- - Tour of Alps 2023 Stage 4

Tour of Alps 2023 Stage 4

photo credits @ ToTA

After dry-spell of nearly three years, Gregor Mühlberger (Movistar) finally netted his first victory, after the Austrian rider claimed stage 4 of the Tour of the Alps today, beating breakaway companions Torstein Traæn (Uno-X) and Giulio Pellizzari (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè) in a sprint finish in Predazzo.

Mühlberger found himself out front during the final kilometer, ultimately forcing him to lead-out the three-man sprint. But, the Movistar rider managed to stay ahead of his rivals, powering his way to victory with a turn of speed that proved insurmountable for of Traæn and Pellizzari.

Meanwhile, Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) finished safely in the main peloton to maintain his 22-second lead over Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) ahead of tomorrow’s final stage.

Race Highlights

The trio had been part of a bigger breakaway that had gone up the road on the first climb of the day and had split up on the last one. 

“A lot of time passed since the last win. I’m super happy, I’m super grateful, especially with this team, it was amazing to ride. We were four guys in the breakaway and on the last climb I did my best to keep up with the guys. Chapeau to the young rocket from Bardiani, this is a super gun for the future. He has some great time ahead,” Muhlberger said after the stage.

Stage 4 of the Tour of the Alps gave no mercy to the riders and saw the peloton riding up the first category ascent of the Passio Sommo almost immediately after the flag dropped for racing to begin.

Several groups tried to get away on the climb before an 11 rider move went clear after just 16km. Three more would eventually get across, with Movistar placing four riders into the break.

The gap quickly built up and grew to almost five minutes at one point before the peloton started trimming down their advantage. However, it seemed as though most of the peloton was happy to let the stage win be fought out between the escapees, but Euskaltel-Euskadi did not harbor such feelings and the Basque squad lit up the pace inside the final 30 kilometers in an effort to launch a rider across the gap.

As the race hit the final ascent, the breakaway blew apart with Mühlberger, Pellizzari, and Traeen ultimately moving clear. Behind, Euskaltel’s Mikel Bizkarra tried to get out of the bunch at 20km to go with American racer Matthew Riccitello (Israel-Premier Tech) following in his wheel, but the move was quickly squashed by the Ineos Grenadiers-led peloton.

Meanwhile, the 19-year-old Pellizzari broke clear of his remaining breakaway companions on the tougher part of the climb, leaving Traeen and Mühlberger behind. He could only take, at most, 18 seconds and the descent off the final climb that would spell the end of his attack and he had to fight hard to keep on the wheels of the other two.

As the three leaders returned to the flat with less than 10k remaining, the gap to the peloton behind was still at 3:30. The trio would ride into the final meters together to contest the sprint. Mühlberger was the first to blink and the Austrian held off his companions to take the win.

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