Tour Down Under: Stage 4

Victory for South African champion Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) on stage 4 of the Tour Down Under, Race Leader Bevin is second

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Tour Down Under: Stage 4

Defending champion Daryl Impey has taken an emotional victory on stage four of the Tour Down Under, recovering over the famous Corkscrew climb to sprint to victory ahead of race leader Patrick Bevin (CCC Team).

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Despite his overall victory last year, it’s the first stage win at the Tour Down Under for Impey, who has previously podiumed on six occasions. The South African, who dedicated his victory to a family friend who passed away just before his travel to Australia, now sits second overall, seven seconds behind Bevin.

Big break:
Six riders rode out to over five minute’s advantage during the stage, which caused a strong reaction from the bunch as five teams committed to the chase. Mitchelton-SCOTT put Luke Durbridge and Michael Hepburn to the front, and they were joined by Astana Pro Team, Trek-Segafredo, CCC Team and EF Education First. By the bottom of the final climb, the remnants of the break were in sight and no longer a threat for the stage.

The first true sign of climbing form, the Corkscrew, didn’t disappoint. Michael Woods (EF Education First), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo), Wout Poels (Team Sky) and George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) rode supreme and crested the top with a 15-second advantage over a reduced group of chasers.

… continued after advert

With a teammate for support, Impey settled into the chase group on the descent as Lucas Hamilton moved to the front in pursuit of the leaders. The effort was good enough to bring the leading quartet back with two kilometres to go, setting up a dramatic final corner and reduced bunch sprint to finish. Impey chose the wheel of stage two winner and current race leader Bevin, before jumping ahead to claim his first ever Tour Down Under stage victory.

Daryl Impey – Stage 4 winner: “A good friend of mine passed away from a heart attack recently. I left (South Africa) in a bit of a sad mood and it was a pretty rough time for our whole family because he played a big part in my family. When I came here I wanted to do something special and to be able to deliver today was pretty emotional and definitely a confidence booster.

“We are around the mark now. Seven seconds is still quite hard to get on Paddy (Bevin), he is riding really well and we are quite similar in characteristics. We’re going to have to go for it, tomorrow will be quite an interesting stage and definitely Willunga will still be the decider, although Paddy has got a really nice buffer to the other GC guys.

“I think we have to be aggressive wherever we can. There’s no doubt that trying to win this race is based on seconds, we learnt that last year, so we’re going to have to try to take our opportunities and make things happen and hopefully it pays off.

“Lucas (Hamilton), the win was actually due to him, he did a great job. He is still a young professional, but we had a plan in the beginning that he was going to ride his own climb and wait for me in the middle which he did, and then he did his work on the downhill and brought them back. He played a massive role so I could just sit back and think about the sprint. He had an amazing ride for such a young guy.

“I rode my own race. I knew I had Lucas there, I could see Paddy just in front so I knew if I stayed around that range we had a good enough group, that we were going to cooperate on the downhill, to try to bring those four back. I just focused on my own climb and I was very happy to still be able to do what I did at the end.

“The win gives me a nice boost. I was unsure going into the Corkscrew knowing I’ve had good and bad times. In the middle of the Corkscrew when I was doubting myself I was thinking ‘jeez you have to keep pushing.’ I’m glad I did and I’m a lot more confident now going into Willunga.”
… continued after advert


Patrick Bevin (CCC, Race leader): “That was a very tough day. I knew coming down the gorge, it was still a long way to the finish. The race didn’t finish on top of the climb. It was really hard to stop us coming across in the downhill. I took the onus up as much as I had to on the descent. As that group got bigger it was at the point where if I could take any time bonus, it was good. Any is better than none and I wasn’t going to risk losing time to anyone. It was a bit unfortunate to come to the top with Daryl [Impey] but coming second on the stage and keeping the lead is kind of the best-case scenario for me. We as a team had a lot of help before because we told them we’re not going to be the only team to work again all day. There are still two types of guys who can win the overall: the sprinters who can climb, Daryl is the first of them, and obviously, there’s Richie [Porte]. From now on, for us, it’s about managing both parties.”

“To give up four seconds to Daryl is a great result at the end of the day because I don’t feel like he is climbing better than I am and we put time into the pure climbers. It would be great to take more time tomorrow. That would be a real step towards the final day in Willunga because I’m still only 21 seconds over Richie before Willunga. It’s not a huge buffer. Fortunately, this race is about being an all-rounder. Basically, you have to sprint better than the climbers and climb better than the sprinters.”

“For me, personally, this has been an opportunity to grow. Even the stage I won, had I had a Richie Porte or Rohan Dennis on the team then I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity. I definitely wouldn’t have had the opportunity to sneak some time away on the first day. The team is racing totally different and it’s suiting me down to the ground. I really feel like I’m enjoying the way we are racing and the style of racing.”

Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana, 3rd on stage) – If we talk about my GC ambitions, I can be happy with this day and in general with the last three stages, where I always was in front, fighting side by side with the other favorites. But, of course, when you are fighting for a stage win and you are coming so close as I did yesterday and today with this third place, you could be a bit disappointed. Before the last corner I was on third position and after crossing the corner I found myself right in front of the group. It was still some hundred meters to the finish… In that situation I just did my best, but was able to finish just third. However, the main goal is still to do well in the overall classification and I am looking forward to the last day of the race. I am happy to have such a strong team around me, so all together we will do our best”

Ryan Gibbons (Dimension Data, 12th on stage) “Right now I feel quite disappointed, it was a great opportunity for me to take the stage as I know in a normal sprint, I am faster than all those guys that were in that group. I’d gone pretty deep to make that group though, so I think that contributed to the lack concentration in the final corner were I lost position and the chance to take victory. In hindsight, I have to be happy with my overall performance. I don’t think anybody expected me to be in contention on this stage, myself included I guess. I’m now 5th overall but my focus only spans as far as tomorrow’s sprint stage, where we’ll be going all-in for the stage win.”

Michael Woods (EF Education) “I’m really happy with how the team has ridden, how my form is. […] I felt good today but unfortunately I couldn’t get the gap I wanted to get on Paddy and the other sprinters.  A couple guys were grabbing the brakes too much in the corner + we lost too much speed on the descent but we all committed. I was stoked because I have a good sprint relative to other climbers but we didn’t have enough gap + they brought us back.”

Wout Poels  (Sky) “I was really happy with the feeling today and I was happy I could open the race (on the final climb). The team did an amazing job. Unfortunately we didn’t stay away but it’s always good for the confidence for Sunday. I’m looking forward to that one. I did (Willunga) only twice in training because it’s my first time over here. But I’ve watched the climb from the last few years on YouTube to see how Richie (Porte) was doing.”

On race leader Bevin, Poels added: “He’s in really good shape. He’s already 21 seconds in front. Last year at the Tour of Britain I thought he was going really well. He’s a very strong rider so I’m not surprised. It’s going to be difficult on Willunga Hill so we’ll see. I plan to attack again and try to take some time and seconds. Today we were on the same level as we were together but there are a lot of guys making a strong impression.”

Tour Down Under – Stage 4 Results:
1 IMPEY Daryl MTS RSA B:10″ 00″
2 BEVIN Patrick CPT NZL B:06″ ‘ ‘
3 SANCHEZ GIL Luis Leon AST ESP B:04″ ‘ ‘
6 BENNETT George TJV NZL ‘ ‘
7 ULISSI Diego UAD ITA ‘ ‘
8 WOODS Michael EF1 CAN ‘ ‘
9 *HAMILTON Christopher SUN AUS ‘ ‘
12 *GIBBONS Ryan TDD RSA ‘ ‘
14 POELS Wout SKY NED ‘ ‘
15 POZZOVIVO Domenico TBM ITA ‘ ‘
16 *POGACAR Tadej UAD SLO ‘ ‘
17 *HAMILTON Lucas MTS AUS ‘ ‘
18 PORTE Richie TFS AUS ‘ ‘

29. Peter Sagan
48. James Knox
72. Ryan Mullen
89. Alex Dowsett
95. Scott Davies
96. Adam Blythe
97. Owain Doull
104. Tom Scully
109. Luke Rowe
128. Dan McLay

Tour Down Under – General Classification after Stage 4:
1 BEVIN Patrick CPT NZL 13h23’30” 00″
2 IMPEY Daryl MTS RSA 13h23’37” 07″
3 SANCHEZ GIL Luis Leon AST ESP 13h23’41” 11″
4 *HAMILTON Christopher SUN AUS 13h23’51” 21″
5 *GIBBONS Ryan TDD RSA ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
6 POLANC Jan UAD SLO ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
7 BENNETT George TJV NZL ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
8 *GUERRIRO Ruben TKA POR ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
9 ULISSI Diego UAD ITA ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
10 WOODS Michael EF1 CAN ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
11 POELS Wout SKY NED ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
12 DEVENYNS Dries DQT BEL ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
13 VAN BAARLE Dylan SKY NED ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
14 *POGACAR Tadej UAD SLO ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
15 POZZOVIVO Domenico TBM ITA ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
16 *HINDLEY Jai SUN AUS ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
17 PORTE Richie TFS AUS ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
18 DENNIS Rohan TBM AUS ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
19 *HAMILTON Lucas MTS AUS 13h23’58” 28″
20 SAGAN Peter

… continued after advert


Cycle Division’s Shop

Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK