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Tour de Suisse 2015: Stage 4

 Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage four of the Tour de Suisse. 

 Today's stage started in the town of Flims and ends after 193km of racing in Schwarzenbach. It is expected to be another day for the sprinters, who can survive on the climb that features three times in the second half of the stage.

After 80km of racing the peloton has reduced the gap to five breakaways to just two minutes.

 

The riders will soon begin the three climbs of the Kirchberg climb. 

 

The riders on the attack are Thomas de Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Davide Malacarne (Astana), Alex Howes (Cannondale-Garmin), Stijn Devolder (Trek Factory Racing) and Frederik Brackjaert (Wanty Groupe Gobert).

 

Malacarne was the first get away after 12km and was quickly joined by the other riders.

 

They opened a 4:00 lead after an hour racing but then lost some time on the Wildhaus climb. 

 

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) was one of two riders not start today's stage after he was diagnosed with a micro-fracture in his knee. As a result he is not available for the BMC Tour de France team, which will be built around the USA's Tejay van Garderen.

For more details on Gilbert's injury, click here.

 

90km remaining from 193km

The peloton has just enjoyed lunch after passing the feed zone and so the chase will be on again very soon. 

 

Thank you to Royaldoctors to help me to find the reasons of the pain and @BMCProTeam to let me recover. http://t.co/bC35eVF6oX

@PhilippeGilbert Tue, 16th Jun 2015 14:42:31

RT @VeloViewer: 3 times up this climb to Kirchberg on the #TdS2015 finishing loop. The 2 steep ramps should split the field. @tds http://t.…

@LottoJumbo_road Tue, 16th Jun 2015 14:59:51

The five have extended their lead to 2:20 as the games of cat and mouse begin.

 

The Tour de Suisse is the last WorldTour race before the Tour de France but other races begin later this week as riders prepare for the Grand Boucle.

Alberto Contador has confirmed he will test his legs at the Route du Sud in the Pyrenees as he recovers from his efforts at the Giro d'Italia. 

Click here to read what he said earlier.

  

 

#tourdesuisse @stijndevolder79 and pals are not allowed a big lead. They will be on the finishing circuits soon and latest gap at 2'20".

@TrekFactory Tue, 16th Jun 2015 15:11:55

Thomas De Gendt has taken maximum points atop the Kirchberg climb. He seems to be targeting the climber's jersey today. The peloton, lead by Orica-GreenEdge, are 2:05 at the summit. 

 

After a fast descent, the riders are about to pass through the finish area for the first time. There are 60km left to race.

 

Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) is in action in his home tour at the Tour de Suisse. He was second in the opening time trial but revealed that he is focused on form after his vertebra fracture that forced him to miss the cobbled Classics.

Click here to read what Cancellara said about his form and his desire to end his career when he wants rather than letting his injuries dictate events.

 

 

58km remaining from 193km

The five attackers are losing ground as the peloton accelerates behind.  

 

The roads are dry today but the riders are wearing a second layer of clothing for the cool temperatures.

 

55km remaining from 193km

The gap to the five is just 20 seconds now.

 

The five are looking back and can see the peloton. The break is about to be caught. 

 

Howes refuses to give up and jumps away alone.

 

De Gendt is also putting up a fight as a crash causes problems in the peloton.

 

However the Orica-GreenEdge team is still leading the peloton.

 

The tempo by Orica is hurting the pure sprinters. Arnaud Demare (FDJ) is the first to be dropped. Hr crashed two days ago and seems to be suffering. 

 

Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) has also slipped off the back, despite lots of riders still in the peloton.

 

We've just headed inside 50km to go and it's all back together on stage 4 at #TourDeSuisse. @GeraintThomas86 sitting high up in the bunch

@TeamSky Tue, 16th Jun 2015 15:59:14

Cameron Meyer is on the front working for Orica-GreenEdge.

 

Orica-GreenEdge's tempo has also spat Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) out of the back of the peloton.

 

Orica are trying to eliminate all of Michael Matthew's sprint rivals but the biggest -Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), is still in the front group.

 

40km remaining from 193km

John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) could also be a contender in the sprint finish.

 

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) makes a late move to take 3 intermediate sprint seconds with a late jump. He now leads Sagan by 8 seconds. 

 

#tourdesuisse No breakaway at the moment, 36 km to go.

@Lotto_Soudal Tue, 16th Jun 2015 16:16:12

34km remaining from 193km

At the #TourDeSuisse @GeraintThomas86 has just bagged himself a bonus second at the intermediate sprint. The pace is high on this circuit

@TeamSky Tue, 16th Jun 2015 16:18:25

in the late intermediate sprint , Matti Breschel (Tinkoff-Saxo) picked up 2 seconds, with Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) picking up a second.  

 

30km remaining from 193km

There are about 80 riders left in the front group, with most of the sprinters in chase groups. 

 

The group passes the finish to start the last circuit. Fabian Cancellara brings up the rear of the group.  

The speed is rising as the final climb approaches. Some riders are even on the side walks. 

 

Several Sagan fans have travelled from Slovakia to cheer their rider. Can he win a second stage today? We will know in 25km. 

 

Cancellara has now eased up, as Orica continue to set a furious pace with five riders on the front. 

 

25km to go and race remains all together. Orica-GreenEDGE continues to set the pace on the front. Cavendish in the gruppetto. #tourdesuisse

@Etixx_QuickStep Tue, 16th Jun 2015 16:32:46

20km remaining from 193km

The riders are on the Kircherg climb, with Orica still on charge. 

 

Daryll Impey and Johan Chavez are on the front, riding for Matthews and Albasini.

 

Impey is first over the top of the climb, with the other riders sat in their slipstream.

 

Peter Sagan is in the group and looking strong.

 

John Degenkolb is tucked on Matthews back wheel. 

 

Attack! Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team) tries a solo move.

 

With Cavendish distanced, Etixx will be working for Matteo Trentin. 

 

Lutsenko has opened a 18-second gap but the roads are wide and open for the next few kilometres.

 

Peter Sagan swings off to avoid going to the front. He wants to force other teams and riders to chase Lutsenko. 

 

Crash! 

 

A Cannondale-Garmin hits a branch on the side of the road and goes down hard. It looks like it was Moreno Moser.

 

10km remaining from 193km

Lutsenko has a 20-second lead. He is giving it everything.

 

8km remaining from 193km

Lutsenko has pushed his lead out to 30 seconds. Behind FDJ is leading the chase.

 

This final short climb will be decisive for Lutsenko. 

 

The peloton has split after a surge by Morkoff of Tinkoff-Saxo.

 

He has sat up after realising that Sagan was behind.

 

Lutsnko is caught by a new attacker: Marco Marcato (Wanty). 

 

Sergio Henao (Team Sky) drags Bakelants (Ag2r) up to Marcato. 

 

Henao pushes on alone over the top of the climb.

 

4km remaining from 193km

Marcato, Henao and Bakelants still have a slight lead.

 

However the peloton can see the trio. We're set for another sprint. 

 

2km remaining from 193km

The group of 40 riders is back together as they dive through a series of corners.

 

#TdS2015 2.5 km all together #tourdesuisse

@katushacycling Tue, 16th Jun 2015 17:01:55

Albasini is doing a massive turn on the front for Matthews.  

 

But here comes Etixx, as Sagan sits in third spot and waits for the road to rise in the final kilometre. 

 

The sprinters hesitate with 500m to go. 

 

Sagan goes first but Matthews comes past him in the final down hill part to win the stage.

 

There is a split in the group, with Thomas seeming to lose a few seconds. 

 

Matthews rode a clever sprint, letting Sagan go early over the top of the climb. He then switched to the other side of the road and accelerated to victory. 

 

Matthews thanks Albasini for his huge amount of work.

 

Greg van Avermaet (BMC) finished third, with John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) fourth. 

 

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) finished near the front and so kept his overall race lead.

 

Thanks to time bonuses Sagan is second overall at 1 second. 

 

The Tour de Suisse heads into the mountains on Wednesday for the finish in Solden, Austria.  

The 237km stage ends at 12km climb to the finish line. 

 

That's it for today's live coverage from the Tour de Suisse, we will have a full stage report, photo gallery, results and news on Cyclingnews very soon. 

 

 

 

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