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"Lost my balls today in the last few corners & ended up coming from WAY too far back in the sprint. Bit pissed I let down Etixx-QuickStep."

Photo: Etixx - Quick-Step/ Tim De Waele

MARK CAVENDISH

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TOUR OF CALIFORNIA

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14.05.2015 @ 12:19 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Etixx - Quick-Step rider Mark Cavendish finished 3rd at the end of 173.1km Stage 4 of Amgen Tour of California on Wednesday, as an attack by Daniel Oss (BMC Racing Team) with about a kilometer to go, and several corners to go in the final few hundred meters, meant the bunch arrival would be far from routine.

 

Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) won the stage, and Wouter Wippert (Drapac) was 2nd.

 

The final 18 kilometers were also far from routine as Oss and Sagan led an acceleration at the same time the last rider of the five-man original breakaway was caught. The attack was inspired by crosswinds, but Etixx - Quick-Step, know in for their skills in those conditions, helped neutralize the attack.

 

Etixx - Quick-Step then put six riders on the front with 6.6km to go in support of Cavendish, who won the first two stages and was wearing the Green Jersey. Giant-Alpecin and Tinkoff-Saxo were also trying to control the front, but the combination of Oss's late race attack and the nature of the parcours got in the way of a well organized group arrival. Still, Cavendish launched from more than 6 riders back and earned 3rd in the stage.

 

Julian Alaphilippe remains the Best Young Rider and is still 4th GC (+44"). Cavendish remains the leader of the Points Classification by a single point (40) over Sagan.

 

Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to a 173.1km Stage 5 on Thursday. There are four low category climbs, and some up-and-down. There is a predicted tailwind and a flat finish, which favors another bunch sprint.

 

"The day went OK for us, with no crashes and Hincapie Racing Team riding well with us at the front," Sport Director Brian Holm said. "As for the finish, we did the finish this morning. We went down there before the start. Nothing was surprising to us. Oss is a fast rider and he can get a gap quickly. Still, we maybe didn't do it perfectly in the final today and Cav had to come from too far back. We paid the price for it, but OK, that's cycling.

 

"He got 3rd anyway, and now we look to try again tomorrow. Today was a bit up-and-down and tomorrow will be worse. But we'll see what can happen with a motivated team that won the first two stages, as well as two 3rd places in the other two stages."

 

"Lost my balls today in the last few corners & ended up coming from WAY too far back in the sprint. Bit pissed I let down Etixx-QuickStep," Cavendish tweeted after the stage. 

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