Sir Bradley Wiggins extended his overall lead in the Tour of California after sprinting well to secure a time bonus at the finish line.

Wiggins went into the stage with a 24-second lead over nearest rival Rohan Dennis but an impressive sprint at the end saw him extend his lead by another four seconds, leaving the gap to second place at 28 seconds.

Dennis won stage three to put the pressure on Wiggins after the Australian climbed impressively to take the win at the summit of Mount Diablo.

The race is poised nicely as it reached its half way point and with a few big climbs to come towards the end of the week, it looks like the margin of victory for the winning rider will be very slim.

Stage four also saw a lot of confusion for the sprinters and their teams, including Mark Cavendish and Omega Pharma-Quickstep as they timed their assault on the finish line all wrong.

A six-man breakaway was never reeled in and William Routley took the stage win, leaving Cavendish to finish in seventh place after crossing the line at the front of the peloton, one minute 17 seconds behind.

Wiggins will be pleased with how the racing went during the stage and with his recent performances being of the highest level, it is no wonder that Team Sky's director Kurt-Asle Arvesen has chosen the former Tour de France winner to be on the long list of riders who could go to the Tour.

"Bradley is definitely back in good form. Most of the guys on our team want to be apart of the Tour team," he was quoted by Cycling News.

"Bradley, won it two years ago, it starts in the UK this year, of course it will be a good thing for us to have him there. Right now, our Tour de France longlist is about 14 or 15 guys."

"He will be working for Froome in GC. The way Froome rode last year, he's definitely it — it's Froome for the Tour. Bradley will be there to support Froome, if he wants to go, if he's selected and if he's in good form."

Results: Amgen Tour of California 2014, stage four: Monterey to Cambria, 168.9km

1. William Routley (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies in 3-48-37
2. Gregory Daniel (USA) Bissell Development Team
3. Kevin De Masmaeker (Bel) Novo Nordisk
4. Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare
5. Matt Cooke (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman
6. Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare at 15 secs
7. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 1-17
8. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
9. Matthew Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
10. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing at same time


18. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky at same time

Overall classification after stage four

1. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky in 13-53-51
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 28 secs
3. Tiago Machado (Por) NetApp-Endura at 1-09
4. Lawson Craddock (USA) Giant-Shimano at 1-25
5. Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge at 2-14
6. Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing at 2-28
7. Matthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory Racing at 2-29
8. Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at 2-31
9. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin at 2-33
10. Javier Acevedo (Col) Garmin Sharp at 2-34

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Sir Bradley Wiggins
Tour De France