Amgen Tour of California: Sir Bradley Wiggins extends lead as stage eludes Mark Cavendish
Sir Bradley Wiggins retained the yellow jersey at the Tour of California while Mark Cavendish missed out on stage four.
Last Updated: 15/05/14 7:26am
Despite the heat the 165.1-kilometre test proved to be relatively straightforward for Wiggins who sprinted hard to carve out four additional seconds at the line, pushing his advantage out to 28 seconds over Rohan Dennis at the race's half-way point.
The yellow jersey looked comfortable on the Pacific coast surrounded by Team Sky team-mates at the head of affairs, while a miscalculation from the sprinter's teams produced a surprise winner.
The day's six-man breakaway rode a shrewd race to lull the peloton into a false sense of security and it was Will Routley (Kelly Benefit Strategies) who bested his rivals in a sprint into Cambria.
Greg Daniel (Bissell) and Kevin De Mesmaeker (Novo Nordisk) rounded out a surprise podium, while pre-stage favourite Mark Cavendish had to be content with seventh place, leading the pack across the line 1:17 back.
The Manxman's Omega Pharma - Quick-Step team were among those pushing hard in the closing stages as a tense chase ensued, yet the peloton would ultimately run out of road. Wiggins made every metre count and his vigilance saw him eke out a handful of valuable seconds on Dennis (Garmin-Sharp).
Cruise along the coast
On another boiling day in the Golden State six men escaped to form the day's breakaway along Highway 1 leaving Monterey.
The gap spun out to over four minutes on a stage which hugged the coast, passing through Big Sur and down to Cambria.
The sprint stage brought the teams of Omega Pharma - Quick-Step and Giant-Shimano to the fore to set the pace for their respective fast men, with Team Sky also contributing to the chase collective.
A strong and motivated breakaway had other ideas for the day and provided a shock result as stars aligned and the move stayed clear.