Arnaud Démare (FDJ) won the bunch sprint at the end of stage four of the Tour de Suisse on Tuesday.
Démare out-paced rival Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) in a close-fought duel for the line. Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) came home in third.
Mathias Frank (BMC Racing) safely finished in the bunch to retain the overall race lead on a day where there was no change to the top ten of the general classification.
The stage’s escape group consisted of Jens Voigt (RadioShack Leopard), Robert Vrecer (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Olivier Kaisen (Lotto-Belisol). Despite working well togther, the trio were never truly let off the leash by the peloton and their advantage was pegged at well below five minutes.
In the final 20 kilometres, Voigt and Vrecer left Kaisen behind and continued forging ahead but by the final 10 kilometres their gap over the Omega Pharma-QuickStep-led bunch had plummeted to only half a minute.
Vrecer and Voigt absolutely buried themselves to try and keep the peloton at bay towards the finish, with Voigt’s bike swaying from side-to-side under pressure from the German’s characteristic pedalling style.
Voigt then attacked Vrecer in the final three kilometres as the Euskaltel man was quickly caught and went backwards through the peloton. The veteran German’s move was short-lived, however, and the bunch made the catch with just two kilometres remaining.
Démare put himself in the ideal position on a tight, right-angled bend a few hundred metres before the line to catapult himself to victory.
Tomorrow’s stage is another hilly one, with five fourth category ascents packed into the final third of the day’s 176km route from Buochs to Leuggern.
Tour de Suisse 2013, stage four: Innertkirchen to Buochs, 161km
1. Armaud Demare (Fra) FDJ in 4-08-23
2. Matt Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
3. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
4. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
6. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
7. Peter Sagan (Slo) Cannondale
8. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
9. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10. Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana at same time
12. Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky
28. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Sharp
127. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GBr) Sky
138. Josh Edmondson (GBr) Sky all same time
162. Ben Swift (GBr) Sky at 10-11
Overall classification after stage four
1. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing in 11-48-01
2. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff at 23 secs
3. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar at 35 secs
4. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar at 53 secs
5. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 57 secs
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco at 1-08
7. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp at 1-23
8. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana at 1-26
9. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale at 1-28
10. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing at 1-39
38. Josh Edmondson (GBr) Sky at 8-55
Jens Voigt heads the escape
Arnaud Demare pips Matt Goss (right) to the line
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