Van Baarle powers into Sun Tour lead

02 Feb 2019

Van Baarle powers into Sun Tour lead

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Herald Sun Tour, stage four: Cape Schanck to Arthurs Seat, 128.8km

Dylan van Baarle finished off a Team Sky attacking masterclass on the queen stage of Herald Sun Tour as he rode into the race lead.
 
The Dutchman finished second after four ascents of the tough Arthurs Seat climb, moving into a 24-second race lead with one day to go after spending the entire stage off the front.
 
Team Sky opted to take the race by the scruff of the neck early and placed no less than three riders in the day’s eight-man break. Luke Rowe and Christian Knees buried themselves in service of Van Baarle, opening up an unassailable advantage for the move as the peloton imploded behind.
 
Key moment
 
With Van Baarle driving the break onwards on the penultimate lap, the gap sat at a healthy 1:50 as the riders took the bell. That led to the peloton sitting up, with top contenders Michael Woods (EF Education First) and Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) isolated and without teammates.
 
On the final ascent it was Nick Schultz (Mitchelton-Scott) who pushed the pace and took the stage victory, with Van Baarle digging deep to hang on to the Australian’s wheel. Kenny Elissonde came home fifth as the peloton arrived 2:14 down. Pavel Sivakov was also present, remaining in the top 10 overall and leader of the young rider classification. 
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Dylan van Baarle

Dylan van Baarle

We saw EF struggling and that was the moment to attack. I have to thank Luke and Christian for the amazing job they did. They were absolutely flying and they did everything they could for me. It was really nice to see.
Dylan van Baarle -

"It wasn't actually the plan that I would be in the break. It had been the plan that Luke and Christian would be up there. But when I saw that EF was struggling to close the gap - I saw Christian and Luke going and that was the moment to attack.

"I have to thank Luke and Christian for the amazing job they did. They were absolutely flying and they did everything they could for me. It was really nice to see.

"Nick (Schultz) did an amazing last climb. He went from the bottom full gas to the finish. At one moment with 150 metres to go I thought he was dying but he kept going.

"At the end I was totally empty!"
Riders of the Day

Knees and Rowe got through an incredible amount of work, breaking the spirit of the peloton behind and making sure rival teams used up all their riders. For Rowe it was a second day in succession on the attack, after the Welshman played an integral role in Owain Doull’s stage three victory.
 
What’s Next?

The final day of the race sees the peloton head into central Melbourne for a final circuit race, clipping off 21 laps of a short, sharp circuit. A bunch sprint is expected with a fight for the remaining bonus seconds on the line.
Stage four result

1. Nick Schultz (Mitchelton-Scott) 2:45:42
2. Dylan van Baarle (Team Sky) s.t.
3. Chris Harper (Team BridgeLane) +1:45"
4. Alistair Donohoe (Australian Cycling Academy) +2:14"
5. Kenny Elissonde (Team Sky) s.t.
10. Pavel Sivakov (Team Sky) +2:39"

Overall standings

1. Dylan van Baarle (Team Sky) 11:28:42
2.Nick Schultz (Mitchelton-Scott) +24"
3. Michael Woods (EF Education First) +1:52"
4. Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) +2:09"
5. Chris Harper (Team BridgeLane) +2:13"
6. Kenny Elissonde (Team Sky) +2:19"
8. Pavel Sivakov (Team Sky) +3:10"

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