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Tour de Suisse 2017: Stage 4


The Tour de Suisse peloton is just about to set out from Bern for the start of stage 4. The riders will negotiate a 5.7km neutralised zone and are due to reach kilometre zero at 1.29pm local time.

The general classification situation is as follows ahead of today's opening mountain leg of the Tour de Suisse:


1 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb 8:18:47
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:10
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:11
4 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:19
5 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott 0:00:20
6 Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac 0:00:22
7 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:23
8 John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:24
9 Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:25
10 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team


After a rolling opening 90 kilometres or so, there are two categorised climbs on the agenda later this afternoon. The Col des Mosses (13.7km climb at 4%) offers a relatively gentle introduction, but the final ascent to Villars-sur-Ollon is a tougher proposition. 11 kilometres in length with an average gradient of 7.6%, it should provoke a shake-up of the general classification. 


There are two non-starters to report. Sébastien Reichenbach (FDJ), so impressive as Thibaut Pinot's lieutenant at the Giro d'Italia, was struggling with stomach problems yesterday and has opted not to start today. Davide Martinelli (Quick-Step Floors) has also abandoned the Tour de Suisse overnight.


147km remaining from 150km

It has been a rapid start to proceedings from the moment the flag dropped, but as yet no breakaway attempt has gained traction.


Michael Matthews (Sunweb) delivered an impressive sprint to see off world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) to win yesterday's stage in Bern, where, of course, Sagan triumphed during last year's Tour de France. The victory put Matthews into the yellow jersey, while his Sunweb teammate Tom Dumoulin lies second overall, just 10 seconds back. 


137km remaining from 150km

The pace is still very brisk indeed in the opening kilometres, but the peloton remains together, at least for the time being.


Lars Boom (LottoNL-Jumbo), Larry Warbasse (Aqua Blue Sport), Antoine Duschesne (Direct Energie) and Nick van der Lijke (Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij) finally snap the elastic and open a small gap over the peloton.


This quartet has established a lead of 30 seconds over the bunch, but Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) is attempting to bridge across alone. The Belgian might not be allowed to go clear as readily as Boom, Warbasse et al.


130km remaining from 150km

Boom, Warbasse, Duchesne and Van der Lijke have a lead of 40 seconds over the peloton, while Wellens is 20 seconds down on the four escapees.


125km remaining from 150km

The speed in the peloton has abated, and the four leaders have stretched their advantage to 1:42. 


Boom began the day 1:16 down on Matthews, and the Dutchman is the virtual race leader as the escapees' advantage rises to three minutes. Wellens, it seems, has been swept up by the bunch. Sunweb, BMC et al seem content to grant Boom, Duchesne, Van der Lijke and Warbasse their freedom for the time being.


119km remaining from 150km

Wellens has indeed sat up and been absorbed by the peloton, while Boom et al continue to collaborate smoothly, three minutes clear of the bunch.


112km remaining from 150km

The pace has relented significantly in the main peloton, and the four escapees continue to augment their advantage, which has now gone north of six minutes.


109km remaining from 150km

The Sunweb team of Matthews and Dumoulin sets a steady tempo at the head of the peloton as the break's lead yawns out still further, to 7:55.


The escapees covered 40.8 kilometres in the opening hour of racing. The peloton, now 8 minutes back, covered rather less, but the early speed has taken its toll. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data) has abandoned the Tour de Suisse.


100km remaining from 150km

Our own Zeb Woodpower caught up with Tour de Suisse leader Michael Matthews and spoke to him about his aspirations for the Tour de France. Peter Sagan has won the green jersey five years in a row chiefly by being able to claim points in the part of the race the pure sprinters simply cannot reach, but he could have a genuine rival for the classification this time around in the form of Matthews. "I know what it feels like to personally win a stage at the Tour now, so it is different to other years when I've had really bad luck with crashes and everything," Matthews said. "I think looking back, the memories of the Tour are nicer now after winning the stage last year, that makes it more exciting to go back and try and do bigger and better things." You can read the full interview here.


93km remaining from 150km

The four escapees are still around 40 kilometres from the base of the day's first climb, the Col des Mosses, hence the relative lack of urgency in the main peloton, where AG2R La Mondiale are helping Sunweb with the pace-setting.


86km remaining from 150km

Lawson Craddock (Cannondale-Drapac) has abandoned the race. The break's lead, meanwhile, has dropped to 7:15 as Sunweb continue to lead the peloton.


This year's Tour de Suisse is relatively light on the consensus Tour de France podium favourites, most of whom were in action at the Dauphine last week. Here is an overview of how the man expected to fare best in July are shaping up less than three weeks from the Grand Depart

72km remaining from 150km

At the town of Broc with a shade over 70 kilometres remaining, the break's lead stands just north of 7 minutes. Although the road will soon begin to climb very gradually, the ascent of the Col des Mosses proper is still some 30 kilometres away. 


Today's stage is the first major test for the general classification contenders, including three-time winner Rui Costa (UAE-Emirates), Jon Izaguirre (Bahrain-Merida), Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), and, of course, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb). The Giro winner arrived in Switzerland targeting the opening time trial and insisting that he would gauge his GC hopes "day by day." Today will certainly tell him a lot more.


62km remaining from 150km

The break's lead has edged out once more towards the eight-minute mark, but with two mountain passes to come, the peloton is not unduly concerned by the deficit for the time being.


Temperatures are touching 30 degrees Celsius in the valleys this afternoon, and the conditions are adding to the difficulty of the stage. Former Hour Record holder Matthias Brandle (Trek-Segafredo) is the latest rider to abandon the race.


54km remaining from 150km

The escapees approach the final 50 kilometres with a lead of 7:30 over the peloton. 


The Tour de Suisse last had a stage finish at Villars sur Ollon back in 1998, when Davide Rebellin soloed to victory ahead of Francesco Casagrande and Beat Zberg. Stefano Garzelli, Laurent Jalabert, Pavel Tonkov and Peter Luttenberger were all among the chasers, 41 seconds back. Garzelli would go on to win the race overall. You can read how Cyclingnews reported on that Tour de Suisse in the era of dial-up internet here.


The speed in the peloton begins to ratchet upwards on the approach towards the Col des Mosses, and the break's advantage is shaved back to 6:30.


41km remaining from 150km

Trek-Segafredo press officer Matt Rendall informs us that, contrary to earlier reports, Matthias Brändle remains very much in the race. 


39km remaining from 150km

Bahrain-Merida set the temp on the peloton on the lower slopes of the Col des Mosses, and the deficit to the four escapees drops to inside 6 minutes.


38km remaining from 150km

And then there were three. Larry Warbasse (Aqua Blue) turns the screw a little at the front of the race and Lars Boom loses contact with the break.


Last year's winner Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) is near the back of the main peloton. This is only his fifth day of racing this season after he fractured his tibia in training over the winter, and the Colombian is here primarily to bank miles ahead of the second part of the campaign.

37km remaining from 150km

Warbasse continues to dictate terms at the head of the race, and Van der Lijke relents. Only Duchesne can follow the American's rhythm.


36km remaining from 150km

A determined delegation from Bahrain-Merida continues to ride on the front of the peloton, and while some riders are losing contact at the back, it's notable that both yellow jersey Michael Matthews and world champion Peter Sagan are both tucked in towards the front of the group.


Van der Lijke has managed to ride his way back up to Duchesne and Warbasse, and this trio is now sharing the pace-making at the head of the race. 5:18 the gap to the peloton. Boom is alone, meanwhile, 1:00 down.


34km remaining from 150km

Van der Lijke leads the break over the summit of the Col des Mosses, and the trio begin the descent with a lead of more than 5 minutes on the bunch.


Boom hasn't sat up and he is pedalling quite well as he crests the summit, 1:15 down on the three leaders.


As Bahrain-Merida line out the bunch on behalf of Izaguirre, a delegation from Sunweb is positioned right behind them, with Giro winner Tom Dumoulin prominent.


Jhonatan Restrepo (Katusha-Alpecin) accelerates viciously from the main peloton 500 metres from the top of the climb. The Colombian opens a small gap and continues to press on after he reaches the top, with an eye to preparing the ground for team leader Simon Spilak.


The peloton crests the summit 4:55 down on the three leaders.


28km remaining from 150km

Duchesne, Warbasse and Van der Lijke negotiate the descent, which becomes more sinuous as they drop towards Aigle, home of the UCI.


24km remaining from 150km

Restrepo is reabsorbed by the peloton on the descent of the Col des Mosses.  4:50 the gap to the three leaders.


22km remaining from 150km

Lars Boom remains 1:20 behind his erstwhile breakaway companions as he drops towards Aigle.


20km remaining from 150km

Duchesne, Van der Lijke and Warbasse have 1:42 on Boom and 4:41 on the bunch as they enter the final 20 kilometres of the stage.


16km remaining from 150km

The race swoops through Aigle and the UCI World Cycling Centre as it reaches the base of the descent off the Col des Mosses and turns towards the final haul to the line.


14km remaining from 150km

Midway down the descent, Lars Boom realised that he had no prospect of clawing his way back up to the three leaders, and the Dutchman has been caught by the main peloton.


Trek-Segafredo take up the reins at the head of the bunch at the base of the descent off the Col des Mosses. It will be fascinating to see how Fabio Felline, so impressive in placing 4th at the Tour de Romandie, fares here.


11km remaining from 150km

Felline is still only 27 years of age but already in his eighth year as a professional. He made his Tour de France debut as a neo-professional with Footon-Servetto all the way back in 2010.  


10km remaining from 150km

FDJ take over at the front of the peloton on the final approach to the 10.2km climb to the line. 4:10 the gap.


9km remaining from 150km

As on the Col des Mosses, Warbasse is performing the bulk of the pace-making in the break on the lower slopes of the final climb.


Warbasse's turn of pace has burnt off Duchesne. The Canadian tries to limit the damage but he will struggle to get back on. Van der Lijke remains locked to Warbasse's wheel.


9km remaining from 150km

FDJ continue on the head of the bunch with Steve Morabito in mind, and the break's lead has been slashed to 3:15.


Yellow jersey Michael Matthews has been dropped from the peloton. The race lead will change hands this evening. The Australian sits up as the gradient bites. Peter Sagan does the same soon afterwards.


8km remaining from 150km

Warbasse's tempo proves too much for Van der Lijke, who is dropped by the American. Warbasse has precisely three minutes in hand on the bunch.


8km remaining from 150km

The group of favourites is down to 40 or so riders. Michael Albasini (Orica-Scott) is the latest man to relent as FDJ continue to set the tempo.


Rui Costa, Kruijswijk, Damiano Caruso (BMC) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale) are all well positioned towards the head of the reduced peloton.


7km remaining from 150km

Warbasse has 15 seconds on Van der Lijke and 2:30 on the peloton.


Philippe Gilbert is dropped by the peloton as the pace increases. Tejay van Garderen (BMC) returns to the front and rides on behalf of Caruso.


6km remaining from 150km

A tentative attack from Valerio Conti (UAE-Emirates) is sniffed out. Van Garderen rides on the front of the reduced peloton with Caruso on his wheel. Marc Soler (Movistar) sits in third position, while Morabito has been distanced.


6km remaining from 150km

The group of favourites is down to around 25 riders. Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Drapac) is among those to be distanced.


6km remaining from 150km

Tom Dumoulin is still in this group but he is towards the back and is showing signs of struggling.


5km remaining from 150km

Tom Dumoulin is dropped by the group of favourites. It was a surprise to see the Giro winner take on this race, but rather less unexpected are his struggles here.


5km remaining from 150km

Warbasse remains out in front, 45 seconds clear of Van der Lijke and 2 minutes up on the reduced bunch.


Caruso accelerates and his effort has split the group of favourites. Pozzovivo, Kruijswijk and Mathias Frank are among those to come with him, but Jon Izaguirre and Rui Costa have been distanced...


Kruijswijk launches and acceleration of his own. Simon Spilak leads the chase, with Caruso, Pozzovivo, Frank and Soler on his wheel.


As soon as Kruijswijk is brought back, Pozzovivo launches an attack and the Italian has opened a small gap.


4km remaining from 150km

Pozzovivo catches and passed Van der Lijke. He is 1:09 behind Warbasse. Spilak, Caruso, Frank, Kruijswijk and Soler are just behind Pozzovivo, while Miguel Angel Lopez and Rui Costa are among those scrambling to get back on terms.


3km remaining from 150km

Kruijswijk, Frank, Caruso, Spilak and Soler are just behind Pozzovivo. This group is around 1:20 down on Warbasse.

3km remaining from 150km

Spilak's pace-making has brought the small chasing group back up to Pozzovivo. Spilak, Pozzovivo, Frank, Caruso, Soler and Kruijswijk are 1:10 behind Warbasse.


2km remaining from 150km

Spilak launches a vicious attack and only Kruijswijk can follow immediately. Caruso then leads Frank, Soler and Pozzovivo back up to them.


2km remaining from 150km

The pace drops slightly in the chasing group as they come back together. Warbasse remains 1:05 clear.


2km remaining from 150km

Spilak tries to forge clear again but he is pegged back by Pozzovivo. As soon as Spilak is brought to heel, Pozzovivo's teammate Frank tacks on an acceleration of his own and he opens a small gap.


Miguel Angel Lopez, meanwhile, is producing a fine ride in the circumstances. The Colombian is back to within 20 metres of this elite group of contenders.


2km remaining from 150km

Frank is extending his lead over Spilak, Caruso et al. The Swiss rider is still 52 seconds behind Warbasse, however, and is running out of road to win this stage.


1km remaining from 150km

Frank is 48 seconds behind Warbasse. Miguel Angel Lopez, meanwhile, is losing ground again on the Spilak-Kruijswijk group.


1km remaining from 150km

Into the final kilometre for Larry Warbasse, who is surely headed for stage victory. 


Frank passes the flamme rouge with a deficit of around 40 seconds.


Frank will be caught by the chasers before he catches Warbasse, who is now in the final 300 metres...


Larry Warbasse (Aqua Blue Sport) wins stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse. 


Frank is caught by the Spilak-Kruijswijk group in the finale.


Caruso wins the sprint for second place ahead of Kruijswijk and Spilak. Caruso will take possession of the yellow jersey this evening.


Marc Soler was dislodged in the final kick to the line, and almost caught by the impressive Miguel Angel Lopez.


Rui Costa battles to limit his losses and we await the time gaps, but the Portuguese will have his work cut out to claim a fourth overall title on the evidence of today.


This is the first win of Warbasse's professional career, who came home 40 seconds clear of Caruso, Spilak, Kruijswijk and Pozzovivo. 


In the overall standings, Caruso leads Kruijswijk by 15 seconds, Pozzovivo and Spilak by 24 seconds and Soler by 31 seconds.



1 Larry Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue Sport 3:48:55
2 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:40
3 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
4 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:44
6 Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:47
7 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:59
8 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:01:07
9 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky 0:01:20
10 Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:34


General classification after stage 4:

1 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 12:08:35
2 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:15
3 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:24
4 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin
5 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:31


A visibly emotional Larry Warbasse (Aqua Blue Sport) reacts to the finest moment of his professional career: "It's the first victory of my career. I love this race, l love Switzerland, I was on IAM for two years. It felt like a home race today. Everybody was yelling my name and I'm so happy. I worked really hard. I always give 110 percent and I'm just so happy that it finally paid off." 


Warbasse was in tears by the end of his flash interview ahead of the podium ceremony. The Michigan native was well worth his victory today. He was clearly the strongest of the four escapees and was intelligent in managing his advantage over the chasers on the final climb. Although his lead diminished in the final kilometres, his pedalling remained smooth and, whether he realised it or not, the result was never in doubt once he hit the last two kilometres.



Jon Izaguirre, highly fancied before the race, lost 4:29  on the stage and with it all hopes of overall victory. Tom Dumoulin came in 7:12 down after sitting up in the finale.


General classification after stage 4:

1 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 12:08:35
2 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:15
3 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:24
4 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin
5 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:31
6 Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale 00:00:33
7 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky 00:01:09
8 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) UAE-Team Emirates 00:01:10
9 Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE-Team Emirates 00:01:20
10 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 00:01:25


Thanks for following our live coverage of the Tour de Suisse on Cyclingnews this afternoon. A full report, results and pictures will be available here, and we'll be back with more live updates tomorrow from stage 5. 


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