San Francisco - Reigning champion Peter
Sagan extended his record for Tour of California stage victories on Wednesday,
bagging a 15th win in the American cycling showpiece on a gruelling fourth
The Slovak Tinkoff rider bided his time
before winning a sprint finish at the famed Laguna Seca motorsport circuit in
Monterey, his second triumph of the 2016 race after a victory in Sunday's first
The 2015 world champion had effectively
given up hope of retaining his Tour of California crown after a disastrous
third stage which left him with no chance of challenging in the general
But Sagan took consolation with victory in
Wednesday's fourth stage, a 134.8 mile (217 kilometre) run from Morro Bay up
California's scenic Pacific Coast Highway before its climax at Laguna Seca.
The 26-year-old took the line honours with
a time of 5hrs 16min 33sec, ahead of Belgium's Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing)
and Australia's Nathan Haas (Dimension Data).
France's Julian Alaphilippe of the
Etixx-Quick Step team strengthened his grip on the yellow jersey after
finishing in 10th place.
Alaphilippe leads the general
classification with an aggregate time of 18:06:17, 22 seconds clear of American
rider Peter Stetina of the Trek-Segafredo team.
Lotto's George Bennett remains in third
Stage five on Thursday sees the peloton
start in the rolling hills of northern California's wine country before winding
its way to Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Leading results and standings from the 134.8-mile (217 kilometer) fourth stage of the Tour of California on Wednesday:
Peter Sagan (SVK/Tinkoff) 5hr 16min 33sec, 2. Greg Van Avermaet
(BEL/BMC) same time, 3. Nathan Haas (AUS/Dimension Data) s.t., 4. Brent
Bookwalter (USA/BMC Racing) s.t., 5. Tao Geoghegan-Hart (GBR/Axeon
Hagens Berman) s.t., 6. Neilson Powless (USA/Axeon Hagens Berman) s.t,
7. Rohan Dennis (AUS/BMC) s.t., 8. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (BEL/Katusha)
s.t., 9. Rob Britton (CAN/Rally Cycling) s.t., 10. Julian Alaphilippe
(FRA/Etixx-Quick Step) s.t.
Alaphilippe (FRA/Etixx-Quick Step) 18:06:17 sec, 2. Peter Stetina
(USA/Trek-Segafredo) at 22 sec, 3. George Bennett (NZL/Lotto NL-Jumbo)
37, 4. Brent Bookwalter (USA/BMC Racing Team) 40, 5. Neilson Powless
(USA/Axeon Hagens Berman) 43, 6. Laurens Ten Dam (NED/Team
Giant-Alpecin) 49, 7. Rohan Dennis (AUS/BMC Racing Team) 1:01, 8. Samuel
Sanchez (ESP/BMC Racing Team) 1:01, 9. Rob Britton (CAN/Rally Cycling)
1:12, 10. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/Trek-Segafredo) 1:15