Breakaway time for Bewley on a flat stage four at the Tour of UtahFri 10 Aug 2018
Kiwi rider Sam Bewley represented Mitchelton-SCOTT today in the breakaway on a fairly flat fourth stage at the Tour of Utah.
The 31-year-old jumped into a large breakaway of 16 riders which remained ahead until the final lap around Salt Lake City. In a photo finish Jasper Philipsen (Hagens Berman Axeon) took the stage win, with the overall classification remaining unchanged ahead of two tough final stages.
Ten flat laps
Unlike the other stages, today's fourth stage consisted of 10 flat laps of 11km around the centre of Salt Lake city. Almost immediately after the flag dropped the day's breakaway formed as 16 riders headed off the front of the main peloton and with many teams represented they were able to open up a gap.
Bewley was represented in the group for Mitchelton-SCOTT however, the race leaders Team LottoNL-Jumbo controlled the distance, never allowing the group more than a one and a half minute advanatge.
Late attacks before a close finish
As the laps ticked down, the leaders continued to hover around one minute ahead before the pace in the peloton lifted in the final few laps.
The breakaway riders began to attacks and also small splits occurred in the bunch and shortly after Bewley and others were finally reeled in with less than 20km.
As the race entered the final lap, just seven riders remained ahead of the fast chasing peloton and held onto a 15seconds advantage with three kilometres to go.
No changes to the overall
Eventually the remaining escapees were caught and the fierce sprint began. In a close photo finish Philipsen came out on top to take the stage win with Sepp Kuss (LottoNL-Jumbo) remaining the race leader and Jack Haig in ninth place.
"The plan today was just to follow the big moves really. We identified a few teams and if they were in the break we needed to be there too.
"The first half of the circuit was pretty hard so I tried to anticipate to move a bit and ended up in a big break. We didn’t get much more than a one minute advantage but on a circuit like that it can be enough sometimes.
"I tried to ride conservatively as the BMC rider in the group was close on GC and it was also 40degrees out there and we have two really hard days over the weekend looking after Jack.
"I tried one big attack on the climb second to last lap and probably put myself a bit in the red but at that point it looked more likely the break wouldn’t survive."
Tour of Utah stage 4 results:
1. Jasper Philipsen (Hagens Berman Axeon) 2:35
2. Travis McCabe (United Health Care) ST
3. Kiel Reijnen (Trek-Segafredo) ST
16. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
General classification after stage 4:
1. Sepp Kuss (LottoNL-Jumbo) 14:29
2. Neilson Powless LottoNL-Jumbo) 0:19
3. Tejay van Garderen (BMC) 0:25
9. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:40
Photos courtesy of Getty Images