Stage 4 Play by Play17:04:14 After a day in the mountains, Stage 5, sponsored by Rabobank, will be a flat 134.1-mile ride from Visalia to Paso Robles. It's the longest stage of this year's race and will include two Herbalife Sprints before the final mad dash for the line. Sprinters have ruled the last two stages and they'll be back to provide thrills again tomorrow. Join us at 9:30 AM PT for the pre-race show hosted by Frankie Andreu & JoE Silva with live race coverage beginning at 10 AM PT. Thanks for riding with us. I'm Rick Scott sending you peace, love & cycling bliss from Clovis.
16:56:27 Finally the golden California sunshine smiled upon the 2009 Amgen Tour of California as Stage 4 rolled off from Merced in front of an enormous crowd under dazzling blue skies on a 115.8-mile route that went into the snow-capped Sierra Mountains on the way to Clovis where an equally robust throng of spectators were treated to a thrilling high-speed sprint finish. Before that, a three-man escape consisting of Serge Pauwels (Cervelo Test Team), Tyler Hamilton (Rock Racing) and Jason McCartney (Saxo Bank) spent most of the day in a break that covered five California Travel & Tourism climbs and two Herbalife Sprints. But the teams of the sprinters were not to be denied. Team Columbia-Highroad launched speedy British sprinter Mark Cavendish who managed to barely eclipse arch rival Tom Boonen (Quick Step) in a photo finish to win the stage. Overall race leader Levi Leipheimer (Astana) finished safely in the bunch and the top of the General Classification is unchanged.
16:03:21 Levi Leipheimer (Astana) safely crosses in the field and retains the yellow leader's jersey. No change at the top of the overall leader's board.
16:02:09 Boonen just missed it. It was indeed Cavendish by an couple inches.
16:01:16 It might be a photo finish as it was a bit too close to call.
16:00:48 It's all Columbia-Highroad as Cavendish takes the win!
16:00:09 Rabobank's Pieter Weening has jumped off the front solo trying to steal the day. Less than 1 km to go.
15:59:14 Cervelo did no work in the chase and should be fresh for the sprint.
15:58:51 Cervelo may have timed it perfectly again as they did yesterday when their Thor Hushhovd took the win.
15:57:59 The catch has been made and Cervelo Test Team is up front in the mix.
15:56:34 The arrowhead at the front of the peloton is looking ominous for our three breakaway riders. They are doomed!
15:55:02 10 seconds is the gap. 5 km to the finish.
15:54:37 Quick Step and Garmin-Slipstream are at the front of the field.
15:54:11 The gap is 15 seconds.
15:53:29 4 miles left in Stage 4.
15:52:32 A sea of yellow awaits the riders in Clovis.
15:52:09 111 miles into the stage for the break. The finish line comes at 115.8 miles.
15:51:15 The peloton is right behind them on these long straight roads.
15:50:50 Hamilton driving the break. Can they survive?
15:49:28 109.6 miles into the race for the field.
15:48:26 10 km to the finish for the break.
15:47:47 The Versus braodcast team of Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen and Craig Hummer are all picking Mark Cavendish for the stage win today. The gap is 50 seconds.
15:45:54 The break is brazenly and tenaciously trying to stay away.
15:44:54 The gap is holding at 1:05.
15:43:31 Long thin line at the front of the peloton.
15:42:20 The trio in the break continue to share the workload, but their chance of survival is not looking good...the gap is up to 1:05.
15:40:14 It's about 70 degrees here at the finish. Simply spectacular weather in Clovis.
15:38:38 One minute is the gap.
15:37:51 Garmin-Slipstream, Quick Step and Columbia-Highroad continue to muscle a single-file chase.
15:36:43 1:05 is the gap.
15:36:11 Pauwels (Cervelo Test Team), Hamilton (Rock Racing) and McCartney (Saxo Bank) are looking to be doomed after a long break. Their advantage is 1:15.
15:34:42 The pictures are simply...dare I write...majestic. Yes, the views are majestic of the field flying along with the snow-capped Sierra Mountains in the backdrop amidst brilliant blue skies and sun. The gap is 1:20.
15:31:09 The road narrows up ahead to one lane for a short section.
15:30:33 Got a great shot of the yellow jersey on Astana's Levi Leipheimer. It's been covered up the last few days due to the nasty weather condition.
15:28:46 If you want to connect with our video commentators, Frankie Andreu & Tennessee JoE Silva, email them at email@example.com.
15:27:28 25 km to go for the break.
15:26:57 The field is going over a bump on the road on their way into town. Tomorrow is a long flat stage. The gap is 2:15.
15:24:08 Ever wonder what our title sponsor Amgen does? Amgen discovers, develops and delivers innovative and vital biotechnology medicines that over the years have helped millions of people around the world fight cancer, kidney disease and other serious illnesses. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe, effective medicines from the lab to manufacturing plant to patient.
15:23:45 2:25 for the break.
15:22:15 The gap is shrinking fast. 2:30
15:19:48 Columbia-Highroad, Garmin-Slipstream and Quick Step still driving the case of the three-man break.
15:18:43 No finishing circuits today, but it should be one heck of a drag race if the break gets caught as it's nothing but straight flat roads here in Clovis.
15:15:48 Hamilton received a bottle from his team car.
15:12:22 Gap is down to 3:20. The field is at mile 91 of 115.8.
15:11:25 Garmin-Slipstream also has a man upfront fueling the chase with Columbia-Highroad and Quick Step. Their sprinter is Tyler Farrar, who wore the yellow leader's jersey in this race for a day last year before retiring with illness.
15:09:06 Ever wonder what our title sponsor Amgen does? Amgen discovers, develops and delivers innovative and vital biotechnology medicines that over the years have helped millions of people around the world fight cancer, kidney disease and other serious illnesses. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe, effective medicines from the lab to manufacturing plant to patient (YOU).
15:08:44 The gap holding at 3:30.
15:06:35 The gap is still around 3:30 as the riders are back on a speedy descent moving closer to the Fresno County line.
15:03:21 Jason McCartney (Saxo Bank), Serge Pauwels (Cervelo test Team) and Tyler Hamilton (Rock Racing) are being chased down by the peloton during Stage 4 of the Amgen Tour of California. Rick Scott here at the finish in Clovis where a massive crowd has gathered to welcome the race as a new host city. Stay with us for the exciting finish coming up in about an hour.
14:59:54 Nydam is on his way to hospital.
14:58:41 Colavita/Sutter Home's Andy Guptill is receiving a wheel after a flat.
14:57:38 Race radio called a BMC rider down. It's Scott Nydam. Medical is with him.
14:55:19 The gap continues to shrink and is at 3:30. Three Columbia-Highroad riders are at the front of the field.
14:52:36 Got word that Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly) crashed on the descent, but he's back up on the bike.
14:51:09 The Columbia-Highroad riders driving the pursuit are Michael Barry and Thomas Lovkvist.
14:50:17 The peloton continues their rapid descent of the day's fifth and final KOM.
14:48:31 It's all yellow & black at the front with two Columbia-Highroad riders dig, dig, digging...
14:46:21 Team Columbia-Highroad and Quick Step are driving the catch. Do I smell Cavendish vs. Boonen at the finish?
14:43:19 The sprinters made it over the climbs and they will absolutely adore the flat run to the finish. They will want their day today. The gap is 4:30.
14:41:54 Snow is starting to disappear from the sides of the roads for the escape, who are heading towards flatter roads. After the descent, it's primarily flat the rest of the way into Clovis, which is radiant with glorious sunshine. The field is 75 miles into the stage.
14:38:09 Jason McCartney (Saxo Bank) is stretching his legs up ahead in the break to shake out any cramps. Time gap is 4:40.
14:36:27 The three-man break is still on the descent. They're being carefully while keeping their speed up to not lose any of their advantage. The field is at 71.5 miles out of the 115.8 they'll do today.
14:33:53 Amgen Tour of California apparel and collectibles are hot items out on tour and you can get in on the action as well. We have new offerings and stylish designs available this year including jerseys, t-shirts, jackets, sweatshirts, hats, socks, cowbells and more. Cast your eyes in this direction www.amgentourofcaliforniastore.com. Wednesday is Ladies Day and we've got a special today on ladies merchandise. Enjoy a 25% discount by entering the code ladies09 at checkout.
14:33:11 We're sending our best for a quick recovery to Bissell's Omer Kem, who fractured his pelvis in a crash yesterday.
14:32:01 LIVESTRONG Alley here in Clovis has decorated the finish beautifully.
14:29:32 Mancebo dashes off the front of the field to pick up more points to add to his California Travel & Tourism KOM lead.
14:28:06 More wildly costumed fans are ushering the peloton up the KOM.
14:27:14 Team Columbia-Highroad drives the peloton. They want to pull the break back to let their man, Mark Cavendish, have a shot at the finishing sprint. The gap is 5:35.
14:25:36 The Grim Reaper is haunting the peloton on the climb.
14:25:07 The leaders are over the final KOM and are stuffing newspaper up their jerseys to provide some protection and warmth for the descent.
14:24:54 The leaders are over the final KOM and are stuffing newspaper up their jerseys to provide some protection and warmth for the descent.
14:23:53 The football-helmeted elk horn man is running alongside with the peloton. He's wearing an orange Texas jersey.
14:22:42 The roads are chalked at the request of the state. Please don't use paint. Thank you!
14:20:40 Now a black & yellow clad devil wearing a "Live Clean" cape is taunting the breakers on the climb.
14:19:32 The climb must be getting steep as the trio in the break are up and out of the saddle fighting their way up. More snow decorates the sides of the road.
14:18:26 Ah...been waiting for this guy...the fan who wears a yellow football helmet with immense elk horns is running up the climb next to the break.
14:16:30 The final California Travel & Tourism KOM is a category 3 climb to 3650 feet on Crane Valley Road. It's a 5-mile climb.
14:14:57 5 km to the final KOM summit for the field.
14:14:10 McCartney (Saxo Bank), Hamilton (Rock Racing) & Pauwels (Cervelo test Team) took the points and time bonuses (3 secs., 2 secs. & 1 second) at the Herbalife Sprint at Oakhurst.
14:09:59 The gap is over six minutes. Vande Velde was involved in the recent crash and is receiving attention from the race doctor.
14:08:51 Cyclists in Clovis can take in California's agricultural heartland from the Clovis Old Town Bike Trail. In June, they'll host the Climb to Kaiser to the top of the Kaiser Pass, which Bicycling Magazine rates to be one of the ten toughest rides in the U.S.
14:05:58 Christian Vande Velde looks to be in pain back near his team car.
14:05:08 The results of the fourth California Travel & Tourism KOM are: Hamilton (Rock Racing), McCartney (Saxo Bank), Pauwels (Cervelo Test Team), Mancebo (Rock Racing) and Chadwick (Rock Racing).
14:03:24 6:15 advantage for the break.
14:02:59 McCartney (Saxo Bank), Pauwels (Cervelo Test Team) and Hamilton (Rock Racing) are the three men up the road in Stage 4 of the 4th Amgen Tour of California. Thanks for joining us for live coverage. I'm Rick Scott, your eyes and ears at the finish in Clovis where the town has pulled out all the stops to welcome this race for the first time. In fact, I rode past a banner this morning advocating people to take the day off from work to view the race today. With the huge crowd already gathered and growing, I think they did...
13:58:39 5:30 is the new gap. The crash obviously slowed the field.
13:57:55 Landis (OUCH) has rejoined the bunch.
13:55:54 The crash happened towards the back of the peloton.
13:55:19 Both Kirchen and Friere are being transported to a local hospital.
13:53:32 It looks like Kirchen is out and it's not looking good for Freire.
13:52:57 Colavita/Sutter Homes' Aaron Olson was involved, but he's back on the bike. The Rabobank rider is Oscar Freire, who is still on the ground.
13:51:16 Crash and Landis is in it. Also riders from Rabobank, Quick Step and Team Columbia's Kim Kirchen.
13:50:09 Sacramento police have found Lance Armstrong's time trial bike.
13:49:39 The gap is 4 minutes.
13:48:08 The field is at the bottom of the descent.
13:47:29 Race radio is calling for caution on the descent as sand is on the yellow lines.
13:46:33 Rabobank has sent some men to the front of the peloton to set the pace with Astana.
13:45:11 The next challenge comes at the 64.1-mile mark with the second Herbalife Sprint of the day. Mancebo (Rock Racing) leads that competition as well.
13:43:21 The field is at the top of the fourth KOM.
13:42:31 The day's final California Travel & Tourism KOM almost had to be removed from the stage today due to ice on the road. Race officials checked it out carefully before the start of the stage and agreed the road was now safe for the riders.
13:40:41 Plenty of snow blanketing the KOM summit. Race radio is back and they are sending warning of sand on the road up ahead.
13:38:56 No one in the break is a threat to Leipheimer's GC lead. McCartney is best placed at 14:21. Pauwels is down 26:18 and Hamilton is 30:02 in arrears.
13:37:40 4 minutes is the gap.
13:37:14 The break are about to summit the day's fourth KOM.
13:36:29 The current gap is 3:45.
13:36:07 1 km to the KOM for the break.
13:35:11 It's 50 degrees and sunny today, but it's certainly much colder up in the mountains.
13:34:06 Kim Kirchen is back at his Team Columbia-Highroad car.
13:32:57 53 miles into Stage 4 from Merced to Clovis. Total mileage today will be 115.8 miles.
13:29:10 The scenery up in the Sierra Mountains is spectacular at the moment. Simply gorgeous. Perfect place to picnic, thus the peloton is grabbing their feedbags.
13:27:02 The advantage for the trio in the escape is 3:40. Sorry, but we lost race radio again...sigh...
13:24:45 Ever wonder what our title sponsor Amgen does? Amgen discovers, develops and delivers innovative and vital biotechnology medicines that over the years have helped millions of people around the world fight cancer, kidney disease and other serious illnesses. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe, effective medicines from the lab to manufacturing plant to patient (YOU).
13:24:26 The next KOM comes after the feedzone at mile 54.2. It's a category 3 climb at the Madera County Line at 3254 feet that is 2.6 miles in length.
13:20:56 Pauwels was 3rd on the third California Travel & Tourism KOM of the day. From the field, Mancebo scooped up the final point on offer.
13:19:34 There's quite a bit of snow on the sides of the road on the climb. Crews had to get out there to clear the roads to make sure it would be safe for the riders today.
13:17:41 The break has gone over the second KOM with Hamilton taking maximum points, probably to make sure McCartney didn't get them as he's close to Hamilton's teammate, Mancebo, in the KOM competition.
13:08:37 Astana is still setting tempo at the front. The third KOM comes at 46.7 miles. It's another category 4 climb on Highway 49 that summits at 2912 feet. It's 2.3 miles long.
13:04:23 We're just under 44 miles into the 115.8 on tap for today.
13:02:24 The break is down to 3 men: Hamilton, McCartney and Pauwels. Mancebo added to his KOM lead before pulling the pin.
13:00:11 The results of the second California Travel & Tourism KOM are Mancebo, Hamilton, Pauwels and McCartney.
12:58:21 Mancebo has fallen off the break. Pop!!!
12:57:37 2 minutes for the break.
12:55:50 To remind you, the four-man break consists of Tyler Hamilton and Francisco Mancebo (Rock Racing), Jason McCartney (Saxo Bank) and Serge Pauwels (Cervelo Test Team). They are 1 km from the KOM summit on Highway 140.
12:53:32 Jonathan Garcia (BMC), John Murphy (OUCH) and Brad Huff (Jelly Belly) have abandoned.
12:50:13 Less than 5 km to the second California Travel & Tourism KOM of the day, which is a category 4 climb (2464 feet) two miles in length.
12:48:17 Fast and furious start to the race today. Got comments and questions for commentators Frankie Andreu & Tennessee JoE Silva? Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell them Rick Scott sent you.
12:45:57 The gap is 1:40 for the break.
12:45:24 The Herbalife Sprint points and time bonuses (3 secs., 2 secs. and 1 second) went to Mancebo, Hamilton and McCartney.
12:43:41 1 km to the sprint for the field.
12:43:25 Mancebo will take the points as he leads the Herbalfe Sprint competition AND the KOM competition.
12:42:00 1 km until the sprint.
12:41:06 The road is still going up as Astana rides point single file at the front of the field.
12:40:19 The gap is 1:35 for the four-man break.
12:39:59 Amgen Tour of California apparel and collectibles are hot items out on tour and you can get in on the action as well. We have new offerings and stylish designs available this year including jerseys, t-shirts, jackets, sweatshirts, hats, socks, cowbells and more. Cast your eyes in this direction www.amgentourofcaliforniastore.com. Wednesday is Ladies Day and we've got a special today on ladies merchandise. Enjoy a 25% discount by entering the code ladies09 at checkout.
12:39:36 At mile 36.3, the riders will speed through the first Herbalife Sprint of the day in Mariposa.
12:38:32 Heard that police found one of the Astana bikes that was stolen in Sacramento last weekend after the Prologue. It belonged to Jani Brajkovic. Still no word on Lance's one-of-a-kind Trek time trial bike.
12:36:28 Rick Scott peppering the keys in an attempt to bring you all the live action today of Stage 4 at the Amgen Tour of California. Great to have you with us.
12:34:56 Leipheimer is riding glued to Armstrong's wheel. Yesterday they touched wheels, which sent the race leader to the pavement.
12:33:43 The gap should open while the field yields to the call of nature...it's up to 1:15.
12:33:00 Nature break in the field. Hamilton is giving Pauwels an earful for some reason. The break has 40 seconds.
12:30:41 Astana and Rabobank are all over the front of the peloton. We're 50 kms into the stage.
12:29:44 The break is down to four men: Mancebo, Hamilton, McCartney and Serge Pauwels (Cervelo Test Team). Their gap is 12 seconds.
12:28:20 Mancebo took maximum KOM points on the first of five climbs today adding to his lead in the California Travel & Tourism KOM competition.
12:26:52 In the break are McCartney, Hamilton, Landis, Thomas Lovkvist (Team Columbia-Highroad), Francisco Mancebo (Rock Racing), a Cervelo Test Team rider and ?
12:24:03 The gap is holding at 10 seconds as the leaders are less than 1 km to the summit of the KOM.
12:22:51 Just over 27 miles into the stage and some riders are suffering on this category 3 climb.
12:21:50 The gap is 10 seconds.
12:21:37 The riders attempting to bridge have been caught by the field, which is staffed by Astana.
12:20:02 The group off the front is now seven.
12:18:56 Four riders are chasing the six men up the road, including Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank).
12:17:06 Tyler Hamilton (Rock Racing) and a Team Type 1 rider join the move at the front. Six riders are off the front with a small advantage.
12:15:26 Here comes Landis and a Cervelo rider to join McCartney. They're 5 km from the summit of the KOM.
12:14:25 McCartney has pulled away alone again.
12:13:35 McCartney has jetted alone, but the field reacts and nails him back.
12:12:57 We're at mile 24.5 and the break has been caught.
12:12:34 Chechu Rubiera (Astana) has joined the break to police it for teammate Leipheimer.
12:11:25 Five riders have escaped the group. Hincapie is there along with Vande Velde, Jason McCartney (Saxo Bank), Rory Sutherland (OUCH) and a rider from Team Type 1.
12:08:22 Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) attempted to get into a move, but that was attentively marked by Chris Horner (Astana).
12:06:52 The road is starting to tilt up...
12:05:56 Bradley White (OUCH) is receiving a rear wheel.
12:04:04 At the front, still lots of action from riders trying to get away. Four men have opened a small gap. Caught again..
12:02:28 Phil Southerland of Team Type 1 has also packed for home.
12:00:50 Victor Hugo Pena (Rock Racing) has abandoned. Wonder if he crashed earlier today...
11:59:55 Dominique Rollin (Cervelo Test Team) is trying to get something going at the front. He won Stage 4 last year and went on to win the Herbalife Sprint competition.
11:58:21 A mixed bunch of 10 or so riders are trying to establish a new break.
11:57:39 We're 18.8 miles into the stage. 97+ miles to go.
11:56:48 It took a major effort from Menzies to drag Landis up to the now aborted break. Nice effort by Menzies.
11:55:50 Landis and Mathias Frank (BMC) attempted to get away, but the whole break has been reabsorbed.
11:54:14 Team Columbia-Highroad has sent a rider up to the break.
11:53:42 Landis has joined the break, which is only 8 seconds ahead of the field.
11:52:09 Floyd Landis and Karl Menzies of OUCH are chasing the break.
11:51:20 A Columbia-Highroad rider has called for the team car.
11:49:15 The gap is 25 seconds for the leaders.
11:48:39 The chasers have been sucked back into the peloton while four men remain off the front.
11:48:05 David Kemp of Fly V Australia has abandoned. Yes, kids, we've got race radio again.
11:47:17 The break is up 30 seconds while the chasers are 15 seconds ahead of the field.
11:46:19 The break soldiers on with three riders chasing.
11:45:13 Carlos Sastre (Cervelo Test Team) is getting a wheel after a puncture.
11:43:25 The four rides are 12 miles into the stage with a gap of 15 seconds.
11:42:17 Jelly Belly's Matthew Crane has hitched onto O'Grady and Nydam as has Colavita/Sutter Homes' Davide Frattini.
11:40:10 The first California Travel & Tourism KOM comes on Highway 140, a category 3 climb that rises 2276 feet over 6.5 miles.
11:38:11 The riders are on narrow farm roads, which are a bit wet and muddy on the edges.
11:37:31 Nydam is away stretching the gap and has a Saxo Bank rider with him It looks like Stuart O'Grady. It is...
11:36:17 It's Scott Nydam (BMC) who is off the front. He won the KOM jersey in last year's race. Nydam is a frequent training partner of Levi Leipheimer, both of whom reside in Santa Rosa.
11:34:59 Pena has rejoined the back of the pack. At the front, a BMC rider takes off solo.
11:33:18 At the head of the race, still a bunch of riders are aggressively trying to separate themselves from the field.
11:32:21 Rock Racing's Victor Hugo Pena is back receiving care from chief race doctor, Dr. Ramin Modabber.
11:31:17 Saxo Bank still at the front with a Jelly Belly rider. Jelly Belly obviously wants to be in the mix today.
11:30:16 A Saxo Bank rider flies off the front after tapping a Team Columbia-Highroad rider on the back as if saying "Let's go."
11:28:28 A few Garmin-Slipstream riders are riding through the cars as Tom Danielson had flatted and is being led back to the group.
11:27:01 Now a Colavita/Sutter Home rider gives it a go, but he was caught quickly.
11:25:51 It was Nick Reistad (Jelly Belly) who was off the front, but he's been reeled back. Plenty of jockeying going on at the moment.
11:23:47 After George Hincapie (Team Columbia-Highroad) assumed the front, a different Jelly Belly rider escaped the peloton alone.
11:22:37 The Jelly Belly rider has not gone far as riders have linked up behind him single file.
11:18:30 A Jelly Belly has launched from the start.
11:18:08 And the real racing has begun.
11:15:43 Well kids, here we go again. Just learned we're without race radio or GPS and will be without them for quite awhile today. At least we've got video...
11:13:49 Ivan Basso is riding alongside Armstrong. The two rivals are having a friendly chat.
11:12:36 Lance's Astana jersey is hidden under his black & yellow LIVESTRONG vest. Saw the LIVESTRONG Army here in Clovis this morning. They'll be chalking up the finishing area as they have done in every finishing city.
11:09:53 Levi's yellow jersey is a buried under his Astana vest this morning.
11:05:34 We're underway. The peloton is pedaling leisurely through Merced. Many have already stripped down to shorts.
10:59:05 After the roll off, the neutral section is 5.8 miles long.
10:58:33 The riders are lined up at the start at Merced. They're bundled up, but I'm sure they are loving the sunshine after riding three consecutive days in the rain.
10:54:00 The roads were mostly dry, but there were still plenty of wet sections that were caked in dirt and debris from the rains. The muck creates havoc for the mechanics as it causes flats and mechanicals.
10:50:58 I was able to get out for a ride this morning in Clovis. It was only 39 degrees, but the air was pristine fresh. The roads here at the finish in Clovis are pancake flat and straight. If the sprinters can get over the climbs, they will love the fast run into the finish.
10:47:23 The stage will start in Merced, which is home to one of the state's newest University of California campuses. Bishop's on the Square, a great vantage point for spectators, is popular with the local cycling community and offers bike racks in the back for guests.
10:43:08 Ever wonder what our title sponsor Amgen does? Amgen discovers, develops and delivers innovative and vital biotechnology medicines that over the years have helped millions of people around the world fight cancer, kidney disease and other serious illnesses. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe, effective medicines from the lab to manufacturing plant to patient (YOU).
10:38:34 Amgen Tour of California apparel and collectibles are hot items out on tour and you can get in on the action as well. We have new offerings and stylish designs available this year including jerseys, t-shirts, jackets, sweatshirts, hats, socks, cowbells and more. Cast your eyes in this direction www.amgentourofcaliforniastore.com. Wednesday is Ladies Day and we've got a special today on ladies merchandise. Enjoy a 25% discount by entering the code ladies09 at checkout.
10:23:28 Today's brand new stage welcomes Merced and Clovis as Amgen Tour of California host cities and introduces the peloton to the grandiose Sierra Mountains. Although Stage 4 has two Herbalife Sprints to contest, the climbers will assume the starring role while battling over five California Travel & Tourism KOMs on the consistently hilly and technical terrain in breathtaking mountain scenery. Spectators can enjoy watching the gladiators joust on Highway 140, three times on Highway 49 and on Crane Valley Road. The finish is in Old Town Clovis, which showcases the beauty of Central California.
10:15:57 Good morning and welcome back to the 2009 Amgen Tour of California. I'm Rick Scott at the finish of Stage 4 in Clovis, which is a hop, skip and a jump from Fresno. Majestic is the word of the day. Say it with me, kids. "Majestic." We've got cloudless blue skies as the golden California sun is finally shining brightly drying the roads. The majestic snow-capped Sierra Mountains loom on the horizon as the riders will face five, yes, FIVE California Travel & Tourism King of the Mountains climbs along with a pair of Herbalife Sprints on a route that departs from Merced and travels 115.8 miles. Live coverage begins at 11 AM PT with Astana's Levi Leipheimer cloaked in the yellow leader's jersey in pursuit of his third consecutive Amgen Tour of California victory.