- Tour de Suisse stage 4 could see favourites in action
- Final second cat climb and descent could become GC springboard
- Three-rider break of Matthew Holmes (Lotto-Soudal), Mark Hoelgaard (Trek-Segafredo) and Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix) moved away early on.
Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse.
We'll have all the action from the 191km stage from Grenchen to Brunnen.
The stage starts outside the velodrome today
Peter Sagan speaks before the start of stage 4
🇨🇭 | Tour de Suisse 🚵🗣️ @petosagan before the fourth stage of the TDS 2022 👇#Pickxsports #Cycling #TDS #TourDeSuisse #TDS2022 #Interview #PeterSagan pic.twitter.com/WfzXCzfTcWJune 15, 2022
We're less than 15 minutes from the start of the stage
Here's Peter Sagan winning stage 3 of the Tour de Suisse
Here are the Ineos Grenadiers team at the signing on. The peloton are about to roll out of the neutralised section in less than ten minutes
The riders are moving off from the depart fictif. Four none-starters: Frederick Wandahl (Bora-Hansgrohe); Kasper Asgreen (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl); Jay Vine (Alpecin-Fenix) and Jan Maas (BikeExchange-Jayco).
Stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse, 190.8 kilometres from Grenchen to Brunnen is officially underway. 144 riders still in the race.
185km to go
It's a fast start with numerous attacks and a few riders have punctured including former Tour de Suisse multiple winner Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates). Not a time when you want a puncture.
These are the standings from stage 3. Rui Costa, meanwhile, has had a bike change.
179km to go
Still no breakaway and the first climb of the day, the third category Kappelen, is fast looming on the horizon.
Update from Alpecin-Fenix on why Jay Vine had to quit the Tour de Suisse
🇨🇭 #TourdeSuisse2022 ❌ @JayVine3 has been forced to retire from the @tds due to maladaptation to the heat, resulting in dehydration despite max. application of hydration plans. It was no longer medically justified to have him continue the race. We wish him a speedy recovery. pic.twitter.com/EfQIShMvayJune 15, 2022
Matthew Holmes (Lotto-Soudal), Markus Hoelgaard (Trek-Segafredo) and Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix) steal a march on the peloton and rapidly build up a respectable margin of 1-30.
We're on the fourth straight hilly stage of the Tour de Suisse, and this one features the bones of 2,000 metres of vertical climbing. The three man break are already at the foot of the first of two categorized ascents, the Kol de Kappelen, a three kilometre third category effort at a relatively benign 5.5 percent. Relatively.
And as the three man break reaches the summit of the Capellen the temperatures continue to rise on yet another warm, dry day and their gap opens up to over five minutes. Bahrain Victorious and Ineos Grenadiers lead the chase. Holmes is the best placed of the three on GC at just over 10 minutes.
159 kilometres to go
Over the summit of the Kapellen, Matthew Holmes (Lotto-Soudal) claims top points on offer, Mark Hoelgaard (Trek-Segafredo) is second, Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix) third. The bunch now a fraction under 5 minutes behind.
And here we have one of the first photos of the day of our trio of breakaways: Matthew Holmes (Lotto-Soudal), Mark Hoelgaard (Trek-Segafredo) and Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix).
147 kilometres to go
The race has come off a fast-ish descent from the third category Kapellen, and the break of three has 4-46 on a peloton where Movistar have taken over from Ineos Grenadiers in a working alliance with Bahrain Victorious, who (let's not forget) lead the race with young British pro. Stevie Williams, to keep the move under control.
EF Education-EasyPost join the hunt of the three riders ahead, and the gap on the break is beginning to shrink. Almost 5 minutes when the race came off the Kapellen climb, it's now standing at just over 4.
135 kilometres to go
After a blisteringly fast start (47.6 kmh average in the first hour), the race now faces the best part of 100 kilometres of rolling Swiss countryside. Meantime, Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux), one of the multiple crash victims on Tuesday, is reported to be struggling.
All the remaining setpiece flashpoints for the stage feature late on in today's 190 kilometre stage. That's a hot spot sprint at Vitnau at km 144; another sprint at Bergstrasse at km 166; and then the main climbing challenge of the day, the second category Sattel at km 175.8, its summit at less than 15 kilometres to go.
117 kilometres to go
And as the thermometer inches towards a warm 30 degrees out there in the Swiss countryside, the bunch are making inroads on the three riders' advantage, with the gap ebbing to just over 3 minutes.
While today's racing unfolds, there's plenty to read on the Cycingnews site regarding the Tour de Suisse overall. Hot off the virtual press is this article on how yesterday's 18th TdS stage win of his career for Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) represents a shot across the bows of his rivals in the upcoming Tour de France.
Peter Sagan's Tour de Suisse victory a signal of intent for Tour de France
Meanwhile elsewhere in central Europe, following his sadly truncated Ardennes Classics campaign, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) makes his return to racing on home soil at the Tour of Slovenia today. Interest in how Pogačar, the defending champion at Slovenia, will fare in the five-day stage race is high, for reasons too obvious to mention, but arguably the biggest one from an international point of view is that Slovenia is his last race before the Tour de France. We'll be bringing you a full race report and news update from there when the stage ends later today, of course, but meantime my colleague Barry Ryan has produced this great preview of Pogačar's return to the Tour of Slovenia here.
100 kilometres to go
And still it drops. As we reach the 100 kilometres to go marker, the gap on our breakaway trio of the day, Matthew Holmes (Lotto-Soudal), Mark Hoelgaard (Trek-Segafredo), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), is now down to 2-45.
Crash in the bunch. Riders from QuickStep-AlphaVinyl, Trek-Segafredo are reportedly down while BikeExchange-Jayco's Damien Howsen needs a wheel change.
92 kilometres to go
James Knox (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) is reported to be one of the riders involved in the crash, the gap on the break is now to 2-17
James Knox (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) is now back in the bunch following the crash affecting several riders. As is his compatriot Luke Rowe (Ineos Grenadiers) after a puncture. The gap between the bunch and the three ahead, incidentally, has now stabilized at just under 2 minutes.
Thymen Arensman (DSM) is reported to have abandoned. He was lying 40th overall.
Having just completed the Giro d'Italia, Arensman has reportedly being suffering from dehydration today in this hot weather. It's roughly 30 degrees out there.
#TourdeSuisse 🇨🇭 - 🏁 78 kmDNF 🇳🇱 Arensman! Communication from the team says he’s suffering a lot from the heat and dehydration. #DomestiqueLiveJune 15, 2022
76 kilometres to go
The gap on our three breakaways, Matthew Holmes (Lotto-Soudal), Mark Hoelgaard (Trek-Segafredo) and Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix) continues to shrink remorselessly. Now down to 1-37.
63 kilometres to go
Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo), currently heading the King of the Mountains classification in this year's Tour de Suisse, has a mechanical. The gap on the break continues to dwindle very gently, and is now down to 1-20.
Some beautiful scenery today on the Tour de Suisse, currently heading east through the centre of the country to finish at the town of Brunnen.
50 kilometres to go
And as the race winds its way alongside a lake, the bunch give the three ahead - longstanding breakaway Matthew Holmes (Lotto-Soudal), Mark Hoelgaard (Trek-Segafredo), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix) - a sort of reprieve and the gap rises to nearly 2 minutes again.
Holmes takes the hot spot sprint at Vitznau, 48 kilometres from the finish in Brunnen, ahead of Hoelgard and Janssens. No time bonuses for the GC contenders, then. Gap at 1-48.
Just a reminder what's left to go. There's another sprint in the town of Bergstrasse at km 166, and then the main climbing challenge of the day, the second category Sattel at km 175.8, around 14 kilometres to go.
The Sattel is only 3 kilometres long but an average gradient of 8.5 percent is hardly gentle. Then in a very similar finish to stage 2, where Andreas Leknessund (DSM) won on Tuesday with a late solo break, after the second cat summit, there's a fast drop down to the finish town of Brunnen.
40 kilometres to go
40 kilometres to go, and the gap is still hovering stubbornly around 1-35. That's after a breakaway that's been out there for around 140 kilometres.
31 kilometres to go
The prospect of the bunch pulling back the break before the second and final intermediate sprint, at Bergstrasse some 24 kilometres from the finish is shrinking fast. 7 kilometres beforehand, the three breakaways continue to lead by 1-24, for all Movistar, Cofidis and Bahrain Victorious have upped the pace notably in the pack.
24 kilometres to go
A marked acceleration by Jumbo-Visma in the pack reduces the break's advantage to 1-08, but even so at the second hot spot sprint, Holmes once again takes the first place, with Janssens in second and Hoelgaard third.
Next up on the stage 4 Tour de Suisse menu is the second category Sattel, its summit just 14 kilometres from the finish. Meantime the gap held by the break is plummeting and now stands at a scant 40 seconds.
21 kilometres to go
Ineos Grenadiers up the pace notably behind as the foot of the climb approaches. The gap is now less than 25 seconds.
20 kilometres to go
The last in-race official cars speed past the trio of breakaways. Seems like the end is nigh.
18 kilometres to go
As the road steepens on the second category Sattel, a Groupama-FDJ, Israel Premier Tech and Movistar-led peloton rounds a left-hand bend and bears down on Holmes and Janssen, the last two survivors from the break.
17 kilometres to go
Holmes, the last man standing is caught and the bunch is steadily shedding units at the back. A moment of hesitation, but surely somebody will push on.
And there's a spirited little dig by Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) on the steadily rising, well-surfaced road, but the peloton comes back up to the Italian and he's quickly re-absorbed.
16 km to go
About a kilometre-and-a-half to go and while there's an uneasy truce after Brambilla's brief move, at the back the bunch is losing large numbers of bodies.
Another brief sally, this time from local boy Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates) but this isn't working. Behind, Williams, the overall leader since stage 1, is in difficulties.
15 kilometres to go
Britain's Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Easypost) leads through the 15-to-go banner but after a steepish start the road is undulating now and Sebastian Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ) lopes away.
14 kilometres to go
Reichenbach leads but with a minimal margin on the EF Education-EasyPost led peloton of some 30 riders. Meantime race leader Williams has got back on after his moment of difficulty and is moving up through the bunch fast.
11.5 kilometres to go
We're well onto the smooth, sinuous descent of the Sattel now and while Reichenbach still leads by about 5 seconds, he may well have a problem making his move stick.
9.5 kilometres to go
Reichenbach is pulled back into the peloton. He led over the summit of the Sutter though, followed by Hugh Carthy and a promising-looking Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers).
8 kilometres to go
Speeds hitting around 80 kmh for the lead bunch of around 50 riders, still led by EF-Education First on the fast descent.
5.5 kilometres to go
Bunch is still together on a fast, steady descent.
4 kilometres to go
A bit of road furniture to negotiate, but EF Education-EasyPost still lead the bunch.
3 kilometres to go
The road finally flattens out as the race heads towards the finale and we're heading for a bunch sprint.
2 kilometres to go
Broad, A-roads for now for the peloton with a few drags like one they just tackled over a railway bridge still stringing out the bunch.
1 kilometre to go
Last kilometre, EF still leading but the whole bunch is poised to accelerate as the road narrows.
Long sprint with Daryl Impey (Israel-Premier Tech) just holding off the opposition to win.
Daryl Impey (Israel-Premier Tech) wins stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse, ahead of Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Soren Kragh Andersen (DSM).
EF Education-Easy Post had set things up nicely for Alberto Bettiol after leading the pack all the way over the Sutter climb and down to the finish, but Impey, Matthews and Kragh Andersen all stormed past him in the final metres, leaving Bettiol in fourth.
Stephen Williams (Bahrain Victorious) remains in the lead for a fourth day despite a wobble on the second category climb of the Sutter late on. Overall Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) leapfrogs over Andreas Leknessund (DSM) into third, but only as a result of better placings. They're still tied on time at 7 seconds.
And here's a picture of Impey on the point of winning stage 4
This is Impey's first win since the South African took the 2020 National Road Title and is Israel-Premier Tech's second WorldTour victory this season after Paddy Bevin won a stage of the Tour de Romandie. In terms of Israel-Premier Tech's fight to amass enough points to stay in the WorldTour in 2023, this win is more than welcome, too, for the team.
No changes in any of the secondary classifications after stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse. Stage 2 winner Andreas Leknessund (DSM) remains in charge of the points jersey, Quinn SImmons (Trek-Segafredo) is on top of the KoM ranking, Andreas Kron (Lotto-Soudal) in the same spot on the BYR and Bora-Hansgrohe rule the roost in the teams ranking.
And here's what stage 4 winner Daryl Impey (Israel-Premier Tech) had to say. Impey, it should be remembered, had a very bad crash in the last stage last year's Ruta del Sol, breaking his pelvis and collarbone and spending 9 weeks off the bike.
"I’m ecstatic. It was a tough day.The competition is so good these days with the young guys, and after everything that happened last year, I didn’t know if I was going to get back on top of the step."
"To finally pull off a victory after all of the hard times is special. I had great support from the team and from my family at home. I’m really happy to win."
And now for a brief look at what's upcoming on Thursday's stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse, 189 kilometres long and running from Ambri to Novazzano.
Held almost entirely in the Italian-speaking south of Switzerland, on a day with nearly 3,000 metres of vertical climbing, stage 5 finishes at one of the most southerly points of the country, just a few kilometres from neighbouring Italy. Featuring numerous unclassified ascents, as well as a third category climb less than ten kilometres from the finish, the odds of even a reduced bunch sprint, like the one which decided stage 4 on Wednesday, seem minimal.
And here is a link to the full report and results of the day by Stephen Farrand
Tour de Suisse: Daryl Impey wins stage 4
And here's a few more pictures of stage 4 winner Daryl Impey (Israel-Premier Tech) and race leader Stephen Williams (Bahrain Victorious) to end the day's reporting.
Thanks for joining us for the day's reporting, we'll be back on Thursday with more live race action from the Tour de Suisse
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