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A fast finish in Willunga on stage 4 of the Tour Down Under - Live coverage


Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 4 of the Tour Down Under in Willunga. The famous hill might not feature today but the riders still have an uphill finish to contend with.

Stage 4 of the Santos Tour Down Under is a go! The riders are just leaving the neutral zone in Port Willunga. 

It's the first time ever the TDU has started in Port Willunga. Just a short neutral zone today, since the race proper has just set off. The peloton have 133.2km ahead. 

On paper, it's a flat stage today. But the wind is going to play a huge factor today as they ride along Aldinga Beach. 

No attacks as of yet, but the pace is high and the bunch looks nervous as they turn into the wind. 

An EF Education Easypost rider makes the first attack, but the peloton is quick to shut down the solo attempt. 

122km to go

The peloton has turned right on to Willunga Road and into a cross headwind. 

It looks like we're getting some action off the front of the peloton. Three riders are off the front and some others trying to bridge. 

There are a few teams keen to get riders up the road. The numbers are growing as more riders attempt to bridge in the crosswind. 

It's strung out as the peloton pulls back this first danger move of the day. 

UAE Team Emirates is at the front driving the pace in the wind. Today's the last chance for the sprinters today, but the elements are going to make things difficult for their teams to control.

We have two on the attack. Names to follow. 

The peloton has eased off and is getting some fuel from one of the feed zones. 

100km to go

It's Jonas Rutsch (EF Education Easypost) and Daryl Impey (Israel Premier Tech) who have escaped off the front. They have about 1'33" on the bunch with inside 100km to go.

The gap is up to 3 minutes for the two riders off the front. UAE is leading the peloton.

We're getting close to the first king of the mountain climb at Lower Willunga Hill. They'll reach the top at KM 51. 

With 80km to go, the peloton has allowed the duo up the road almost four minutes. They've gone through the township of Willunga where large crowds are there to greet them at the first time through the finish line. 

Jonas Rutsch is the first to get over the KOM at Lower Willunga Hill. 

The wind is playing havoc out there in the peloton. Crosswinds have cause some splits in the bunch and Taj Jones and Leo Basso have crashed. It's the second crash in two days for Basso. 

And we've gone through the first intermediate sprint, but the duo don't contest it. Daryl Impey gets across first, followed by Rutsch. Michael Matthews is third out of the peloton. 

The gap has gone way down to just a minute with 65km to go. The peloton isn't playing around at this point. 

A mix of sprinters teams are trading off at the front of the peloton. It won't be long before they track down the breakaway. 

Another kangaroo sighting along the route! This roo was traveling right with the peloton getting a front row seat.  

The riders off the front have been reabsorbed, but the peloton is still split into two groups on the road. The second group is a minute behind. 

AG2R is keeping the speed up in the first group on the road. 

Daryl Impey (Team Israel Premier Tech) and Jonas Rutsch (Team EF Education - Easypost) made up the early breakaway. They're back in the peloton now which is still split in two. 

40km to go and they just heard the bell for one more lap. 

They're back into the crosswind section and its desperate moments for the chase group. 

Ineos is happy to make this a tough race today. They're driving hard at the front with a gap to the second bunch of 20 seconds.

Full results of the KOM on Lower Willunga Hill:

30km to go

The second bunch is now 37 seconds behind. They may not come back before the end of this stage as they continue to lose time to the first group.

It's tense today as the winds continue to play a huge factor in the outcome. There are still two groups on the road with less than 30km to go.

Hugo Page (Intermarche-Circus-Wanty) won the intermediate sprint, putting him in third place in the best young rider competition and 9th overall. 

Second over the line was Gradek and third was Yates, but the judges may take a look at the bit of argy bargy the Bahrain Victorious rider did to push Yates off his teammates' wheel. 

The gap in between groups is 37 seconds. This is Ewan's last chance to get that elusive win, and he's in a good position to do so. 

At this point ,the white flag is up for the chasing bunch. It's going to be a sprint amongst the riders in the first group. 

10km to go

They've been flying along today. The average speed has been about 47 kph. 

In fact, they're 15 minutes ahead of the fastest schedule today, despite the wind!

Jay Vine is sitting comfortably in the front group with the entire UAE team around him. 

Just 6km left in the stage. Ag2R has also been a big presence at the front as well. 

Not long now before the sprint! The noted sprinters are vying for position. 

UAE Team Emirates is leading the peloton. 

Now EF Education is pulling through to the front as is Ag2R again.

Now Intermarche is comes up to the front.

Ewan might have come to the front a bit early, he's drifting farther back but is still behind Michael Matthews and a bit boxed in. 

Now there's an uphill drag before they reach the final kilometre.

Matthews is in about 7th wheel, and Ewan is too far back.

But it's Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) who wins stage 4! He left them all behind with a tremendous burst of power. 

So Coquard wins, Alberto Bettiol (EF Education Easypost) takes second and Hugo Page (Intermarche) was third. What a sprint. 

“I love the sprint, it’s a perfect day. A lot of stress today because we have a lot of crosswind … but I was in good position for all the day. For me it was a perfect situation. I am very happy to win my first WorldTour race.” ~ Bryan Coquard

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