Matthews 11th and Weening safe on stage 4 of Tour of Poland

Wed 6 Aug 2014

Michael Matthews has finished eleventh and reigning champion Pieter Weening remained out of trouble on stage four of the Tour of Poland.

The 236km flat stage provided a last opportunity for sprinters before the Tour hits the mountains tomorrow and the pace was on courtesy of a number of attacks in the final kilometers. 

A late surge by BMC Racing’s Thor Hushovd put the pressure on as the ORICA-GreenEDGE sprint train fought hard to shut down the move.

“We had decided not go too early, stay patient and make sure we moved to the front all together,” sport director David McPartland said of the team’s strategy.

“Coming into the circuit, the guys were organised and with ten kilometers to go they found each other, got together and moved up,” sport director David McPartland said.

“They did that perfectly and were close enough to the front but with 1.5km to go we lost Matthews off the wheel.

“We pretty much had all of the others guys good to go but there was a lot of guys fighting on both sides of the bunch and unfortunately he lost the wheel and that is basically what cost us.

“Even after that he looked after himself pretty well but he was about three or four wheels back.” 

The general classification battle heat ups tomorrow as the Tour of Poland hits the mountains for the fifth stage. The 190km stage has five classified climbs, including three category one efforts on the finish circuit.

Remaining safe and stress free for the first four stages, defending champion Weening will start to feature more prominently in the action. 

“Pieter is in good form definitely,” McPartland said.

“It is just a matter of keeping a close reign on all of the other GC (general classification) guys and then doing a big time trial on the last day. 

“He is in good knick and ready to go. He has had a pretty quiet last few days so his time is getting close now.”