Cycling

Huffman wins Tour of California Stage 4

Evan Huffman (Getty)
Evan Huffman (Getty)

Los Angeles - Unheralded American Evan Huffman won on Wednesday's fourth stage of the Tour of California between Santa Barbara and Santa Clarita while Poland's Rafal Majka retained the yellow jersey as overall leader.

The 27-year-old Huffman won the 159.5km stage from the breakaway by finishing ahead of Canadian team-mate Rob Britton and Dutchman Lennard Hofstede.

"I can't believe we did it," Huffman said. "It's surreal, amazing. I was thinking about last year's stage during the last 10km, and how much it would suck to not win again. I gave it everything I had in the last 100 metres."

Huffman and his team-mates narrowly withstood the challenge of a peloton that featured some marquee sprinters. Slovakian Peter Sagan, winner of the third stage on Tuesday and Majka's team-mate, settled for sixth.

Majka has led the Tour since his victory in the second stage on Monday. He now has a two-second lead in the general classification ahead of New Zealander George Bennett. American Ian Boswell is third, only 14 seconds behind.

Thursday's fifth stage, considered the most difficult of the event, is a climb up Mount Baldy that could result in a dramatic change to the leaderboard.

"Today was a very hard day but I had a great team to support me and my team-mate Peter," Majka said. "We had all our team-mates there, all at the front. I'm suffering a little today but maybe tomorrow will be better for me.

"I will have a lot of support from the team and I hope to have a great day. It's the first time that I will do this climb so we will see how it goes and how my legs are. If I have good legs then I will try to attack but if I'm tired I might follow.

"I hope I have good legs."

Results and standings from Wednesday's fourth stage of the Tour of California from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita:

Stage 4

1. Evan Huffman (USA/Rally Cycling) 159.5km in three hours, 41 minutes, 52 seconds, 2. Rob Britton (CAN/Rally Cycling same time, 3. Lennard Hofstede (NED/Sunweb) s.t., 4. Mathias Leturnier (FRA/Cofidis) s.t., 5. Gavin Mannion (USA/UnitedHealthcare) s.t., 6. Peter Sagan (SVK/Bora) s.t., 7. John Degenkolb (GER/Trek) s.t., 8. Marcel Kittel (GER/Quick-Step) s.t., 9. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/Katusha) s.t., 10. Simone Consonni (ITA/UAE Team Emirates) s.t.

General classification

1. Rafal Majka (POL/Bora) 16 hours 4 minutes 48 seconds, 2. George Bennett (NZL/LottoNL) at 2sec, 3. Ian Boswell (USA/Sky) 14, 4. Lachlan Morton (AUS/Dimension Data) 16, 5. Robert Gesink (NED/LottNL) 45, 6. Brent Bookwalter (USA/BMC) 48, 7. Sam Oomen (NED/Sunweb) s.t., 8. Andrew Talansky (USA/Cannondale) s.t., 9. Vegard Laengen (NOR/UAE Team Emirates) s.t., 10. Maximilian Schachmann (GER/Quick-Step) s.t.

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