TDU Stage 4: Burnside Village to Angaston, 89mi

TDU Stage 4: Burnside Village to Angaston, 89mi

Australian sprinter Allan Davis (Quick-Step) tightened his grip on the 11th Tour Down Under by sealing another stage win and retaining the leader’s jersey for a third day. Following just behind was yesterday’s stage winner Graeme Brown (Rabobank) and a new face on the podium, Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Caisse d’Epargne) for third. Team Astana riders came in safe and sound after yesterday’s ride took Michael Schär out of the race with a calf injury which has been successfully repaired.
After Wednesday’s suffer-fest in hot, windy conditions, the peloton of 124 decided to take it a little easier in preparation for Saturday’s ride to Willunga. While it was still windy on course the temperatures were cooler and riders took a more leisure but nervous approach to the stage, conserving energy before Saturday’s anticipated action. A break of three riders went away just after the neutral start and stayed away for the majority of the stage. In the break were Vladimir Efimkin (Ag2R), Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Travis Meyer (UniSA). Working well together right from the start, the trio steadily built a gap that eventually went to more than nine minutes. In the peloton it was Robbie McEwen’s Katusha team that drove the pace to ensure a catch when the time was right. After 90km of racing the gap was down to a more manageable 3.25 with the flat terrain giving a sure advantage to the chasing peloton.
On the final climb Lafuente was dropped but Efimkin and Meyer continued their quest. Many riders suffered on the climb and were quickly knocked out the back of the main field. In the last 15km more attacks went off the front and held for a few minutes but the tailwind continued to push the fast-moving peloton. At 10km to go Efimkin attacked Meyer, hoping to make a solo ride to the finish in Angaston, but tired legs prevailed and at 13km remaining the peloton was all together and a bunch sprint was promised.
Rabobank and Katusha remained at the front but Quick-Step soon took over and launched the popular Davis for the line.
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Top 10 Results
1 Allan Davis (Quick Step) 3.29.35
2 Graeme Brown (Rabobank)
3 José Joaquin Rojas Gil (Caisse d’Epargne)
4 Stuart O’Grady (Team Saxo Bank)
5 Mark Renshaw (Team Columbia – High Road)
6 Tom Leezer (Rabobank)
7 Davide Viganò (Fuji-Servetto)
8 Jussi Veikkanen (Française Des Jeux)
9 Robbie McEwen (Team Katusha)
10 Sébastien Hinault (AG2R La Mondiale)
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GC after Stage 4
1 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step 14.16.36
2 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank 0.04
3 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank 0.15
4 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale 0.24
5 José Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0.26
6 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Columbia – High Road 0.28
7 Matthew Wilson (Aus) UniSA 0.29
8 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Lampre – N.G.C 0.30
9 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française Des Jeux
10 Mickaël Chérel (Fra) Française Des Jeux
(By Cathy Mehl; source: www.astana-cyclingteam.com)
 

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