare Presented by Maxxis +00:24
Wednesday, May 19 — 121.5 miles
A souped-up version of last year's Stage 3, this route features an early, steep climb up Sierra Road—and an opportunity ripe for a breakaway. Steady, winding climbing punctuates the stage's middle section before riders descend to the flats leading into Modesto.
? Sprint points at: Livermore, Patterson
? KOM points at: Sierra Rd., Mines Rd.