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  Stage 4

Another uphill start with Nathan Haas (Cannondale-Garmin) and Boris Vallee (Lotto-Soudal) the first to attack. An unfortunate puncture for Haas saw the duo quickly absorbed by the peloton.

A strong nine rider escape group including Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), former race leader Jack Bobridge (UniSA) former Australian time trial champion Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEDGE), Alex Edmondson (UniSA) and Will Clarke (Drapac) were the next to attempt a move. The peloton reacted immediately to prevent such a strong move.

After spending the day in the break yesterday Will Clarke was intent on making it two in a row with another attack but that move was quickly shut down as well. BMC was not willing to let anything go with the race still together after 20km.

Lotto-Soudal were one of the most active teams with Greg Henderson the next to try. Jack Bobridge was again on the attack being joined by London Olympic silver medallist teammate Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEDGE), Cedric Pineau (FDJ) and British Champion Peter Kennaugh (Sky). Early race leader Bobridge still just 39 seconds off the lead didn't stop the break gaining a quick advantage and the blessing of the peloton. Nathan Haas (Cannondale-Garmin) attempted to bridge across but was unable to make much progress.


The peloton lead by BMC climbs Sellicks Hill 44km into Bupa stage 4. © Regallo

As the break reached 30 kilometres in to the stage they had built an advantage of 1 minute and 50 seconds. Over the next 10km the break added 35 seconds to their advantage.

KoM

1 Jack Bobridge 10
2 Michael Hepburn 6
3 Peter Kennaugh 4
4 Cedric Pineau 2

Jack Bobridge took top points over the top of the only KoM of the day to move back in to the lead in the mountains classification. Over the top of the climb the gap had fallen to one and a half minutes. As a danger to the overall lead Bobridge then sat up and waited for the peloton.

With Pineau then the best placed at over four minutes down the peloton was happy for the break to increase their advantage back to 2:05 after 55 kilometres. The three riders in the break were not cooperating and the gap was falling quickly.

Orica-GreenEDGE took control of the peloton with BMC sitting right behind them. As the gap continued to fall Pineau went solo but it was too late as the trio regrouped but the peloton had them in their sights with the race back together with 66km remaining.

Ahead of the first sprint it was still Orica-GreenEDGE setting the pace trying to take advantage of the crosswinds to split the race. Impey was lead out to take the sprint and three seconds bonus.

Sprint 1

1 Daryl Impey -3"
2 Luke Rowe -2"
3 Mark Renshaw -1"


Second break of the day lead by Ruslan Tleubayev of Astana. © Regallo

As soon as the sprint was complete there was immediate attacks from the peloton. Maxim Belkov (Katusha), Pieter Serry (Etixx-QuickStep) and Ruslan Tleubayev (Astana) were able to get away and quickly build a lead of around 30 seconds. With little interest from the peloton to chase the trio quickly built an advantage over nearly two and a half minutes as the field started the final 35 kilometres of the stage.

Lampre wanting to set up Niccolo Bonifaio in a bunch sprint took control and had an immediate impact on the gap.

Sprint 2

1 Maxim Belkov -3"
2 Ruslan Tleubayev -2"
3 Pieter Serry -2"

After the sprint Movistar came to the front further accelerating the fall in the gap. Tleubayev fell off the pace leaving Belkov and Serry up the road by just under one minute with 22.5km left to ride. The gap was down to 30 seconds with 15km remaining as teams started to position themselves at the front of the peloton. UniSA, Tinkoff-Saxo and Drapac were all grouping near the front with BMC and Movistar.


BMC Racing's Cadel Evans and Santos Tour Down Under leader Rohan Dennis. © Regallo

Belkov and Serry were caught with 9km remaining and the attacks immediately came. Lars Boom with teammate Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) and Gorka Izaguirre (Movistar) took a gap. Boom swung off after opening the gap but the chase was quickly on. With five kilometres remaining it was nine seconds but Martin Elmiger (IAM) took to the front and brought it back heading in to the final five kilometres.

Orica-GreenEDGE took over on the front with IAM as they started to set up their respective sprinters. Heading in to the final kilometre it was Orica-GreenEDGE before riders swamped them. Wouter Wippert (Drapac) was the first to open his sprint before a fast finishing Steele Von Hoff (UniSA) surged by to take the win with Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEDGE) second. Wippert held on for third. A crash in the peloton with Kenny De Haes (Lotto-Soudal) going down saw a number of riders including race leader Rohan Dennis (BMC) held up behind. With everyone given bunch time Dennis remains the overall leader ahead of Evans. Impey moved in to the lead in the points classification.


UniSA-Australia rider Steele Von Hoff wins Bupa Stage 4. © Regallo

Stage 4 Results

1 Steele VON HOFF 3:24:28
2 Daryl IMPEY +0
3 Wouter WIPPERT +0
4 Heinrich HAUSSLER +0
5 Samuel DUMOULIN +0
6 Niccolo BONIFAZIO +0
7 Rudiger SELIG +0
8 Gianni MEERSMAN +0
9 Eugenio ALAFACI +0
10 Koen DE KORT +0

General Classification After Stage 4

1 Rohan DENNIS 13:41:34
2 Cadel EVANS +7
3 Tom DUMOULIN +9
4 Daryl IMPEY +13
5 Richie PORTE +15
6 Michael ROGERS +15
7 Jack HAIG +15
8 Maxime BOUET +15
9 Ruben FERNANDEZ +15
10 Domenico POZZOVIVO +15

Full Results available here

Points Classification: Daryl Impey
Mountains Classification: Jack Bobridge
Young Rider Classification: Rohan Dennis
Team Classification: BMC
Most Aggressive: Cedric Pineau
 
 
         
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