Here, Lars Boom goes hard during a cyclocross race. Yesterday, he took the first King of the Hill climb in the Amgen Tour of California. © Bart Hazen

Stage 4 of the Amgen Tour of California saw some of the first King of the Mountain climbs, and cyclocross racer Lars Boom (Rabobank) emerged as the first King of the Mountain. (Read about how Lars Boom made a cyclocross comeback in January in Lars Boom Makes a Boom in Heusden-Zolder.) Later, Jesse Anthony captured the royal title on the third climb.

Anthony later tweeted, “Yeehaw! Good times in the break today at #AToC. Thanks for all the cheers and support, that was a fun day!”

After all was said and done, the slight Tyler Wren (Jamis-Sutter Home) emerged with the Cyclocross Magazine (virtual) cyclocross leader’s jersey again. (See our review of his Boo cyclocross bike in Issue 11).

In Stage 5, racers will cover 135 miles and climb nearly 10,000 ft.

As of the end of Stage 4, overall results for Cyclocross Magazine’s Amgen Tour of California Cyclocross Leader’s Jersey are as follows:

23 Tyler Wren (Jamis-Sutter Home)
37 Chris Jones (Team UnitedHealthcare)
51 Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies-Optum Health)
54 Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-Optum Health)
66 Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell)
103 Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly)
118 Lars Boom (Rabobank)
128 Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell)
138 Jamey Driscoll (Jamis-Sutter Home)

Tim Johnson found some great advice for cyclists on Twitter: “Excellent start to the process… RT @JDBilodeau: Pro Tip: If you want to make the break at the Tour of California, race cyclocross.” (Bilodeau is no stranger to cyclocross himself, and helped readers learn about the recent USA Cycling Cyclocross Promoter’s Summit in Colorado Springs.)

Meanwhile, Johnson’s former teammate Jeremy Powers was ecstatic with the fan support he received on the final Sierra climb, saying on his Facebook Page, “Thanks guys for all the support on the climbs today. It was awesome to hear so many people screamin’ “JPOW!” on the climbs. It didn’t go unnoticed!” Powers previously told Cyclocross Magazine that the climb “isn’t that hard,” but we’re guessing the Radio Shack train and previous climbs of the day made the climb more challenging than previous years when there wasn’t a summit finish.

And by the way, on another continent, in an even bigger race, cyclocross racer John Gadret (Ag2R) won stage 11 of the 2011 Girl D’Italia with an attack at the very end of the stage. A few of you may remember that we have Gadret to thank for the very first American medal at the Cyclocross World Championships: Tim Johnson’s amazing, self-supported bronze medal as a U23 in the 1999 race in Poprad, Slovakia. Gadret was in the silver medal position behind eventual winner Bart Wellens before flatting on the second-to-last-lap. He went into the pits to grab a bike and would have kept his position, only to find his pit crew missing at waiting at the finish to celebrate their medal. Four riders went by, including Johnson, and the rest is history. A dejected Gadret exclaimed, “I will never have that chance again in my life!”  Well, we hope the Giro win comes close!

Missed some stages of our Amgen Tour of California coverage?
Read Amgen Tour of California: Stage 2, Cyclocross Style and Amgen Tour of California: Stage 3, Cyclocross Style to catch up.

As the Tour continues, we’ll be keeping up with these racers, so check back for updates.