Sprinters ready to motor from Monterey

May 14, 2014
Category: Stage 4 

After a testing time trial and the mountainous Queen stage, the battle for the Visit California Sprint Jersey is expected to resume during Wednesday’s Stage 4 in more comfortable weather conditions than the nearly 100-degree temperatures the peloton endured during Stage 3 if only because the entire 102.6 mile parcours takes place on the coast. The ride from Monterey to Cambria will roll along picturesque coastline terrain and en route will include one sprint at Big Sur just over 30 miles into the stage and three Michelob Ultra King of the Mountains climbs, but nothing too strenuous (two category 4 and one category 3 climbs).

Although anything can happen in a bike race, look for the GC men to recover a bit from two hard stages while they let the sprinters have their day in the sun. Visit California Sprint Points leader Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) is clearly enjoying his visit to California and he’d like to bring the jersey home as a souvenir yet other fastmen want take the green tunic off his back. John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) came ever so close to beating Cav on Sunday’s opening stage in a photo finish in Sacramento. The speedy German will get another shot at it. Two-time Amgen Tour of California Sprint Points winner Peter Sagan would like to snatch his 11th stage win in the Golden State to get back in the thick of the sprint points battle while giving the Cannondale fanatics the occasion to waive those green rally towels and cardboard cutouts. Australian Matt Goss (Orica GreenEDGE), Norwegian Thor Hushovd (BMC) and Argentinian J.J. Haedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman) are among the swiftest that could contend for a coveted stage win.