The first mountain stage proper of the 2009 Tour of California takes the riders from Merced to Clovis.

Despite several sprint primes, this stage will be one for the pure climbers, looping as it does through the Sierra Mountains.

Last year?s winner Levi Leipheimer will be watched intently by his main rivals for overall scalps, who are likely to include Rabobank?s Robert Gesink, Ivan Basso and Cervélo?s Carlos Sastre.

Wednesday February 18

Merced-Clovis

185.7km

imageAbove: stage four profile

imageAbove: stage four map