Will Routley claimed stage four of the Tour of California Wednesday but the Canadian rider couldn`t catch former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, who comfortably held onto the yellow jersey.
Routley (Optum) outsprinted five breakaway challengers to complete the 116-kilometre stage in three hours, 48 minutes and 37 seconds. Gregory Daniel was second and Kevin De Mesmaeker finished third.
"You know you can win but you can make a mistake so easily," said Routley, of the Canadian resort town of Whistler, British Columbia. "These are all veteran bike racers. These guys know what they are doing."
With four days of racing remaining, British rider Wiggins maintained his overall lead as he didn`t gain or lose any time to Aussie Rohan Dennis, who is 28 seconds back.
Wednesday`s stage, down the scenic California coast, comprised one sprint and three climbs.
Former Canadian road champion Routley rode a clever race as he saved enough energy for the sprint at the finish.
Jonathan Clark jumped out first in the sprint, prompting De Mesmaeker (Novo) to take the inside line. Routley then roared down the right side and held off the pack for the victory.
"I came here with a goal to win a stage," Routley said. "That`s what I`ve wanted to do every time I`ve come to the Tour of California.
"This time I felt like I was prepared and ready."