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“I knew this finish from a few years ago and I knew it was technical with a little uphill so I wanted to give it a go."

Photo: Trek Factory Racing






14.05.2015 @ 12:24 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Amgen Tour of California ended with a bunch sprint for stage four after the peloton played a yo-yo game with the day’s five-man breakaway, which was never let a long lead for the 173-kilometer race.


At 15 kilometers to go the inevitable catch was made and the sprinters’ teams began a fierce jostle for position.  The finish was tricky with a few sharp corners leading into a short but stiff uphill to the line.



Jasper Stuyven was given the chance to contest the sprint finish.


In a reversal of roles, Danny van Poppel led the fast legs of Jasper Stuyven around the final corner in prime position, but no one could match the burst of speed from Peter Sagan (Tinkoff Saxo) who came from behind and grabbed the stage win.  Jasper Stuyven sprinted to sixth place.


“I knew this finish from a few years ago and I knew it was technical with a little uphill so I wanted to give it a go,” explained Stuyven. “I was feeling good yesterday, and yeah, it didn’t completely work out as I wanted. I was in perfect position and Danny did a perfect job but in the last corner I was in the right side of his wheel and then I had to quickly switch to the left for when he pulled off. I think I lost a bit of momentum there. I was hoping for a podium, but it was a really good team effort and I was happy to be back in the mix.”



Trek Factory Racing mastered a fine-tuned finale as Markel Irizar and Stijn Devolder performed the grunt work before Danny van Poppel led Stuyven into the final meters.  Although the end result did not reward the solid, cohesive effort, it showed the team is on the right path for the rest of the week, explained Markel Irizar:


“Yesterday I was not feeling good at all, but today I had good feelings so I told the guys that we could do something in the sprint. It was me and Stijn before Danny and Jasper and I think we did a really good job. I pulled into the wind until 2kms to go to keep the guys safe, and then Stijn did a really good job. In the corner we were first, and okay, in the end we were only sixth, but the attitude and morale is good in the team and we are going well, it looks good for the rest of the week.”


Haimar Zubeldia, Riccardo Zoidl and Matthew Busche all finished safely in the same time as the peloton and their overall classification remained intact. All three sit 47 seconds behind race leader Toms Skujins (Hincapie Racing).



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