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Santos Tour Down Under 2014: Stage 4


 Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews live coverage of the Tour Down Under's Stage 4

 Over in Argentina Nairo Quintana picked up his first win of 2014 at the Tour de San Luis, read the race report here

Its an overcast day here in Adelaide with rain overnight leaving the roads a little wet and greasy


Yesterday Cadel Evans took it to Richie Porte and Simon Gerrans and ended the day with his second Tour Down Under stage win at the race and first day in the ochre jersey in 2014.


Robert Gesink (Belkin) is aiming for the Tour of California this year but has performed well so far down under. Read about his ambitions this week by clicking here


To keep on top of all that's happening in the world of cycling,  you can sign up to the Cyclingnews newsletter, right here 


At San Luis, Garmin held on the overall lead for another day with Phil Gaimon just four seconds ahead of Quintana. You can watch Nate Brown talk about his teammate's race so far by clicking here


To watch the highlights of yesterday's stage you can click here

Don't forget that that you can subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel by clicking here.


The last time the Tour Down Under visited Victor Harbour it was Andre Greipel who took out the win. Greipel also moved in the overall race lead with bonus seconds in the finishing line


With racing set to get under way in around 20 minutes have a look through our gallery of Jonathan Cantwell's (Drapac) Swift bike. You can read the specifications of his race bike and see images by clicking here


Its time for the daily weather update. Today is the coolest stage of the Tour (about 10 degrees cooler than yesterday) with the temperature hovering at 20-23 degrees as cloud gives way to sunshine for the run through the southern hills and beaches to Victor Harbor. It should also be the stage with the most head wind, strengthening to southwesterly 25-35km/h with stronger gusts.


There is just the one climb today which is located on Reservoir Road near Myponga Dam KOM - about 1.8km in length, from 228 metres altitude to 282 metres altitude (average gradient about 5% with the first 600 metres averaging about 10% with a maximum gradient near 20%).


its under 10 minutes until racing starts today. The neutral zone today is 6km as when the riders turn onto the South East Freeway near Old Toll Gate expect the early attempts of forming a break


Almost set for the start now, just minutes away


This morning saw over 6,000 cyclists head out on the Bupa Challenge Tour from Unley to tackle the roads of today's race


The Stage begins in Unley which is just south of the CBD and then will snake its way down to Victor Harbour for a total distance of 148.5km


 Today's race gets under a little later then previous stages this year with riders set to start at 11:30am

Watch out for Drapac in the breaks again today as they will be wearing their new Kask aero helmets


Just about 5 minutes till the riders head out. Some last minute joey passing going around first though with plenty of photos being snapped pre-race


The riders have made their way to the startline gantry ready for the race with still several clouds around


148km remaining from 148km

They are off and and Stage 4 is under way


There are once again two intermediate sprint points on offer with the first three riders across awarded points and bonus seconds. We saw Simon Gerrans sprint for a one second bonus on Stage 1, if there is a small break will he try again?


The first of the sprint points is Adelaide Rd at Echunga after 35.5km and the second is almost 100km later in Inman Valley Rd, Yankalilla at 116km exactly


The feedzone comes after 79km of racing and is followed by the one climb of the day with KOM points at Reservoir Rd, Myponga at 95.7km


For those out there with keen eyes, Cadel Evans is wearing black knicks today which is a common move by BMC who tend to let their riders when leading GC to change from the usual black and red 


Simon Gerrans missed out on his normal morning coffee in the press room which is a bit of a good luck charm. Did Greipel get his coffee's this morning? The German national champion will have targeted today, particularly after missing out twice already


Watch for Drapac to launch two riders into the break today


Just about to leave the neutral zone so watch for attacks here to form the break


147km remaining from 148km

The break is trying to form and its Calvin Watson (Trek) Evan Huffman (Astana) and Bjorn Thurau (Europcar) who have gone first


Mikhail Ignatyev (Katusha) is now alone with a group of 10 trying to get clear


146km remaining from 148km

Frank Schleck (Trek) is going back to team car


Having hosted the finish of Stage 2 Stirling will see the peloton pass through again on the way to Victor Harbour


BMC are in the front here as its Evan Huffman (Astana), Bjorn Thurau (Europcar), Arnaud Courteille (FDJ) and Jack Bobridge (Belkin)


With today a day out for the sprinters, there a few riders in skinsuits 


144km remaining from 148km

The pace is in and the break has been caught with BMC and Sky controlling the pace which is rather high


143km remaining from 148km

Carlos Verona (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) is trying his luck here


With the high pace the peloton has been broken up into small groups as a break is determined to form and the the riders are deciding who they want to let go


142km remaining from 148km

Europcar look like they really want to get a rider away with Perrig Quemeneur almost with joined Carlos VeronaOPQ at the front while Damien Gaudin (Ag2r) is trying to join them


This little group now has a ten second lead


The peloton is going through Stirling now with the two leaders just 20 second ahead while a group of about 20 off the back trying to catch the main group


137km remaining from 148km

Verona and Gaudin have 15 seconds while GreenEdge jump on the front to reel them in


135km remaining from 148km

The break is holding a 15 second lead

The chase behind the peloton is at 25 seconds while Verona and Gaudin have 7 seconds over the peloton


The grupetto is trying to get back on or otherwise it will be a long day in the saddle


135km remaining from 148km

With it all back together here, perhaps we'll see the gc men sprint for the bonus seconds


We're yet to see Drapac or UniSA get a rider clear but perhaps after the intermediate sprint we'll see the break get clear

The 15 riders off the back are 15 seconds in arrears to the peloton now


Its Turbo Durbo leading the peloton. is he setting it up for Gerrans to grab some bonus seconds


129km remaining from 148km

The grupetto has been welcomed back by the peloton and Graeme Brown (Belkin) has dropped back to the team car


127km remaining from 148km

Just around 5km to the first sprint point of today


3km to go for the sprint with GreenEdge driving the pace


Most of the riders who participated in the Bupa Challenge have reached the finishline


125km remaining from 148km

GreenEdge on the front with Echunga almost in sight


Expect Gerrans to sprint for 5 bonus seconds


123km remaining from 148km

Jan Bakelants has attacked


Attacking at the sprint point was Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-Qyick Step), Jack Bobridge (Belkin) and Bradley Linfield (UniSA) who have around 40 seconds


120km remaining from 148km

No one wants this group to go with BMC controlling the chase


118km remaining from 148km

Its all back together now as BMC are watching who is trying to get away


Simon Gerrans took out the sprint point with Matt Goss second


117km remaining from 148km

So after the intermediate sprint 

1 - Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge)
2 - Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEdge)
3 - Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp)


There is a small group of five who are forming including Will Clarke (Drapac)


Olivier Kaisen (Lotto-Belisol) has reportedly abandoned the race


Jack Haig with a rear wheel mechincal


115km remaining from 148km

in the group of five are Michael Andersen (Tinkoff-SAxo, Axel Domont (Ag2r) Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar), Cameron Wurf (Cannondale) Wesley Sulzberger (Drapac)


Lieuwe Westra (Astana) is trying to bridge this gap and is 21 seconds of the leading five. The peloton is 50 seconds off the tete de la course


Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida):

The whole stage depends on what kind of breakaway goes at the beginning of the race. I’ll keep my eyes wide open, wishing it’ll be a quiet stage because it would be better for me to save energy for tomorrow.


Gerrans moved to within 9 seconds of Evans after the sprint 


Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale):

I was so disappointed that I crashed yesterday 5km before the Corkscrew climb. After coming fifth in Stage 1, I was hoping for a great GC result. I had been so serious about preparing for this race. I even skipped the Christmas food. Now I wait for Willunga Hill to see where my good form can take me


Before the race Nathan Haas said if bonus seconds were on offer, he'd chase them down. That's just what he did


Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp):

I want to hold on to the position I’ve got now (4th overall) and make sure that I’ll go as well tomorrow as I did yesterday. If I see an opportunity to get some time bonus, I’ll take it. If not, I’ll just relax in the bunch and wait for Willunga Hill tomorrow.


110km remaining from 148km

The break has almost 1:00 over the peloton and Westra (Astana) is trying to bridge. In the group of five are Michael Andersen (Tinkoff-Saxo, Axel Domont (Ag2r) Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar), Cameron Wurf (Cannondale) and Wesley Sulzberger (Drapac).


110km remaining from 148km

The break has 2:00 now over the peloton and Westra (Astana) is trying to bridge. In the group of five are Michael Andersen (Tinkoff-Saxo, Axel Domont (Ag2r) Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar), Cameron Wurf (Cannondale) and Wesley Sulzberger (Drapac).


 Europcar have been very active in getting riders into the break today with Bjorn Thurau  now 40 seconds off the leaders as he tries to join teammate Arashiro

Koen de Kort (Giant-Shimano):

Certainly we want a bunch sprint for Marcel Kittel. We had Simon Geschke up on GC but he lost some time yesterday so our main goal is to get two stage wins, today and on Sunday. All depends on how the start goes today.


it seems race radio are clarifying whether its Westra or Tharau who is the rider making the chase to the main group


 André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) is going to be disadvantaged by the confirmation that teammate Kaisen has abandoned the race

André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol):

A lot of teams are trying to break away because they are out of GC. But we’ll chase them down. I've won in Victor Harbour before. I know the wind can come from different sides. Sprinting is not about Kittel and myself. I trust my team, that’s all.


The fast man with the fast name, Roberto Ferrari (Lampre-Merida), is hoping to take another win for the team after Diego Ulissi won Stage 2


Roberto Ferrari (Lampre-Merida):

I've been told that the Santos Tour Down Under used to be a race for sprinters. I hope today it is, at least. If so, I’ll just follow André Greipel


Cameron Wurf (Cannondale) is the virtual leader on the road currently after making it into the group as BMC control the main bunch


Clarification: It is Bjorn Tharau who is chasing not Westra (Astana)


Caleb Ewan (UniSA):

I struggled a bit yesterday. I've been knocked out from the crash the day before. I’m feeling better today. The team will do all they can to get me a good position for the sprint if it comes down to a bunch sprint finish.


Axel Domont (Ag2r) is the virtual leader on the road currently after making it into the group as BMC control the main bunch


 The peloton is 4 minutes behind the leaders now

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano):

I am looking forward to today. We hope the sprinters have a chance today. The team is working well and we hope to win.


104km remaining from 148km

Thauru has sat up and rejoined the peloton. The leading five riders have 4:00 now and have not changed since this group formed


Cadel Evans (BMC)

I'm feeling good. It was a solid day and we managed to pull it off. I had to put everything on the rosa in the last 8km. It puts us in a good position going forward. We have a good team to defend.


98km remaining from 148km

The group of five have 4:40 over the main bunch. This is just about the biggest lead an escape has been allowed so far this race


94km remaining from 148km

The race has settled down after the frenetic start which saw Gerrans pick up crucial bonus seconds and then the break formed who are building a lead of almost 5:00 minutes now


Axel Domont (Ag2r) and Cameron Wurf (Cannondale) have attacked the break and have 100m on the other three


92km remaining from 148km

Behind Domont and Wurf are Michael Andersen (Tinkoff-Saxo,Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar) and Wesley Sulzberger (Drapac)


 Domont and Wurf have just extended their lead out over 5:00 minutes. The first time a break has been given this much freedom in 2014

As a sign of the winds today,the KOM arch has been taken down so as to not impact on the riders and for the safety of the crowds


89km remaining from 148km

Domont and Wurf have 1:35 over their former companions


BMC are still on the front and the lead is down to 4:35 now. Sulzberger, Andersen and Arahsiro are in the middle


Domont and Wurf are driving this but behind the other 3 riders are sitting up and will soon be swallowed up by the main bunch


Wes Sulzberger is in a skinsuit today


Next up for the riders will be the feedzone and plenty of guys will be refueling after that fast start


80km remaining from 148km

Still the two leaders holding steady with BMC leading the chase


Domont and Wurf are taking it turns and working well together. BMC and Lotto are at the head of the race and Greipel will be very hungry for the win today


70km remaining from 148km

Not long now till the riders will pass through the feedzone with the leaders time holding a 4:50 minute lead


The average speed of this race has been 41km/h


Once the riders take on their food and liquids the lead should drop down again

68km remaining from 148km

The riders are about 20 minutes away from cresting the sole climb of the day for a handful of KOM points


Domont and Wurf have 4:10 over the bunch


The KOM jersey awaits Domont given that he should take points on the climb and therefore will wrest the polka dots off Adam Hansen (Lotto)


60km remaining from 148km

That gap is at 4:09


55km remaining from 148km

We could see some echelons today with the winds picking up on the roads into Victor Harbour


GreenEdge are on the front now giving BMC a slight respite


The two leaders are seeing their lead cut down to under 4:00 minutes now as they approach the climb


1km to the top of the climb for Domont and Wurf


52km remaining from 148km

The climb is a Cat 2 and Domont is now the leader of the KOM classification


50km remaining from 148km

The gap is down to 2:00 minutes now


Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing):

After two or three days in the peloton, I needed to show my face and my team colors. I hate to just fill up space in the peloton. I wanted to attack to show I am still alive. I want to lead by example. I want to teach the young fellas a few things. I want to show the young kids, if you want to take my place, you have to take it.


The peloton has been split over the climb with GreenEdge taking control and trying to get Gerrans the bonus seconds on offer


48km remaining from 148km

Robert Gesink (Belkin):

I like racing here. It's a bit early for usEuropean guys, but the organization is good, good weather, goodracing. It's a great way to start the season. We still have theWillunga stage to come, so I hope to have some possibilities there.Maybe with some luck we can move up on GC.


Reports that Kittel didn't make the lead group


46km remaining from 148km

The two leaders have just 1:30 minutes now over as several riders were forced to make a quick detour on to the side of the road


This front bunch is now all strung out with around 60 riders having made it


Domont and Wurf 's lead is now under 1:00 minute


Adam Hansen was third over the climb and took out four points so it will be Hansen who keeps his lead in the KOM actually


43km remaining from 148km

KOM standings

1. 32 Adam HANSEN (LTB) 24 pt
2. 75 Axel DOMONT (ALM) 22
3. 184 William CLARKE (DPC) 20


42km remaining from 148km

The catch is on as Domont and Wurf are sucked up into the peloton


This is going to be the stage now for Greipel who is the fastest man in the first group whilethe second group on the road 45 seconds behind.

Lotto and GreenEdge are driving the front group


Michael Mattews (Orica-GreenEdge) is on the front. We haven't seen Luke Durbridge doing so much work since the opening two days when he was bossing the whole peloton and setting the pace like a seasoned pro


Its 7km until the intermaidte sprint now and with an average speed of 61km in the last 10km, it will be a fast ride to the claim the bonus seconds


Its 7km until the intermaidte sprint now and with an average speed of 64km/h in the last 10km, it will be a fast ride to the claim the bonus seconds


33km remaining from 148km

 GreenEdge are driving the front group to get the bonus seconds for Gerrans and stop Evans from getting any extra time

Evans is placed on Gerrans wheel in the lead up the to the sprint


Gerrans and Ulissi grabbed time there as Evans couldn't hold that pace and dropped out of the sprint


A mechanical stopped Evans there


Intermediate sprint results

1 Haas (Garmin-Sharp)
2 Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge)
3 Ulissi (Lampre-Merida)


It's a new bike for Evans after that mechanical in the sprint


In trying to get over the left side of the road Evans was almost taken out. That could have been his race all over red rover


28km remaining from 148km

After that sprint, the only thing left to contest is the stage win so its no surprise that Lotto are now on the front


Five BMC riders have paced Evans back to the front now and the front group is rather strung out in a long line


26km remaining from 148km

Cannondale are on the front now and are working for Elia Viviani who can match it with the best but its still Greipel's race to lose


The race clock has just clicked over three hours and it won't be too long until the front bunch reaches Victor Harbour


Evans is riding at the back of the bunch after a few close calls there


21km remaining from 148km

Jonathan Cantwell (Drapac) has his team placing him at the front and the Pro-Conti outfit would be confident he can deliver today


20km remaining from 148km

So its just under 20km left to race now and Lotto are back on the front with a Garmin-Sharp rider adding some colour to the pace


13km remaining from 148km

The wind is blowing and Drapac are going to try and stop Lotto but Garmin will be hoping that Steele von Hoff can claim the win


12km remaining from 148km

Its 30 seconds back the second group 


Greipel's skinsuit may be the difference today if he claims the win


12km remaining from 148km

Its 7:30 seconds back to the second group so its red rover for them


12km remaining from 148km

Its 7:30 seconds back to the second group so its red rover for them


 Tour boss Prudhomme is in town. Click here to see what he has to say about the race

10km remaining from 148km

With 10km to go it will be fast finish into Victor Harbour


Also in that second group are Caleb Ewan (UniSA) and Mark Renshaw (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)


8km remaining from 148km

The time difference between the two groups is now 7:45 and the organisers won't DSQ half the race so expect that gap to lengthen with the front group set to average 60km/h or so in the final few km


7km remaining from 148km

Lotto, Sky and Drapac are all the front and Garmin are snaking their way up the middle


Is Simon Gerrans going to try for the win to claim the bonus which would give him the lead?


A Cannondale rider had a look at the peloton and is now gaining a lead of several hundred meters


Cameron Wurf (Caanondale) was in the break earlier today and now he is trying to grab the win


With Wurf caught, Serge Pauwels and Jan Bakelandts are launching a counter attack now


There are three riders who have launched an attack behind them but are now caught 


3km remaining from 148km

Pauwels and Bakelandts are building a small gap now


Bakelandts has surprised the sprinters before at the 2013 Tour de France. Can he do it again?


The chase is causing a split now


The two riders have been caught 


Andre Greipel wins the race once again in Victor Harbour to take his 15th win at the Tour Down Under


After seeing his main rivals miss the split that was caused on the KOM of the day, Greipel has taken the win by several length and also saw teammate Jurgen Roelandts take out second place. Simon Gerrans had a good day out with his deficit to Evans cut down by his sprinting prowess and ends the day with just 7 seconds separating the pair.


1km remaining from 148km

The two riders have been caught 


Having seen his major rival, Marcel Kittel miss the split, Greipel was in the box seat to take the win but it wasn't a straight forward sprinters stage as Orica-GreenEdge set up Simon Gerrans to take as many bonus seconds as possible in the intermediate sprint points.

Check back to the Santos Tour Down Under page for a full wrap of the days action.

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