Finally, for the first time this season there was a decent sprinters' battle as Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen fought it out on the streets of California. Mark Cavendish won by half a bike, Tom Boonen came in second. Haedo, Hushovd and Farrar completed the top five.
It was a very scrappy stage yet again, with a couple of falls. Among the victims of stage 4 are Kim Kirchen who broke his collarbone and Oscar Freire who broke two ribs. Get well soon guys.
Levi Leipheimer finished in the middle of the peloton, together with all other GC contenders, and gets to keep the jersey for another day.
Mark Cavendish later stated he surprised even himself in the last few metres.
"I did not think I was going to be able to compete for the victory here, because it was a tough stage. But just to be sure I study the final few kilometres of all stages, and that paid off", Cavendish said.
"Yesterday I lost the wheel of my locomotive. That's a mistake I rectified today. My team worked together perfectly to launch me at 200 metres before the finnish and at that point there was only one scenario left for me: to win."
"That may sound arrogant, but I'm realistic," Cavendish continued.
"I know I am not the most powerful sprinter, nor am I the best tactician, but when it comes to speed in the last 200 metres there is, as long as I am placed properly, no competition for me."
1. Mark Cavendish (GBr) 186 km in 4u42'38"
2. Tom Boonen
3. Juan José Haedo (Arg) all same time
4. Thor Hushovd (Noo)
5. Tyler Farrar (VS)
1. Levi Leipheimer (VS) in 18u33'52"
2. Michael Rogers (Aus) op 24"
3. David Zabriskie (VS) 28"
4. Lance Armstrong (VS) 30"
5. Chris Horner (VS) 34"
6. Janez Brajkovic (Svn) 38"
7. Thomas Lövkvist (Zwe) z.t.
8. José Luis Rubiera (Spa)
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita)
10. Robert Gesink (Ned) 39"