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Oscar Freire wins the sprint of the 4th stage of the Tour Down Under 2012, Menglers Hill leads to a shuffle in the general classification

Added: friday 20 January 2012 at 9:08:00
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    Oscar Freire wins the sprint of the 4th stage of the Tour Down Under 2012, Menglers Hill leads to a shuffle in the general classificationA new stage, a new sprint in the Tour Down Under 2012. In 3 of the 4 stages, the Tour Down Under for now remains faithful to it's image of a sprinters race. This time it was up to the Spanish rider Oscar Freire, now part of Katusha Team, who won the stage, while the leader's jersey of the general classification again changes shoulders and goes back to the Swiss rider Martin Kohler (BMC Racing Team). By getting in the right group when the peloton split up in two on the climb at 22 kilometers from the finish, he takes over the leader's jersey from André Greipel.

    The summary of the stage 4/ Norwood > Tanunda

    130 kilometers were on the programme today on a hilly race route.

    Despite several attempts, including those with Lachlan Norris (UniSA-Australia), Luca Paolini (Katusha Team), Julien Vermote (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Romain Sicard (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Maxim Belkov (Katusha Team), Sandy Casar (FDJ BigMat) and Matteo Montaguti (AG2R La Mondiale), we had to wait until about 30 kilometers in the race to see a small group really getting away from the peloton.
    Blel KadriThis group was first created by Jay McCarthy (UniSA-Australia), Gatis Smukulis (Katusha Team) and Ruben Perez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and they got company from Blel Kadri (AG2R La Mondiale).

    Before this leading group was formed, the peloton battled in the first intermediate sprint in Kersbrook where the points were awarded to André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol), Michael Matthews (Rabobank) and José Joaquin Rojas (Movistar Team).

    On the first climb of the day, the Smith Hill in Kersbrook as well about 5 kilometers further, the points were awarded to Jay McCarthy who arrived on top ahead of Ruben Perez and Blel Kadri. Their gap went up to 4'05" with still about 85 kilometers to go.

    In the second intermediate sprint in Mount Pleasant it were again those 4 riders who took the points and bonus seconds, with Ruben Perez crossing the line in first position, ahead of Blel Kadri and Jay McCarthy.

    Their gap however regularly dropped and at 29 kilometers from the finish the whole peloton got back together. On the climb of Menglers Hill the peloton got split in two and the first group of 49 riders created a gap with the rest of the peloton including André Greipel, the leader of the general classification, which was big enough for them to finish the stage like this.

    Oscar FreireThe close sprint of this first group was won by Oscar Freire (Katusha Team), ahead of Daniele Bennati (Radioshack-Nissan-Trek) and Gerald Ciolek (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). Mathias Frank (BMC Racing Team) finished the stage between two groups at 38 seconds and the second group only crossed the finish line 7'45" after Freire! Due to this delay, André Greipel dropped back to the 49th place at 7'39" in the general classification and he can thus not replicate his exploit of the Tour Down Under 2010.

    Tomorrow it'll be the queen stage of this Tour Down Under between McLaren Vale and the Old Willunga Hill. As you can see in the article The Tour Down Under 2012 race route on Google Maps/Google Earth, this stage will follow the now usual race route, but what's new in this stage is that the finish will now be on top of the Old Willunga Hill, historically seen as the hardest climb of the Australian race. Chances are high that this stage will thus not give a sprint finish but might allow a good climber to win the stage!

    The classifications of the Tour Down Under 2012 after the 4th stage

    The stage classification for 4/ Norwood > Tanunda

    Oscar FreireHere's the top 10 of tthis stage:

    1/ Oscar Freire (Katusha Team) - 3h08'34"
    2/ Gerald Ciolek (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
    3/ Daniele Bennati (Radioshack-Nissan)
    4/ Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky Procycling)
    5/ Michael Matthews (Rabobank)
    6/ Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar Team)
    7/ Luke Roberts (Saxo Bank)
    8/ Kristijan Koren (Liquigas-Cannondale)
    9/ Sergey Lagutin (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)
    10/ Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Barracuda)

    The general classification

    Martin KohlerAs indicated above, this stage led to quite a shuffle in the general classification and Martin Kohler takes over the lead again. Nothing's done yet however because the time differences between the riders of the top 10 of the general classification are only a few seconds (the whole top 10 is less than 10 seconds away).

    Here's the top 5:

    1/ Martin Kohler (BMC Racing Team) - 15h03'34"
    2/ Michael Matthews (Rabobank) - +0'02"
    3/ Oscar Freire (Katusha Team) - +0'02"
    4/ Gerald Ciolek (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) - +0'06"
    5/ Simon Gerrans (GreenEDGE) - +0'08"

    King of the Mountain classification

    By getting on top of the last climb of today's stage, Rohan Dennis took enough points to take over the lead in the King of the Mountains classification. His UniSA-Australia team mates are pretty much present as well in the top 5:

    1/ Rohan Dennis (UniSA-Australia) - 17 points
    2/ Thomas de Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) - 12 points
    3/ Xavier Moreno (Movistar Team) - 12 points
    4/ Jay McCarthy (UniSA-Australia) - 10 points
    5/ Will Clarke (UniSA-Australia) - 10 points

    Sprint classification

    Edvald Boasson HagenIn the sprinters classification, André Greipel loses his first place to Edvald Boasson Hagen:

    1/ Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky Procycling) - 36 points
    2/ André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) - 35 points
    3/ Michael Matthews (Rabobank) - 32 points
    4/ Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan) - 32 points
    5/ Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ BigMat) - 27 points

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Tour Down Under| Tour Down Under 2012 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati

Comments

Currently 1 comments!
  1. http://www.les-actus-du-cyclisme.fr/article-oscar-freire-remporte-le-sprint-de-la-4eme-etape-du-tour-down-under-2012-menglers-hill-fait-bouger-97520738.html

    | Roland TISSIER | friday 20 January 2012 at 12:38:31

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