Simon Gerrans claimed back-to-back stage wins at the Tour Down Under winning the spring finish in Victor Harbor ahead of Ben Swift (Team Sky) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo).
“I am absolutely thrilled with that. I think quite a few people are surprised, myself included. We had a really good run in to the finish as you guys saw. What the team was able to do to set me up for the intermediate sprint and then gain for final, they are really making my life as easy as possible,” Gerrans said in a post-stage television interview after claiming his fifth career stage win at the race.
Having won the 2014 edition of the Victor Harbor stage, Gerrans’ experience came to the fore, while Daryl Impey’s knowledge of the technical finale also contributed to Orica-GreenEdge’s third win from four stages.
“I have a few Tour Down Under’s under my belt now, so I do know that finish quite well, as does Daryl who led me out today for the final 400 metres and that really worked out in our favour,” Gerrans said.
With 10 bonus seconds on the finish line, Gerrans also won the first intermediate sprint point to pick up 11 bonus seconds on the stage. He now leads Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff) by 14 seconds and Rohan Dennis (BMC) by 26 seconds ahead of Saturday’s queen stage up Willunga Hill.
“I still have to be attentive going into Willunga tomorrow. We have a nice little buffer there but there is still a heck of a lot of work to be done,” Gerrans said of stage 5.
A late split in the front group saw Richie Porte slip down the standings, leading home a group of riders eight seconds behind Gerrans. The group also included Michael Woods (Cannondale) and Rafael Valls (Lotto Soudal).
Tour Down Under – stage 4 results:
|1||Simon Gerrans (Orica–GreenEdge)||3:13:59|
|2||Ben Swift (Sky)|
|3||Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek–Segafredo)|
|4||Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff)|
|5||Leigh Howard (IAM)|
|6||Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data)|
|7||Sergey Lagutin (Katusha)|
|8||Alexey Tsatevitch (Katusha)|
|9||Nathan Haas (Dimension Data)|
|10||Enrico Battaglin (LottoNL–Jumbo)|
Tour Down Under general clasification after stage 4:
|1||Simon Gerrans (Orica–GreenEdge)||13:41:58|
|2||Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff)||0:00:14|
|3||Rohan Dennis (BMC)||0:00:26|
|4||Sergio Henao (Sky)||0:00:28|
|5||Steve Morabito (FDJ)|
|6||Ruben Fernandez Andujar (Movistar)|
|7||Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R)|
|8||Michael Woods (Cannondale)||0:00:32|
|9||Rafael Valls Ferri (Lotto Soudal)||0:00:36|
|10||Richie Porte (BMC)|
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