Tour de Suisse Stage 4: Hushovd edges out Sagan to get first win in rainbow jersey

Lampre-ISD's Damiano Cunego retains overall lead

by Simon_MacMichael   June 14, 2011  

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Thor Hushovd of Garmin-Cervelo has take his first victory in the rainbow jersey, just edging out Liquigas-Cannondale's Peter Sagan to win Stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse in Huttwil. The young Slovak, winner of yesterday's Stage 3, made his move off the front of the peloton some 200 metres out, but the Norwegian proved stronger in the finale. Marco Marcato of Vacansoleil-DCM finished third. Damiano Cunego of Lampre-ISD retains the overall lead.

Stage 4 of last year’s race saw the infamous crash involving Mark Cavendish and Heinrich Haussler that ended the latter’s season, but although today and tomorrow feature the two flattest stages of the race, today's finish was unlikely to suit the out-and-out sprinters, and so it proved.

This afternoon’s parcours featured a Category 2 ascent around 60km in, followed by a Category 3 climb negotiated twice on the closing 20km closing loop and a 2 per cent uphill gradient in the last 2 kilometres before the finish.

Three riders were off the front of the peloton heading into the first of two laps of that final loop, Sylvain Chavanel of Quickstep, Cesare Benedetti of Team NetApp, and Lloyd Mondory of AG2R, the latter’s blue sprints jersey contrasting rather uncomfortably with his brown team-issue shorts.

The trio were caught around 18 kilometres out, with Team Sky, who have enjoyed a cracking few weeks’ racing topped by Bradley Wiggins’ overall victory in the Dauphiné last Sunday, working hardest at the front of the peloton to force the pace along.

As the race headed up the Category 3 Ruppiswil for the second time, the pace was ratcheted up as HTC-Highroad and Liquigas-Cannondale moved to the front, but it was the Vacansoleil-DCM Uzbekh rider Sergey Lagutin who launched himself off the front, Daniel Oss of Liquigas-Cannondale and Omega Pharma-Lotto’s Jan Bakelants going with him.

However, the trio were unable to make their attack stick, and several other riders who had also managed to get a small gap over the peloton as they tested its resolve were likewise brought back.

Shortly after the regrouped peloton passed under the 5 kilometres to go banner, the ever popular Jens Voigt of Leopard Trek chanced his arm and managed to establish a gap, but even he was unable to make it last and was brought back at the foot of the final drag up to the finish.

Tour de Suisse Stage 4 Result

1  HUSHOVD Thor              GARMIN-CERVELO               4:46:05
2  SAGAN Peter               LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE        Same time
3  MARCATO Marco             VACANSOLEIL-DCM             + 2 secs
4  ROJAS Jose Joaquin        MOVISTAR
5  FREIRE GOMEZ Oscar        RABOBANK
6  GASPAROTTO Enrico         ASTANA
7  VAN AVERMAET Greg         BMC RACING
8  STYBAR Zdenek             QUICKSTEP
9  BOONEN Tom                QUICKSTEP
10 IMPEY Daryl               TEAM NETAPP
11 FERNANDEZ Koldo           EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI
12 MOLLEMA Bauke             RABOBANK
13 CUNEGO Damiano            LAMPRE - ISD
14 MEGIAS LEAL Javier        TEAM TYPE 1 - SANOFI AVENTIS
15 PAOLINI Luca              KATUSHA
16 HUZARSKI Bartosz          TEAM NETAPP
17 MONTAGUTI Matteo          AG2R LA MONDIALE
18 BOZIC Borut               VACANSOLEIL-DCM
19 DIETZIKER Andreas         TEAM NETAPP
20 ROBERTS Luke              SAXO BANK SUNGARD
 Tour de Suisse Overall Standings after Stage 4 
1 CUNEGO Damiano             Lampre-ISD                 12:29:23
2 SOLER Juan Mauricio        Movistar                     +00:54
3 MOLLEMA Bauke              Rabobank                     +01:16
4 TEN DAM Laurens            Rabobank                     +01:19
5 VAN GARDEREN Tejay         HTC-Highroad                 +01:21
6 SCHELCK Frank              Leopard Trek                 +01:25
7 FUGLSANG Jakob             Leopard Trek                 +01:32
8 DI LUCA Danilo             Katusha                      +01:53
9 KRUIJSWIJK Steven          Rabobank                     +02:00
10 LEIPHEIMER Levi           RadioShack                   +02:10