Freire back in the winner's circle with Tour Down Under victory

Oscar Freire has claimed his first win in his new Katusha kit, taking out the furious sprint finish into Tanunda on Friday's fourth stage of the Santos Tour Down Under.

RadioShack-Nissan's persistent work on the front of the bunch was rewarded with Daniele Bennati pipping Gerald Ciolek (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) for third place.

The second KOM of the day on Mengler Hill brought an end to Lotto Belisol sprinter Andre Greipel's latest stint in the ochre jersey - the German giving up the chase of the lead group of around 40 riders on the descent. Greipel lost around seven minutes with Martin Kohler (BMC) back in the race lead having relinquished it to the German on Thursday.

"I didn't expect to be back in the lead but we dropped Andre Greipel in the climb and then we were riding hard to make the gap bigger," said Kohler. "Tomorrow there will be 10 or 15 riders contesting the win at the top of Willunga Hill. It's going to be very hard and I don't know if I can keep this lead or not but I'm already happy with what I'm doing here. Our team BMC feels at home with all the support we get but of course we are the team of Cadel Evans."

Today's win was Freire's first solo victory since Stage 5 of Ruta del Sol in February 2011.

"It was a difficult finale. I knew I had a really good chance to win," said the Spaniard following the win. "The race was hard, it was better for me. I'm happy to score the team's first victory of the year after joining Katusha."

Of the challengers heading into a decisive stage 5 with a first-ever hilltop finish on Saturday's queen stage, Michael Matthews (Rabobank) is next best behind Kohler, two seconds back along with Freire. The Australian indicated he would be going full tilt on Willunga for the overall lead.

"The jersey I want is Ochre," he proclaimed. "I'll try to get it tomorrow. It's unfortunate that I missed it today by only two seconds. Not having the jersey today takes a lot of pressure off you but it's also better to be ahead of everyone else."

Kohler and his BMC team however will certainly be putting up a fight, having spent the week placing themselves very strategically in the lead up to the stage race's conclusion.

"[The deciding point] was maybe thirty kilometres to go when we came close to the climb. We sped up and GreenEdge sped up and we were just all in the front and suffering in the climb and there was a big split in the group and I don't know how many guys were in front, maybe 40."

"Yes, it was excellent work by [the team], they were looking for us to have a good position into the climb and in the end it was Mathias [Frank] riding. Alessandro [Ballan] and me, we were riding in the last kilometre but we were both too early, maybe could be better but we have the jersey again and tomorrow is a new day."

"It's an unbelievable feeling [to ride with Ballan], it's extra motivation and extra power for my legs and I hope I can pay respect with a good result."

How it unfolded:

Small skirmishes marked the opening kilometres but the race was together for the opening sprint of the day at Kersbrook with ochre jersey wearer Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) across the line with Michael Matthews (Rabobank) and Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) seconds and third respectively.

It took just 28 kilometres for the main break of the day to form with Jay McCarthy (UniSA), Gatis Smukulis (Kathusa) and Ruben Perez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) gaining a small advantage. Joined by Blel Kadri (AG2R-La Mondiale) not long after it was McCarthy, who led the group over the opening KOM of the day, the Cat. 2 Smith Hill at the 30.8 kilometre mark, followed by Perez, Kadri and then Smukulis.

The break reached its peak at 4:05 and was gradually whittled down with Perez, Kadri and McCarthy the order for the second sprint at Mt Pleasant with their advantage at 2:55.

With 50 kilometres left to race at Williamstown the gap was at 1:45 with the peloton's agenda firmly set on making life difficult for Greipel, with a win to him today possibly too close for comfort for anyone with general classification aspirations.

GreenEdge did the work and just before the Cat. 1 climb at Mengler Hill and 29 kilometres out from Tanunda, the bunch was caught.

An attack from Rohan Dennis (UniSA) netted him 16 points for being first over the KOM and the lead in the classification. Movistar's Javier Moreno was next across the line, followed by Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge), Tiago Machado (RadioShack-Nissan), Jack Bauer (Garmin-Barracuda) and Linus Gerdemann (RadioShack-Nissan) in the battle for the points.

It was a group of around 50 riders which put the hammer down and effectively ended Greipel's run for the overall in 2012, the two-time winner's prediction correct that Willunga on Stage 5 would rule him out proven a day early. He eventually crossed the finish line escorted by lieutenant Greg Henderson 7:45 back on the lead group of riders in Tanunda.

Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Oscar Freire (Spa) Katusha3:08:34
2Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Omega Pharma-QuickStepRow 1 - Cell 2
3Daniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-NissanRow 2 - Cell 2
4Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky ProcyclingRow 3 - Cell 2
5Michael Matthews (Aus) RabobankRow 4 - Cell 2
6Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) MovistarRow 5 - Cell 2
7Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Saxo BankRow 6 - Cell 2
8Kristijan Koren (Svk) Liquigas - CannondaleRow 7 - Cell 2
9Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCMRow 8 - Cell 2
10Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-BarracudaRow 9 - Cell 2
11Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ - BigMatRow 10 - Cell 2
12Javier Moreno (Spa) MovistarRow 11 - Cell 2
13Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStepRow 12 - Cell 2
14Vincente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto-BelisolRow 13 - Cell 2
15José Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) MovistarRow 14 - Cell 2
16Maxim Belkov (Rus) KatushaRow 15 - Cell 2
17Simon Gerrans (Aus) GreenEDGERow 16 - Cell 2
18Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 17 - Cell 2
19Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 18 - Cell 2
20Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMCRow 19 - Cell 2
21Wilco Kelderman (Ned) RabobankRow 20 - Cell 2
22Xavier Florencio Cabrè (Spa) KatushaRow 21 - Cell 2
23Angel Madrazo (Spa) MovistarRow 22 - Cell 2
24Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack-NissanRow 23 - Cell 2
25Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 24 - Cell 2
26Eduard Vorganov (Rus) KatushaRow 25 - Cell 2
27Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto-BelisolRow 26 - Cell 2
28Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) KatushaRow 27 - Cell 2
29Federico Canuti (Ita) Liquigas - CannondaleRow 28 - Cell 2
30Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ - BigMatRow 29 - Cell 2
31Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 30 - Cell 2
32Martin Kohler (Sui) BMCRow 31 - Cell 2
33Alejandro Valverde (Spa) MovistarRow 32 - Cell 2
34Rohan Dennis (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 33 - Cell 2
35Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-BarracudaRow 34 - Cell 2
36Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 35 - Cell 2
37Gorka Izagirre Inausti (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 36 - Cell 2
38Cameron Meyer (Aus) GreenEDGERow 37 - Cell 2
39Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-NissanRow 38 - Cell 2
40Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) RabobankRow 39 - Cell 2
41Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-NissanRow 40 - Cell 2
42Sérgio Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo BankRow 41 - Cell 2
43Linus Gerdemann (Ger) RadioShack-NissanRow 42 - Cell 2
44Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Lampre - ISDRow 43 - Cell 2
45Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStepRow 44 - Cell 2
46Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-BarracudaRow 45 - Cell 2
47Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMCRow 46 - Cell 2
48Hayden Roulston (NZl) RadioShack-NissanRow 47 - Cell 2
49Mathias Frank (Sui) BMC0:00:38
50Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC0:07:45
51Gatis Smukulis (Lat) KatushaRow 50 - Cell 2
52Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ - BigMatRow 51 - Cell 2
53Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto-BelisolRow 52 - Cell 2
54Stuart O'grady (Aus) GreenEDGERow 53 - Cell 2
55André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-BelisolRow 54 - Cell 2
56Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 55 - Cell 2
57Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto-BelisolRow 56 - Cell 2
58Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISDRow 57 - Cell 2
59Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCMRow 58 - Cell 2
60Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas - CannondaleRow 59 - Cell 2
61Marcello Pavarin (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCMRow 60 - Cell 2
62Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCMRow 61 - Cell 2
63Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 62 - Cell 2
64Imanol Erviti (Spa) MovistarRow 63 - Cell 2
65Daniele Ratto (Ita) Liquigas - CannondaleRow 64 - Cell 2
66David Lopez (Spa) MovistarRow 65 - Cell 2
67Stefano Agostini (Ita) Liquigas - CannondaleRow 66 - Cell 2
68Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCMRow 67 - Cell 2
69Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) AstanaRow 68 - Cell 2
70Alan Marangoni (Ita) Liquigas - CannondaleRow 69 - Cell 2
71Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas - CannondaleRow 70 - Cell 2
72Tom Palmer (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 71 - Cell 2
73Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCMRow 72 - Cell 2
74Jesse Sergent (NZl) RadioShack-NissanRow 73 - Cell 2
75Steele Von Hoff (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 74 - Cell 2
76Martin Elmiger (Sui) AG2R La MondialeRow 75 - Cell 2
77William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ - BigMatRow 76 - Cell 2
78Mattéo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 77 - Cell 2
79Lachlan Norris (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 78 - Cell 2
80Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 79 - Cell 2
81Jay Mccarthy (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 80 - Cell 2
82Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 81 - Cell 2
83Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-QuickStepRow 82 - Cell 2
84Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 83 - Cell 2
85Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ - BigMatRow 84 - Cell 2
86Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto-BelisolRow 85 - Cell 2
87Ricardo Garcia Ambroa (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 86 - Cell 2
88Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin-BarracudaRow 87 - Cell 2
89Davide Vigano (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 88 - Cell 2
90Grega Bole (Svk) Lampre - ISDRow 89 - Cell 2
91Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Team Saxo BankRow 90 - Cell 2
92Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 91 - Cell 2
93Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Team Saxo BankRow 92 - Cell 2
94Mark Renshaw (Aus) RabobankRow 93 - Cell 2
95Graeme Brown (Aus) RabobankRow 94 - Cell 2
96Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) AstanaRow 95 - Cell 2
97Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 96 - Cell 2
98Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) AstanaRow 97 - Cell 2
99Danny Pate (USA) Sky ProcyclingRow 98 - Cell 2
100Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMCRow 99 - Cell 2
101Francesco Masciarelli (Ita) AstanaRow 100 - Cell 2
102Dmitri Muravyev (Kaz) AstanaRow 101 - Cell 2
103Luca Paolini (Ita) KatushaRow 102 - Cell 2
104Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStepRow 103 - Cell 2
105Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-QuickStepRow 104 - Cell 2
106Tom Leezer (Ned) RabobankRow 105 - Cell 2
107Jos Van Emden (Ned) RabobankRow 106 - Cell 2
108Adrián Saez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:09:59
109Matthew Brammeier (Ire) Omega Pharma-QuickStepRow 108 - Cell 2
110Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 109 - Cell 2
111Matt Goss (Aus) GreenEDGE0:14:16
112Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-BarracudaRow 111 - Cell 2
113William Clarke (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 112 - Cell 2
114Borut Bozic (Svk) AstanaRow 113 - Cell 2
115Massimo Graziato (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 114 - Cell 2
116Victor Cabedo (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 115 - Cell 2
117Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 116 - Cell 2
118Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ - BigMatRow 117 - Cell 2
119Boris Shpilevsky (Rus) AG2R La MondialeRow 118 - Cell 2
120Assan Bazayev (Kaz) AstanaRow 119 - Cell 2
121Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCMRow 120 - Cell 2
122Leigh Howard (Aus) GreenEDGERow 121 - Cell 2
123Robbie Mcewen (Aus) GreenEDGERow 122 - Cell 2
124Adam Blythe (GBr) BMCRow 123 - Cell 2
125Alex Dowsett (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 124 - Cell 2
126Luke Durbridge (Aus) GreenEDGERow 125 - Cell 2
127Jonas Jörgensen (Den) Team Saxo BankRow 126 - Cell 2
128Robbie Hunter (RSA) Garmin-BarracudaRow 127 - Cell 2
129Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo BankRow 128 - Cell 2
130Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-BarracudaRow 129 - Cell 2
131Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Team Saxo BankRow 130 - Cell 2
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Stage finish
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Oscar Freire (Spa) Katusha15pts
2Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Omega Pharma-QuickStep14Row 1 - Cell 3
3Daniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan13Row 2 - Cell 3
4Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling12Row 3 - Cell 3
5Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank11Row 4 - Cell 3
6Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Saxo Bank9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Kristijan Koren (Svk) Liquigas - Cannondale8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Barracuda6Row 9 - Cell 3
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Kersbrook (25.3km)
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol5pts
2Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar2Row 2 - Cell 3
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Mt Pleasant (51km)
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi5pts
2Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Jay Mccarthy (Aus) UNI SA - Australia2Row 2 - Cell 3
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Smith Hill (Cat 2 at 30.8km)
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Jay Mccarthy (Aus) UNI SA - Australia10pts
2Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi6Row 1 - Cell 3
3Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale4Row 2 - Cell 3
4Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha2Row 3 - Cell 3
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Menglers Hill (Cat 1 at 107.4km)
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Rohan Dennis (Aus) UNI SA - Australia16pts
2Javier Moreno (Spa) Movistar12Row 1 - Cell 3
3Simon Gerrans (Aus) GreenEDGE8Row 2 - Cell 3
4Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Nissan6Row 3 - Cell 3
5Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Barracuda4Row 4 - Cell 3
6Linus Gerdemann (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan2Row 5 - Cell 3
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Cycle Instead Young Rider Stage Result
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling3:08:34
2Michael Matthews (Aus) RabobankRow 1 - Cell 2
3Wilco Kelderman (Ned) RabobankRow 2 - Cell 2
4Angel Madrazo (Spa) MovistarRow 3 - Cell 2
5Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 4 - Cell 2
6Rohan Dennis (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 5 - Cell 2
7Gorka Izagirre Inausti (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 6 - Cell 2
8Cameron Meyer (Aus) GreenEDGERow 7 - Cell 2
9Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStepRow 8 - Cell 2
10Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha0:07:45
11Daniele Ratto (Ita) Liquigas - CannondaleRow 10 - Cell 2
12Stefano Agostini (Ita) Liquigas - CannondaleRow 11 - Cell 2
13Tom Palmer (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 12 - Cell 2
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