Paolo Bettini (Quick Step) lived up to his world champion?s status in California on Thursday, winning the 132-mile fourth stage along the breathtaking Pacific Highway to San Luis Obispo with an impressive sprint.

The pocket-rocket Tuscan was up against all the powerful sprinters in the US race but used his clever riding and acceleration to beat them all and take his first victory of the 2007. It took close scrutiny of the photo finish to decide the winner but Bettini knew he had beaten Gerald Ciolek (T-Mobile) and JJ Haedo (CSC).

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