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2013 Tour of Hainan Stage 4



For the third day in a row, the stage ended in a bunch sprint and as it had been the case on the first two occasions, Bos was in a class of his own. Having once again being delivered perfectly to the line by lead-out man Lars Boom, he powered clear and easily beat Rico Rogers and Kevin Peeters to take his third and Belkin’s fourth win in the race.

However, one thing was different from the two previous stages. Today Bos’ teammate and overall leader Moreno Hofland was boxed in and so couldn’t stay on the wheel of the wheel of the team’s designated sprinter. He drifted back in the peloton to finish 23rd in the same time as Bos and so Belkin failed in their quest to make it three 1-2s in a row.

Hofland didn’t score any bonus seconds but as none of his main rivals did so either, he kept his 33-second lead over 2nd placed Frederic Amorison.

The lead may come a bit more under pressure on tomorrow’s 218,6km 5th stage which contains two category 2 climbs along the way from Wanning to Sanya. The final of those comes, however, more than 50km from the finish and as the final part is completely flat, another bunch sprint is the likely outcome.

The 183,6km fourth stage of the Tour of Hainan was more hilly than the previous ones as it included the first categorized climb of the race. As the final part was completely flat, it was, however, expected that the day would be another one for the sprinters.

As it had been the case on the first three days, the stage was off to a really fast start but this time a group got clear early in the race. Belkin had three riders in the break but as Hofland was not there, the team decided to close it down.

Instead, a 3-rider group escaped and Thomas Rostollan (La Pomme Marseille), Vitaly Buts (Ukraine) and Liu Yilin (Hengxiang) were allowed to build up a maximum gap of 5.28. The trio picked up the points in the first two intermediate sprints while Buts beat Rostollan in the KOM sprint to take the first mountains jersey in the race.

Belkin started to chase in the peloton and they gradually got closer to the front trio. Yilin was the first to get dropped by his companions and a little later, Rostollan also fell off the pace. Yilin was caught in time for the third intermediate sprint where Anuar Manan (Synergy Baku) picked up one bonus second but the Malaysian lost his lead in the Asian riders’ competition to Yilin.

Rostollan was also swallowed up by the peloton but Buts did a good job of keeping the peloton at bay. With 15km to go, he was 1.25 ahead of the main group but he was unable to keep his speed all the way to the finish. 10km from the line, he was caught and so all was set for another big bunch sprint. Once again, Belkin dominated the final kilometres with Boom giving Bos a perfect lead-out that allowed the Dutch sprinter to take his third stage win.

Result:

1. Theo Bos 4.18.12

2. Rico Rogers

3. Kevin Peeters

4. Boris Shpilevsky

5. Yuri Metlushenko

6. Yannick Martinez

7. Anuar Manan

8. Bartlomiej Matysiak

9. Jose Concalves

10. Justin Jules

General classification:

1. Moreno Hofland 13.40.45

2. Frederic Amorison +0.33

3. Tom Leezer +0.43

4. Kevin Peeters +0.45

5. Fabian Schnaidt +0.47

6. William Walker

7. Jos Van Emden

8. Christopher Williams

9. Theo Bos +0.48

10. Jose Goncalves +0.50

Points classification:

1. Moreno Hofland 62

2. Theo Bos 48

3. Fabian Schnaidt 40

4. Yury Metlushenko 35

5. Kevin Peeters 31

Mountains classification:

1. Vitaliy Buts 5

2. Thomas Rostollan 3

3. Yilin Liu 2

4. Christophe Premont 1

Teams classification:

1. Belkin 41.04.28

2. Crelan-Euphony +0.34

3. Drapac +0.49

4. Ukraine

5. La Pomme Marseille +1.13


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