Tour Down Under 2008 – Stage 4 – Greipel takes another stage as Renshaw holds on to the lead

Source: TDU Website

By Gerard Knapp

After a flurry of atttacks heading out of Mannum, a group of three managed to break free form the peloton 11km into the stage: Nicki Sorensen (Den) from Team CSC, Mathieu Perget (Fra) from Caisse D’Epargne and Simon Clarke (Aus) of UniSA – Australia.

They were joined by Arkaitz Duran Daroca (Spa) from Saunier-Duval Scott and they have been working well to hold a lead of up to 35 seconds, but then a chase group left the main field and is closing in on them after 24km into the stage. This lead group of four was caught at 26km. Another trio tried to get away but it was reeled in after a few km’s. The main field split in two, trying to chase down that first break, but after 37km, the second group got back on to the front group, and the field came back together – for now – as the attacks kept coming.

The conditions were warmer than previous days and this took its toll on the riders. The field split in two – again and again but after 73km, there was a definite break of two groups on the road, separated by two minutes. The race leader was in the front group.

At the 80km mark Javier Aramendia of Euskaltel – Euskadi attacked the lead group and after 48km of solo hammering, he was caught only six kilometres from the finish, after his lead had been as large as over 4 minutes. Back up the road, the whole peloton had reformed and there was another bustling finale into Strathalbyn, with the stage being taken out by Andre Greipel of Team High Road, followed by Mark Renshaw of Credit Agricole and Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne. Renshaw’s second place was enough to keep him in the leader’s ochre jersey until tomorrow’s decisive stage at Willunga.

(Full report, results and photos to come.)

Provisional results of stage 4, Tour Down Under, January 25, 2008

1 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team High Road                            3.12.00
2 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Credit Agricole                                 st
3 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne
4 Matthew Goss (Aus) Team CSC
5 Denis Flahaut (Fra) Saunier Duval - Scott
6 Allan Davis (Aus) UniSA -  Australia
7 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank
8 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team CSC
9 David Vigano (Ita) Quick Step
10 Jan Robert Forster (Ger) Gerolsteiner

General Classification after Stage 4

1 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Credit Agricole                            13.25.53
2 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team High Road                                 .03
3 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank                                        .06

Jersey Classifications after stage 4

Tour Down Under Leader's Jersey
Mark Renshaw (Aus) Credit Agricole

SA Lotteries Sprint Jersey
Mark Renshaw (Aus) Credit Agricole

A Brilliant Blend King of the Mountains Jersey
Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Francaise Des Jeux

Hindmarsh Most Aggressive rider's Jersey (for stage 4)
Javier Aramendia Lorenti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi

U25 Rider competition
Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) - Caisse D'Epargne
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