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“I want to win, and all respect to Sagan for today. I was just one gear too hard coming up the hill, and then your punch is not enough. So it is what it is. The team rode solid all day and we are really coming together.”

Photo: Sirotti












14.05.2015 @ 12:17 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Wouter Wippert edged one step closer to that elusive Amgen Tour of California win with a second at stage 4 today in Aliva Beach. The sprint game included the same players as Stage 2 only with Peter Sagan (Tinkoff – Saxo) for the win and Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quickstep) knocked to third.


“Today was a good day for us as a team. It wasn’t really our plan to get in the break today but it played well for us. Graeme [Brown] took control exactly as needed for Wouter into the last 2km. I am pleased as we are getting closer,” said Tom Southam, Sports Director.


With three very technical turns in the finish kilometer, position was key.


“At 1500 meters to go, I was 25 to 30 wheels back as Wouter and Graeme were in a good position. With a 1km to go, I knew Graeme needed help to stay out of wind so I sprinted to get up to get there and give them my wheel to bring them up,” Travis Meyer said. “It was pretty furious heading into the last kilometer.”


As the field rounded the last turn, Brown showed exactly what speed he has with a powerful acceleration, moving in front of the entire field. Sagan then went right and Wippert left. The battle to the line was on.


“I want to win, and all respect to Sagan for today,” Wippert said. “I was just one gear too hard coming up the hill, and then your punch is not enough. So it is what it is. The team rode solid all day and we are really coming together.”


The question at the finish today was who is this sprint train of Drapac that is taking on what is clearly two of the deepest sprinting trains in the World Tour.


“Our physical ability is up there and we are as equally as strong. We have the ability to time it right and use our strength. We don’t have the numbers as they do. We do what we do best. We have to think to how to maximize our power,” Meyers added.


Will Clarke spent another day in the break for over 100k’s.


“I got out breakaway’ed a bit today. I was good most of the day until the last 15 km and then I was done,” Clarke said. “It was windy and it took its toll on us in the break.”


Tomorrow’s stage takes the riders from Santa Barbara, through the foothills into Santa Clarita. This stage could come down to yet another bunch sprint, however, look for numerous breakaways during the 154km stage.



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