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Tour de Suisse 2019: Stage 4

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We're around 25 minutes away from the riders rolling out of Murten into the neutralised zone.

Today's stage features a second-category climb and a third-category climb with an unclassified climb in between. It looks like a good day for the likes of Sagan, Van Avermaet and Matthews.

Peter Sagan won yesterday's stage, beating Elia Viviani and John Degenkolb in the uphill sprint in Murten. The Bora leader, who now has 17 victories at the race, is also in the race lead. Read our full report of stage 3 here.

Sagan now leads former race leader Kasper Asgreen by 10 seconds. Here's a look at the GC heading into today's stage.

Today's final climb isn't as tough as the 9% Chuderhusi 20km from the end of stage 2, though it is a little closer to the finish. Nonetheless, Sagan would be expected to hang on to the leader's jersey this afternoon.

The riders roll out of Murten, and start the neutralised zone on stage 4.

The peloton will spend ten minutes riding through the neutralised zone before the race proper begins.

And the real racing is underway as the peloton leave the neutralised zone.

161km remaining from 163km

The first climb of the day, Passwang, comes at 87km. The day's two intermediate sprints come at 122km and 150km, while the final climb to Hochwald comes 15km from the finish.

Here's some footage of today's start in Murten.

149km remaining from 163km

Multiple reports confirm another rider made it into the day's break, though their identity isn't confirmed yet.

Taco van der Hoorn (Jumbo-Visma) is the other man out front.

143km remaining from 163km

This quartet is certainly the break of the day – nobody else seems interested in chasing them down or trying to get across at the moment.

Geschke is the best-placed on GC from the break. He lies 49 seconds down and is now in the virtual race lead. The other three men lie over 12 minutes down on Sagan.

128km remaining from 163km

2:20 for the break as they approach the 50km mark.

Yesterday's stage saw John Degenkolb beaten into third place by Peter Sagan in Murten. After the stage he talked about his battle with Sagan for his own leadout man's wheel.

The breakaway riders have ten pro wins between them, with only Friesecke yet to take a victory. Geschke, of course, won stage 17 to Pra-Loup in the 2015 Tour de France.

No change in the situation out front for now – the break are still around 2:20 up the road.

The break are around 30km from the first climb of the day, Passwang.

100km remaining from 163km

Actually, the latest info from Jumbo-Visma suggests that the time gap is up to 3:30 at the moment.

Joseba Beloki, the ONCE rider who had his career ruined by a brutal crash at the 2003 Tour de France, has commented on Chris Froome's recent crash and the recovery process.

Omar Fraile (Astana) has hit the deck. Hopefully nothing too serious.

It's still a three-minute gap for the break as they get closer to the first climb of the day.

No updates on Fraile yet. Hopefully it was a minor crash.

80km remaining from 163km

Here's a brief clip of the peloton on the climb, courtesy of the Tour de Suisse Twitter feed.

Passwang is 3.6km long at an average gradient of 9.2 per cent, with an average of 13 per cent in the final 600 metres. A tough one to kick off the day's hills.

Live pictures are about to start, so we'll have more information soon.

55km remaining from 163km

Van der Hoorn was the first rider over the top of Passwang.

53km remaining from 163km

48km remaining from 163km

The gap is 2:40 now.

41km remaining from 163km

Inside the final 40km for the break now as they head down the descent. One climb to race.

31km remaining from 163km

An Ineos rider crashes on the descent, along with an Astana rider. It's Geraint Thomas!

Ineos staff are tending to Thomas' head. 

The Astana rider was Andrey Zeits.

He has some medical staff with him as well. Both riders are still on the side of the road and there's a stretcher out ready for one of them.

Thomas looks to have a problem with his shoulder too. His GC hopes are certainly over, and possibly his entire Tour de Suisse.

Here's our story on Geraint Thomas' crash. He's still being treated on th side of the road, road rash to his back and right shoulder.

Up front, the break hits the final cimb, the third-category Hochwald.

Here's an image of the two riders getting treatment.

No word on Zeits yet. We assume he has abandoned the race, as Thomas has.

Zeits left the race on the stretcher, apparently. Fingers crossed that his injuries aren't too serious.

Rider drop from the back of the peloton up the climb, a 3km, 7.5% test.

19km remaining from 163km

Friesecke leads over the top.

17km remaining from 163km

There's more climbing now – to the final intermediate sprint.

Daniel Oss leads the peloton, with a host of other Bora riders up there too, along with a few men from Ineos.

Inside the final 15km now, and Friesecke is 33 seconds up the road.

Friesecke takes the bonus seconds at the final intermediate sprint. He's the only breakaway rider remaining.

Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) took two seconds at the sprint, handy for his GC hopes.

11km remaining from 163km

9km remaining from 163km

7km remaining from 163km

Matej Mohoric tries too but can't get away either.

5km remaining from 163km

He gets a small gap but can't get away either. Kung tries again but is unsuccessful.

3km remaining from 163km

All the sprinters are up there near the front.

2km remaining from 163km

Trek have the most men on the front once again.

Asgreen takes the front for Viviani.

1km remaining from 163km

Now Lampaert takes it up for QuickStep.

Viviani is third wheel with Sagan right behind and then Matthews.

A drag race between Viviani and Sagan!

And Viviani is just too fast on the pure flat finish. A win for the Italian!

It looked like Matthews might've snuck into second place ahead of Sagan there. The Slovak threw his bike for the line quite early.

Matthews did indeed take second ahead of Sagan. Trentin was a pretty distant fourth and nobody else was in shot.

It looks like Degenkolb was fifth.

Win number five of 2019 for Viviani, and number 38 for QuickStep.

Sagan retains the overall lead today.

Stage result

Sagan leads the points classification too.

Kasper Asgreen is still the leading young rider. And Claudio Imhof is the mountain classification leader.

There's another chance for Sagan and the uphill sprinters tomorrow though. Stage 5 finishes uphill, and there aren't any tough climbs too close to the finish.

That's all from our live coverage of today's stage. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for more on stage 5!

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