(Reuters) - American Evan Huffman sprinted to the line to secure victory in the fourth stage of the Tour of California on Wednesday.
Bora-Hansgrohe’s Rafal Majka, who won Monday’s stage two, retained the overall lead ahead of Lotto NL-Jumbo’s George Bennett. Team Sky’s Ian Boswell sits in third, followed by Lachlan Morton and Lotto NL-Jumbo’s Robert Gesink heading into Thursday’s stage five from Ontario to Mt. Baldy.
Huffman was part of a small group that broke away from the pack in the first couple of miles of the trek from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita. The group moved further ahead up the big climb of Balcom Canyon Road before Huffman broke to the front with about a mile to go and held off his pursuers.
Andrew Talansky, who sits eighth overall, punctured with about five miles to go. He was ferried back to the field by Taylor Phinney and did not lose any time.
This year marks the first time the Tour of California has been staged as part of the World Tour, a designation that organizers hope will draw more top names in the sport from Europe.
The seven-day race finishes in Pasadena on May 20.
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford