Elmiger sprints into overall lead at the TDU

The field sprint to the line in Willunga

The field sprint to the line in Willunga (Image credit: Shane Goss)

By Mark Zalewski in Willunga, South Australia

Dark clouds greeted the riders for the second day in Saturday's penultimate stage of the Tour Down Under, with many expecting today to be a storm of activity in the fight for the overall lead. With second place Martin Elmiger (AG2r Prevoyance) sitting one second behind race leader Karl Menzies (Australia - UniSA) it was sure to be an all out battle to the line. At the start Elmiger was all quiet on the race strategy, saying only that he would be watching Menzies. As it turns out, Elmiger was targeting the KOM to make his move, but had to settle for the time bonuses on the finish line, leapfrogging Menzies in the outright standings via the two seconds he earned with a third place sprint finish, behind winner Pieter Ghyllebert (Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen).

"It was my goal today to make up some seconds in the mountains but it came down to the final, so I had to sprint," said Elmiger. "We played a good card with Simon Gerrans and Yuriy Krivtsov in the front with me. They were going hard because the [leader's] jersey was behind by thirty seconds after the hill. I was thinking that's it for us, but then they chased hard behind and I had to sprint for third and for the jersey."

See the full report, results and photos from Stage 4 of the Tour Down Under here.

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