Fabio Jakobsen held his course amid a chaotic finish to win the fourth stage of the Tour of California on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider secured his team’s third successive stage victory when he beat Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) to the line in the 214.5km ride from Raceway Laguna Seca to Morro Bay.
“I had strong legs today, but also a formidable lead-out, which kept me out of the wind, protected me in those hectic final kilometers and delivered me where I needed to be for the sprint,” said the Dutchman, who claimed his fourth victory of the season.
“This uphill drag to the line forced me to push hard, but I was confident and waited for the perfect moment to kick out and take another win for our team.”
Race leader Tejay Van Garderen was left to fight back on a teammate’s bicycle after his chain snapped in the final 10km. With the race well and truly on, he, in the company of his teammates, was made to work hard as they tried to catch the peloton.
With the bunch in sight, his day went from bad to worse when he overshot a corner and lost more time. His teammates waited and they started the chase again in team-time-trial fashion, but a crash in the bunch ahead saw them delayed again as they struggled to clear the riders and bikes strewn over the road.
At the finish, his race lead seemed in tatters, but the race referee dramatically ruled that he was part of the peloton when the crash occurred within the final three kilometres and he therefore received the same time.
“We are a great group of riders, all willing to sacrifice ourselves and work hard for each other,” Jakobsen said at the press conference about the squad’s superb run at the Tour of California.
“It’s worth mentioning also that we came here in good shape and the previous wins this week gave us a lot of confidence, so we’re just riding the wave at the moment and seizing every opportunity we get.”
Stage four results
1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 5:53:22
2. Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) st
3. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) st
1. Tejay Van Garderen (EF Education First)
2. Gianni Moscon (Team Ineos) +0:00:06
3. Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +0:00:07
22. Louis Meintjes (Dimension Data)
84. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data) +0:33:35
114. Jay Thomson (Dimension Data) +0:42:30