Yates recovers from puncture to finish in front group on Tirreno-Adriatico stage 4Sat 12 Mar 2016
ORICA-GreenEDGE general classification hopes Esteban Chaves and Adam Yates finished in the front group on stage four of Tirreno-Adriatico behind winner Stephen Cummings (Dimension-Data).
After a long six-hour plus day for the team, sports director Matthew White was pleased with the performance.
“It wasn’t really an aggressive day of racing," White said. "After the first move got caught the peloton were happy to let the second breakaway get going and stay out front.”
“It was a long day in the office for the boys and there was a strong headwind for about 150 kilometres which meant most of the action was going to happen in the last part of the race.”
White praised the persistence of the team after Yates suffered a mechanical close to the finish.
“Adam had a puncture on the final circuit and Luke (Durbridge) gave him a wheel, he did really well to get back on and not lose a significant amount of time.”
“I’m happy with our position going into the Queen Stage tomorrow, it’s going to be another difficult day with some hard climbs and hopefully we will be up there in the final.”
How it happened:
At 222km stage four of the 51st Tirreno-Adriatico was the longest and possibly the most arduous of the entire route. With significant climbs appearing throughout the parcours, which began in the region of Lazio and crossed over into mountainous Umbria.
For the third day in succession brilliant sunshine and cold wind welcomed the riders to the start line in Montalto di Castro.
The first group of five riders to make a breakaway attempt included ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Chris Juul Jensen, slipping away within the first 15 kilometres as the route headed out into the green countryside.
The move did not stick and the second group, this time of four riders formed what proved to be the breakaway for the day. After 40 kilometres of racing the group had six minutes 55 seconds over the peloton.
The initial 120 kilometres of the route ran over undulating roads towards the first real climb the Valico Della Somma, with Etixx-Quickstep on the front of the peloton protecting the blue leader's jersey of Zdenek Stybar the time gap to the four leaders dropped to under five minutes.
In the final third of the race, the gap to the leaders was fluctuating between two and three minutes as the riders crested and descended the smaller climbs of the parcours.
At kilometre 207 the riders faced the Montefalco climb with an average gradient of between 4% and 5% and steeper sections of 12%-18%. Valerio Conti (Lampre) escaped his breakaway companions to take the king of the mountains points and descended alone towards the finishing circuit in Foligno. Riders were being dropped from the peloton as the pace increased over the climb, a group of around forty riders pushed on from which the final selection would be made.
Yates, Chaves, Juul-Jensen and Luke Durbridge were all present and headed into the finishing circuit in good positions. A crash involving Lampre-Merida and Tinkoff Team occurred on a sharp left turn, further separating the leaders, as the course headed out of town towards the climbs of Trevi and the second ascent of MonteFalco.
A mechanical for Yates and subsequent wheel change with Durbridge led to a hard chase back to the group, which coincided with the end of the day’s breakaway. Fortunately Yates did not lose time. The attacks began to form left, right and centre in the closing kilometres with Salvatore Puccio (Sky) pulling away from the group and taking three or four riders with him. This small group included Cummings, initially chasing down attacks for Edvald Boassen-Hagen (Dimension Data), they gained a few seconds on chasing bunch.
Cummings found himself in a good position and utilised his time trialling expertise to ride away in the last kilometres and take the solo victory. Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-Quickstep) finished safely in the bunch and retains the blue leader's jersey for stage five.
* News arriving at the time of publication: due to heavy snow tomorrow's stage five of Tirreno-Adriatico has been cancelled in compliance with the UCI extreme weather control. News updates to follow on Twitter.
Tirreno-Adriatico stage four results:
1. Stephen Cummings (DI-Data) 6:04:49
2. Salvatore Puccio (Sky) 0:00:13
3. Nathanael Berhane (DI-Data) 0:00:13
22. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 0:00:25
General classification after stage four:
1. Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-Quickstep) 15:56:32
2. Damiano Carauso (BMC) 0:00:09
3. Greg Van Avemaet (BMC) 0:00:09
19. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 0:00:34