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Amgen Tour of California. Stage 4. Another top 10 finish for Davide Ballerini in chaotic finale

Stage 4 of the Amgen Tour of California was decided in a sprint, with Davide Ballerini finishing sixth behind stage winner Fabio Jakobsen. It was a chaotic finale, with a crash outside the final three kilometers, but with great teamwork, Jonas Gregaard was able to stay in the first group. He moved into fourth place overall, but the jury decided that because of the crash, everyone earned the same time as the first group, dropping Gregaard back to the seventh place overall. Sports director Dmitriy Fofonov doesn’t accept the jury decision and sent an official protest.

- After an easy stage, there was a crazy finale today, I never experienced something like this so far. Thanks to my teammates I was able to stay out of trouble and to finish in the first group. It was our main goal today to stay in a good position at the front of the bunch in the final kilometers, for my overall classification and to support Davide Ballerini in the sprint. Everyone did a perfect job so we can be happy about our performance. Of course, we will try again with Davide Ballerini to take a stage win, because he is very strong this week, - said Jonas Gregaard.

- The team performed very well today and did a good job in today’s finale. Davide Ballerini sprinted to another top 10 finish and they managed to finish in the first group without losing time in the overall classification. This is why we don’t accept the decision by the jury to give everyone the same time because of the crash, that clearly happened outside the final three kilometers. The UCI rules are clear about this situation, and we need to respect these rules. Our riders worked hard at the front of the bunch for this result, - said sports director Dmitriy Fofonov.

- For this sprint stage, I was not the favorite, so I’m satisfied to finish sixth. But for sure, I’m aiming for a stage win here in California. My teammates worked very hard for me and I’m sure that tomorrow is another opportunity for a good result. We’ll keep working hard and try our best to get a result in one of the stages and for the overall classification, - said Davide Ballerini.

214,5 kilometers from WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to Morro Bay today at stage 4 of the Amgen Tour of California. A race along the Pacific coast, with a lot of headwind and a group of five riders that formed the day’s breakaway, but they got caught when the bunch started to prepare for the sprint. Before the final three kilometers, there was a big crash, but most of the Astana riders were able to stay at the front and kept out of trouble. Fabio Jakobsen won the bunch sprint, Davide Ballerini finished sixth.

Tomorrow the race heads to Ventura, starting in Pismo Beach for a stage of 219,5 kilometers. Another hard day on the road, with five categorized climbs.


Photo: ©Getty Images

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