Peter Sagan made it look easy once again as he won his third Tour de Suisse stage in four days in Trimbach this afternoon.
The Slovakian made light of horrible conditions to take a comfortable victory; Movistar’s Jose Joaquin Rojas finished second, but never looked like overhauling the Liquigas-Cannondale rider, who appeared to have plenty in reserve.
Briton Steve Cummings (BMC Racing) finished in tenth, while Rojas’s team-mate and race leader Rui Costa stayed out of harm’s way to remain in yellow.
Team Sky’s Lars-Petter Nordhaug, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) and Martin Elmiger (Ag2r-La Mondiale) tried in vain to break clear in the closing stages. Nordhaug attacked from the bunch 27km from the finish, before the chasing duo caught him with 6km to go.
However, the efforts of Liquigas-Cannondale meant the trio were only out front together for a couple of minutes.
Despite being reduced to just a one-man lead out going under the red kite, Sagan positioned himself brilliantly and left a whole host of race-winners behind him when he kicked for the line.
Tour de Suisse stage four: Aarberg to Trimbach, 188km
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale in 4-36-55
2. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar
3. Michael Albasini (Sui) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Barracuda
5. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana
6. Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha
7. Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
8. Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
9. Oscar Freire (Spa) Katusha
10. Steve Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing all at st.
General classification after stage four
1. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar in 15-43-52
2. Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan at 8sec
3. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 15 secs
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-BigMat at 19 secs
5. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 21 secs
6. Thomas Lovkvist (Swe) Sky at 21 secs
7. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 23 secs
8. John Gadret (Fra) Agr2-La Mondiale at 24 secs
9. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 26 secs
10. Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Barracuda at 29 secs
Lars-Petter Nordhaug attacks
Peter Sagan wins
Rui Costa maintains overall lead
Tour de Suisse 2012: Related links
Stage three: Sagan sprints to second Suisse stage win
Costa denies Schleck stage two win in Tour de Suisse
Sagan beats Cancellara in Tour de Suisse opening time trial