Tour Down Under: Von Hoff steels the stage in Mount Barker

Steele von Hoff won a bunch sprint finish in Mount Barker after 145km of racing to make it two wins out of four for UniSA while a crash brought down a large group in the final 150 meters. The win is von Hoff's first WorldTour victory of his career and second of the month after defending his Australian national criterium title in Ballarat.

Von Hoff out-kicked his rivals over a long, flat straightaway, crossing the line ahead of Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) and Wouter Wippert (Drapac). Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) was fourth, followed by Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R).

"Jack Bobridge was looking after me saying, 'be patient, be patient. I know these roads like the back of my hand'," von Hoff said after the stage. "I just trusted it then he delivered me in the final km under the banner and then I just sniveled and held the wheel of the trains. He told me to like (get on) Quicksteps' because with [Mark] Renshaw here there was definitely a fantastic chance and I did that and it opened up on the left hand side of the road.

"I think we're batting well above our average here: two stage wins, the ochre jersey for two days now," von Hoff said of the UniSA team. "This is fantastic, we've got such a good team here and good staff as well."

"My goal is to get back into the World Tour," von Hoff added. "The merger between Cannondale and Garmin left me behind this time but this win today will help me to go back to the highest level."

Rohan Dennis finished safely in the bunch and continues to lead his BMC teammate Cadel Evans by seven seconds in the general classification. Giant-Alpecin's Tom Dumoulin is third overall, nine seconds back, having also finished safely. Impey was the big mover on the day, improving his GC position from tenth for fourth thanks for the bonus seconds he picked at the finish line and first intermediate sprint point.

How it unfolded

As with the first three stages, the attacks during the 145km stage 4 run from Glenelg to Mt. Barker started immediately as the red flag dropped, but BMC was very protective of is GC leader Rohan Dennis and pulled back all of the early moves.

The pattern of attack and chase held until a quartet of riders sneaked away about 23km into the day. The move initially included Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEdge) Peter Kennaugh (Sky), Cedric Pineau (FDJ) and former race leader Jack Bobridge (UniSA).

Cannondale-Garmin's Nathan Haas, who was ninth on the first stage, put in an impressive effort to bridge to the leaders, but he was unable to make contact before the peloton, obviously pleased with the quartet up front, sat up and let the gap increase rapidly. An untimely flat eventually ended Haas' escape and he was quickly back in the field.

Just 23km into the race and the leaders had 1:50 on the peloton, and with Bobridge the best-placed general classification rider in the breakaway at 39 seconds off of Dennis' pace, the UniSA rider was once again the leader on the road.

The gap was up to 2:25 just 37km into the race, but it came down steadily on the climb up to the first KOM at Sellicks Hill at 44.2km. Bobridge grabbed the maximum points there, but by then the group's advantage was down to 1:30 under the pressure of BMC's chase.

Bobridge decided he was happy with the KOM points and the polka dot jersey, and so he sat up and allowed himself to fade back into the bunch. With the next-best GC rider in the group more than four minutes off Dennis' pace, the breakaway had a better chance to build its advantage without the UniSA rider among them.

As expected, with Bobridge gone from the group, the remaining trio's advantage started to increase. At 60km, with less than 85 km remaining, the gap was back up to 2:25. But again, BMC's domestiques flexed their muscles and started reeling the leaders back, trimming off more than a minute in less than 10km.

When the gap dipped below a minute before the first intermediate sprint of the day and its time bonuses, Pineau lost patience in the breakaway and dropped his two companions. But his attack drew out the chasing peloton and all three riders was soon back on the fold, setting up what amounted to a bunch kick for the intermediate sprint.

Orica's Daryl Impey, who started the day 10th overall just 22 seconds behind Dennis, took the three-second time bonus at the sprint line and moved just that much closer to the race leader.

Three more riders slipped off the front following the sprint, as Ruslan Tleubayev (Astana), Maxim Belkov (Katusha) and Pieter Serry (Etixx-QuickStep) got a quick gap that they quickly built into a gap of more than two minutes.

The breakaway scooped up the next sprint points as Movistar moved the front of the chase for their man Juan Jose Lobato, digging into the leaders' advantage almost immediately. The pace of the chase has its effect on the field as well, as it split into three selections and deposited Giant-Alpecin sprinter Marcel Kittel in a group nearly four minutes back.

Tleubayev popped out of the break with just 24km when the gap was at less than a minute. Belkov and Serry continued on, but the chase brought them back in turn, making the catch with 9km to go.

Astana took advantage of the moment to launch Luis Leon Sanchez off the front behind a ferocious attack from his new teammate, Lars Boom. Boom sold out for his team leader and quickly fell off the pace, but Sanchez continued on with Movistar's Gorka Izaguirre Insausti, who tagged along with the Boom lead-out.

Orica-GreenEdge recognised how dangerous the move was and pulled the two Spanish riders back after several kilometres. On the fast descent into Mount Barker what looked to be a touch of wheels in the final 300 metres on the left hand side of the road spectacularly brought down rider who were strewn across the road. With von Hoff out in front, the former Garmin-Sharp rider proved too fast for Impey and Wippert and finished off the sprint to claim his first professional win and UniSA's second of the week.

While the GC contenders were caught up in the crash, with the accident taking place within the final three kilometres no rider lost time ahead of the queen stage to Willunga Hill.

Results

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Stage 4 results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-Australia3:24:28
2Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdgeRow 1 - Cell 2
3Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 2 - Cell 2
4Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM CyclingRow 3 - Cell 2
5Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 4 - Cell 2
6Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 5 - Cell 2
7Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team KatushaRow 6 - Cell 2
8Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 7 - Cell 2
9Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek Factory RacingRow 8 - Cell 2
10Koen de Kort (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 9 - Cell 2
11Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.frRow 10 - Cell 2
12Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM CyclingRow 11 - Cell 2
13Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 12 - Cell 2
14Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 13 - Cell 2
15Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 15 - Cell 2
17Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Team KatushaRow 16 - Cell 2
18Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 17 - Cell 2
19Tiago Machado (Por) Team KatushaRow 18 - Cell 2
20Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 19 - Cell 2
21Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 20 - Cell 2
22Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Jack Haig (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 23 - Cell 2
25Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 24 - Cell 2
26Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 25 - Cell 2
27Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Lampre-MeridaRow 26 - Cell 2
28Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM CyclingRow 27 - Cell 2
29Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 28 - Cell 2
30Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 30 - Cell 2
32Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 31 - Cell 2
33Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team SkyRow 32 - Cell 2
34Lars Bak (Den) Lotto SoudalRow 33 - Cell 2
35Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory RacingRow 34 - Cell 2
36Miles Scotson (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 35 - Cell 2
37Gregory Henderson (NZl) Lotto SoudalRow 36 - Cell 2
38Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 37 - Cell 2
39Stef Clement (Ned) IAM CyclingRow 38 - Cell 2
40Richie Porte (Aus) Team SkyRow 39 - Cell 2
41Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 40 - Cell 2
42Maxime Bouet (Fra) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 41 - Cell 2
43Martin Velits (Svk) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 42 - Cell 2
44Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
45Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 44 - Cell 2
46Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 45 - Cell 2
47Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 46 - Cell 2
48Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team KatushaRow 47 - Cell 2
49Hayden Roulston (NZl) Trek Factory RacingRow 48 - Cell 2
50David Tanner (Aus) IAM CyclingRow 49 - Cell 2
51Jack Bobridge (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 50 - Cell 2
52Ian Stannard (GBr) Team SkyRow 51 - Cell 2
53Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Daniel McConnell (Aus) Trek Factory RacingRow 53 - Cell 2
55Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) IAM CyclingRow 54 - Cell 2
56Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 55 - Cell 2
57Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 56 - Cell 2
58Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
59Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 58 - Cell 2
60José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 59 - Cell 2
61Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 60 - Cell 2
62Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 61 - Cell 2
63Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-MeridaRow 62 - Cell 2
64Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 63 - Cell 2
65Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team SkyRow 64 - Cell 2
66Robert Power (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 65 - Cell 2
67Davide Malacarne (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 66 - Cell 2
68Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 67 - Cell 2
69Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 68 - Cell 2
70Marco Coledan (Ita) Trek Factory RacingRow 69 - Cell 2
71Martin Kohler (Swi) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 70 - Cell 2
72Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 71 - Cell 2
73David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 72 - Cell 2
74Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 73 - Cell 2
75Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 74 - Cell 2
76Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 75 - Cell 2
77Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 76 - Cell 2
78Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 77 - Cell 2
79Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 78 - Cell 2
80Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 80 - Cell 2
82Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 81 - Cell 2
83Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro TeamRow 82 - Cell 2
84Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 83 - Cell 2
85Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 84 - Cell 2
86Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ.frRow 85 - Cell 2
87Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ.frRow 86 - Cell 2
88Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) FDJ.frRow 87 - Cell 2
89George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 88 - Cell 2
90Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.frRow 89 - Cell 2
91Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory RacingRow 90 - Cell 2
92Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 91 - Cell 2
93Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team KatushaRow 92 - Cell 2
94Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 93 - Cell 2
95Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Team KatushaRow 94 - Cell 2
96Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ.frRow 95 - Cell 2
97Martijn Keizer (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:03:20
98Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica GreenEdgeRow 97 - Cell 2
99Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 98 - Cell 2
100Alex Edmondson (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 99 - Cell 2
101Jordan Kerby (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 100 - Cell 2
102Rick Flens (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 101 - Cell 2
103Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 102 - Cell 2
104Neil van der Ploeg (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 103 - Cell 2
105Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 104 - Cell 2
106Timothy Roe (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 105 - Cell 2
107Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 106 - Cell 2
108William Clarke (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling0:03:20
109Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 108 - Cell 2
110Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 109 - Cell 2
111Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 110 - Cell 2
112Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:45
113Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 112 - Cell 2
114Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 113 - Cell 2
115Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.frRow 114 - Cell 2
116Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 115 - Cell 2
117Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 116 - Cell 2
118Luke Rowe (GBr) Team SkyRow 117 - Cell 2
119Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team SkyRow 118 - Cell 2
120Jack Bauer (NZl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:04:40
121Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step0:04:45
122Graeme Brown (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 121 - Cell 2
123Travis Meyer (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 122 - Cell 2
124Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin0:13:23
125Christopher Sutton (Aus) Team SkyRow 124 - Cell 2
126Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 125 - Cell 2
127Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 126 - Cell 2
128Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory RacingRow 127 - Cell 2
129Boris Vallée (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 128 - Cell 2
130Barry Markus (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFLawson Craddock (USA) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 130 - Cell 2
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Points - Ashbourne
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge5pts
2Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx - Quick-Step2Row 2 - Cell 3
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Macclesfield
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha5pts
2Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step2Row 2 - Cell 3
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Finish
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-Australia15pts
2Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge14Row 1 - Cell 3
3Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling13Row 2 - Cell 3
4Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling12Row 3 - Cell 3
5Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale11Row 4 - Cell 3
6Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team Katusha9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek Factory Racing7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Koen de Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin6Row 9 - Cell 3
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Mountain classification - Sellicks Hill
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Jack Bobridge (Aus) UniSA-Australia10pts
2Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdge6Row 1 - Cell 3
3Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky4Row 2 - Cell 3
4Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.fr2Row 3 - Cell 3
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Young riders
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling3:24:28
2Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 1 - Cell 2
3Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek Factory RacingRow 2 - Cell 2
4Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 3 - Cell 2
5Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 4 - Cell 2
6Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 5 - Cell 2
7Jack Haig (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 6 - Cell 2
8Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Lampre-MeridaRow 7 - Cell 2
9Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Miles Scotson (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 9 - Cell 2
11Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 11 - Cell 2
13Robert Power (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 12 - Cell 2
14Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 13 - Cell 2
15Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ.frRow 15 - Cell 2
17George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 16 - Cell 2
18Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory RacingRow 17 - Cell 2
19Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 18 - Cell 2
20Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ.frRow 19 - Cell 2
21Alex Edmondson (Aus) UniSA-Australia0:03:20
22Jordan Kerby (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 21 - Cell 2
23Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 22 - Cell 2
24Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 23 - Cell 2
25Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:45
26Luke Rowe (GBr) Team SkyRow 25 - Cell 2
27Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:13:23
28Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 27 - Cell 2
29Boris Vallée (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 28 - Cell 2
30Barry Markus (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 29 - Cell 2
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Most aggressive
Rider Name (Country) Team
Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.fr
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Teams classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team Katusha10:13:24
2IAM CyclingRow 1 - Cell 2
3Team Giant - AlpecinRow 2 - Cell 2
4UniSA AustraliaRow 3 - Cell 2
5Lampre - MeridaRow 4 - Cell 2
6BMC Racing TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Ag2r La MondialeRow 6 - Cell 2
8Tinkoff - SaxoRow 7 - Cell 2
9Lotto SoudalRow 8 - Cell 2
10Etixx - Quick StepRow 9 - Cell 2
11Trek Factory RacingRow 10 - Cell 2
12Team Cannondale - GarminRow 11 - Cell 2
13Team SkyRow 12 - Cell 2
14Team Lotto NL - JumboRow 13 - Cell 2
15Movistar TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Orica GreenEdgeRow 15 - Cell 2
17Astana Pro TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18FDJ.frRow 17 - Cell 2
19Drapac Professional CyclingRow 18 - Cell 2
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