OSSINGEN, Switzerland, June 17, 2014 – Mark Cavendish stormed to
victory as stage four of the Tour of Switzerland came down to a bunch sprint
finish on Tuesday while Germany’s Tony Martin retained the overall leader’s
Cavendish’s powerful kick in the closing stages of the 160km ride from
Heiden to Ossingen enabled the Briton to hold off Spain’s Juan Jose Lobato and
Slovakian Peter Sagan, who won stage three a day earlier.
Isle of Man native Cavendish, 29, picks up a welcome tonic in his Tour de
France preparation and will go into the biggest race of the year with 25 stage
wins, only nine behind all-time stage winner Eddy Merckx of Belgium.
The Tour de France begins July 5 in Leeds, England and runs until July 27.
A sprint finish seemed inevitable with just two category four climbs for
riders to navigate and so it was the case after early breakaway pair Laurens
de Vreese and Daniel Teklehaimanot were reeled in by the peloton.
De Vreese and Teklehaimanot were allowed to open up a lead of almost four
minutes before the pack began to chase the duo down with 50km remaining and
finally caught them 10km from the finish, leading to a fiercely contested
Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s Martin, who has worn yellow since winning the
opening time-trial, finished safely in the peloton to maintain his six second
advantage over Dutchman Tom Dumoulin.
Bradley Wiggins endured another miserable day, though, as the 2012 Tour de
France champion suffered a crash with around 25km remaining, leaving him with
cuts and grazes on his legs.
Wednesday’s stage five is another relatively flat stage although the 184km
ride from Ossingen to Buren an der Aare does feature four minor climbs and
will encourage breakaways.
1. Mark Cavendish (GBR/OPQ) 3hr 35min 03sec, 2. Juan José Lobato (ESP/MOV)
same time 3. Peter Sagan (SVK/CAN) s.t., 4. Sacha Modolo (ITA/LAM) s.t., 5.
Alexander Kristoff (NOR/KAT) s.t., 6. Danny van Poppel (NED/TRE) s.t., 7.
Jonas Van Genechten (BEL/LTB) s.t., 8. Davide Appollonio (ITA/ALM) s.t., 9.
José Joaquin Rojas (ESP/MOV) s.t., 10. Matthew Goss (AUS/ORI) s.t.
1. Tony Martin (GER/OPQ) 14hr 19min 41sec, 2. Tom Dumoulin (NED/GIA) at
0:06sec, 3. Peter Sagan (SVK/CAN) 0:10, 4. Bauke Mollema (NED/BKN) 0:17, 5.
Tom Slagter (NED/GRM) 0:23, 6. Davide Formolo (ITA/CAN) 0:27, 7. Jon Izagirre
(ESP/MOV) 0:27, 8. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/TIN) 0:28, 9. Mathias Frank (SUI/IAM)
0:29, 10. Mattia Cattaneo (ITA/LAM) 0:29