2017 Stage 4 Highlights Presented by Visit California
Today’s riders experienced wind at 15 to 20 miles per hour under partly cloudy skies. The Breakaway group led 98 of 99 miles. It was comprised of Gavin Mannion (United Healthcare), Lennard Hofstede (Team Sunweb), Evan Huffman (Rally Cycling), Mathias Le Turnier (Cofidis, Solutions Credits) and Rob Britton (Rally Cycling).
The King of the Mountain climb up Balcom Canyon was unique, with a grade of more than 11% and a distance of nearly .7 miles. Daniel Jaramillo (United Healthcare), the KOM leader, and Ben Wolfe, yesterday’s most courageous rider, remained in the back of the pack along with 20 other riders.
Teams Katusha and Trek Segafredo led the chase after the Grimes Canyon sprint point, trying to close the gap with the breakaway group. But with more than 20 miles to go, the gap held at 3 minutes 40 seconds. The wind helped both groups to race at more than 30 miles per hour.
With a little more than 12 miles left, Jack Baurer (Quick Step Floors) took the front of the peleton. As they neared 6 miles, Quick Step Floors had six riders at the front.
With less than 2 miles to go, it became apparent that the breakaway group might not be caught. The peleton attacked, but today was not their day.
At one point they enjoyed a nine minute advantage. The peleton never caught them. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) led them across 13 seconds later.
“Basically we had to make an agreement with Gavin (Mannion, UHC) that we were going to let him take some of the points so he would work with us….in the end it worked out for us obviously winning the stage,” Huffman said, “but it was a hard day.”
“We pretty much had to ride a flat out team time trial all the way to the finish.”