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Santos Tour Down Under 2010: Stage 4


Welcome back to Cyclingnews for live coverage of stage four at this year's Santos Tour Down Under. On today's menu is a 149.5km journey from Norwood, in Adelaide's eastern suburbs, to Goolwa, some 80km south of the city. There are two intermediate sprints coming late in the stage whilst the KOM point arrives early, at Fox Creek Rd, Lenswood.

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We're underway in stage four of the Santos Tour Down Under... there are moderate winds, with temperatures expected to reach the mid-30s today with a cool change predicted later in the day.

Today's stage features a steep climb up Gorge Rd early in the day, which is followed by the KOM up Fox Creek Rd, quite a tough ascent on dead roads in some of Adelaide's prime farming country. I occasionally ride the climb and I can assure you the professionals will be heading up there many times quicker than I'll ever be able to...

No news on the race as yet as the riders make their way through the outer eastern suburbs under neutral conditions. Racing is due to begin any moment now...

147km remaining from 149km

Could it be one of the UniSA-Australia riders? Simon Clarke spent much of the latter half of yesterday's stage to Stirling in a break and netted the most aggressive rider's jeresy. He spoke to Cyclingnews and you can catch that chat here.

146km remaining from 149km

Two more riders have made their way to the break, although we don't have details as yet. Meanwhile, Olivier Kaisen and Stef Clement of Rabobank are both in the break

144km remaining from 149km

This prediction from Chris: "Timmy Roe will be mixing it up for the KOM points. He knows the roads, he's getting the jersey back, then fireworks tomorrow for the Willunga stage... I think you MIGHT find some Timmy Roe fans out on Saturday..."

And a heads up from Alex, who says to look out for a tribute to Arthur Vichot on the Fox Creek climb... More on the Vichot story a little later...

Those two riders who have made their way to the break are Thomas Frei (BMC Racing) and Jonathan Castroviejo (Euskaltel Euskadi) as the break continues on to the KOM

127km remaining from 149km

Break member Thomas Rohregger (Milram) is the current mountains classification leader and is looking to consolidate that lead today. There's only about three kilometres to wait until we see whether the German rider can take points at Fox Creek Rd

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There was a group behind the German that included Thomas Frei and the rest of the members of that break, which has obviously broken up as it went over the KOM

About two minutes seconds after Rogregger passed the KOM, the peloton came through led by HTC-Columbia. We're getting news that David Kemp came second on the climb, followed by Stef Clement

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Whilst his teammate Olivier Kaisen is in the break, Jurgen Roelandts is Omega Pharma-Lotto's sprinter for today's stage. He told Cyclingnews this morning that, he's feeling good and he'll try again for the sprint today in an attempt to move up a few places overall.

104km remaining from 149km

Some observations from Simon: "Really hope it's someone other than Andre. Nothing against him but one guy dominating takes away a bit. Also, really hoping that they can somehow blow it to bits tomorrow on Willunga but it's not long enough.

And while we're on the subject of climbs, a quick recap of today's KOM results: Thomas Rohregger (Milram), followed by David Kemp (UniSA) and Stef Clement (Rabobank). This means the German rider holds onto the jersey of best climber for another day...

The wind is buffeting riders from the west, and as they head south they'll be copping it as a fairly nasty crosswind. A day for the big teams to bear the burden for their sprinters and keep them fresh for the expected sprint in Goolwa this afternoon

And to demonstrate the scope of Cyclingnews' live coverage, thanks Fred, Markus and Gareth for your email from southern Spain, where it's 3am:

89km remaining from 149km

On the roads heading to Strathalbyn, there are plenty of exposed sections where the westerly winds can have an impact on the peloton... It's gently rolling farming territory, where beef is produced in addition to lamb and wool.

81km remaining from 149km

Our lads in southern Spain have a question for us: "How do you explain Allan Davis's relatively bad performances since the beginning of the tour?"

Today's winds - which are blowing at about 25 knots according to our man on the ground, Greg Johnson - won't be so welcome for George Hincapie, who has had a rough time of it in the last few days.

Another prediction, this time from São Paulo, Brazil. Marcos would surely be a happy camper after a Portuguese-speaking rider won yesterday's stage. Oi Marcos!

70km remaining from 149km

John has sent us a tweet from Allan Davis, posted 21 hours ago: "Struggling with a chest infection back on the Antibiotics! Hot day at the TDU."

Ahhh, my kiwi friends! We have a prediction from Stu

Another prediction - this time, an interesting one from Jamie in Adelaide:

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The gap is now 1:10... as the course swings around to the west, the break will get a headwind and the gap will decrease further

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A big shout out from Cyclingnews to the folks at Cycling Australia... while we're concentrating on the nation's biggest event, the folks in Mascot are keeping Australia's wheels turning, so to speak

Andy from Queensland has a prediction for us:

And the gap has increased to 1:39, although the peloton has been taking on stock to last them the remainder of the stage, so don't expect it to last, fellas!

As the peloton gets ready for the catch, here's another prediction, this time from Jeremy in 'steamy northern New South Wales':

Now here's a special kinda prediction from a reader:

35km remaining from 149km

David has a prediction for us:

We haven't got results of the second intermediate sprint but will get them to you as soon as possible...

Having previously spoken about George Hincapie's accident yesterday, the big American told us at the line this morning that he's got a little bit of road rash and is a little sore as a result of the incident but that's all... good news, George!

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Well, I put it out there and you guys responded! Matt from Melbourne reckons Baden Cooke will beat Robbie MCEwen and Gert Steegmans in the finale, whilst Seth in Chicago is going for Greipel to get another stage ahead of Greg Henderson and and Steegmans

Meanwhile, David in Adelaide is going for McEwen, ahead of Steegmans and Brown whilst Mark in Perth has Robbie Hunter up for the win in front of McEwen and Henderson

20km remaining from 149km

Wim Van Vlierberghe from Belgian-Dutch website reckons Greg Henderson will get the win over André Greipel and Robbie McEwen but adds "I would like to see McEwen or one of our Belgians celebrating." Nice work, Wim!

133km remaining from 149km

Stef Clement is solo out front as Gorka Izaguirre (Euskaltel Euskadi) attacks the peloton... time for the desperados!

14km remaining from 149km

As RadioShack gathers at the front of the peloton for Gert Steegmans, Antonio from California is going for Graeme Brown, ahead of Robbie McEwen and Robbie Hunter while Geoffrey Pyman says "I think there are going to be some bloody big flies in Goolwa!"

Paul in Canverra has an anecdote to share which may shed some light on the possible stage outcome:

Two RadioShack riders go clear as the sprinters' teams are lining out the peloton with about 15km to ride...

Armstrong has attacked! With Tomas Vaitkus!

Armstrong and Vaitkus have 300m on the peloton...

The gap is now 23 seconds... I don't see the break surviving, thanks to what Ian has to say about the finish:

As the gap is at 18 seconds, Team Sky and HTC-Columbia are chasing hard but Mat Hayman needs a change of front wheel

Matt from Adelaide is going for Graeme Brown for the win, while Stuart from Sydney says 'Don't discount Stuey' - maybe that's a preference based on name, Stuart. But I like ya thinking, nevertheless!

Hayman has rejoined the peloton to aid in Team Sky's train - come on Matty! They'll need him to catch Armstrong and Vaitkus...

Michaël, who is watching our coverage from Belgium, says look out for the Belgians in the sprint - indeed mate, plenty of folks have been predicting Gert Steegmans for the win

3km remaining from 149km

Nic from Brisbane is going for one of his local lads, Robbie McEwen, for the stage win while Jonathan Nunan (Hi to all the folks at BikeSportz) is looking out for Alejandro Valverde...

RadioShack, Sky and HTC-Columbia are leading the peloton!

1km remaining from 149km

Time to lay it on the line and go for broke boys!!

Greipel gets ANOTHER win!

It could be Robbie McEwen in third... we'll get you those details soon

André Greipel has continued his domination of the sprints at this year's Santos Tour Down Under with his third victory in stage four in Goolwa. Robbie McEwen took second, with Graeme Brown rounding out the podium places.

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