CLOVIS — Slovakia’s Peter Sagan continued his dominance of the Tour of California on Wednesday when he won his fourth straight stage on a hot and steamy day in the Golden State.
Sagan, 22, completed the 130-mile, Sonora-to-Clovis fourth stage in five hours, 18 minutes and eight seconds as temperatures soared to 95 degrees.
Australian Heinrich Haussler finished second for the fourth straight day.
“Today was a harder stage,” said Sagan. “I was thinking it was not possible for me to win, but [teammate] Daniel Osa said, ‘Today, we work for you.’”
Sagan, who registered his seventh stage win of the season and the 30th of his four-year professional career, now leads Haussler by 16 seconds with four stages of the 735-mile race remaining.
American Jeff Lounder was third overall, trailing by 34 seconds, heading into today’s potentially decisive time-trial in Bakersfield.
“I think tomorrow I will say good-bye to the yellow jersey,” said Sagan. “But maybe I’ll recover and try for another stage later in the race.”
Sagan’s win left him 40 seconds ahead of the pre-race favorites, including defending champion, Chris Horner.