Stage four of the Tour of Turkey was a quiet day for ORICA-GreenEDGE, although the race saw an unexpected twist due to foul weather. The lumpy stage expected to favour the escape artists or sprinters with good climbing legs. Mother Nature had another idea. Trrential rain caused the race to be neutralised briefly before a restart down the road.
Under grey clouds and ominous skies, Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharme-Quick Step) bested the rest of the field to take his third win of the Turkish tour. Adam Yates finished on bunch time to retain second place on general classification. Rein Taaramäe (Cofidis) continues to lead the race, 6” ahead of Yates.
Early in the stage, five riders went clear of the peloton and managed to stretch their gap to 3’30”. As heavy rain started to fall over the first climb of the day, the peloton had reduced the gap to the leading group of Maxim Belkov (Katusha), Luis Mas, (Caja Rural), Adam Phelan (Drapac), Frederik Backhaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Andrea Fedi (Neri Sottoli) to 2’30”.
On the wet and treacherous downhill, more than two dozen riders hit the deck. At the bottom of the descent, the riders took the initiative to neutralise the race to allow teams and riders to regain composure and check equipment before continuing on to the finish.
When the lead to the breakaway reached 1’, Lotto Belisol took over chasing duties for their sprinter Andrei Greiple. With nine kilometres to go, the final remnants of the break had been caught and it was Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s turn to assert their authority over the bunch.
As the other teams duked it out for the stage win, ORICA-GreenEDGE protected Adam Yates in the bunch. With several hard days of racing yet to come and only a six man team to ride for Yates, the Australian outfit took more of a conservative approach on today’s stage.
“Adam was our first priority, although we had no intentions of taking any responsibility unless it was absolutely necessary. It turned out there was really no need to lead the charge as other teams took on that responsibility for their sprinters. Aside from the weather, the guys had an easier day in the bunch.” - Assistant Sport Director Julian Dean
|1||Mark Cavendish (GBr) - Omega Pharma-QuickStep||3:14:23|
|2||Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) - Lampre-Merida||ST|
|3||Mark Renshaw (Aus) - Omega Pharma-QuickStep||ST|
|4||Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) - MTN - Qhubeka||ST|
|5||Elia Viviani (Ita) - Cannondale||ST|
|6||Jetse Bol (Ned) - Belkin Pro Cycling Team||ST|
|7||Aldo Ino Ilesic (Slo) - Unitedhealthcare Presented By Maxxis||ST|
|8||Marco Haller (Aut) - Katusha Team||ST|
|9||Ahmet Orken (Tur) - Torku Sekerspor||ST|
|10||Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) - Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise||ST|
|41||Adam Yates (GBr) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|52||Leigh Howard (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|81||Damien Howson (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:00:44|
|89||Jens Mouris (Ned) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:01:04|
|90||Mitchell Docker (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|133||Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:08:17|