Final climb proves decisive as Wout Poels breaks clear

Team Sky’s Wout Poels took overall lead of the Tirreno-Adriatico after winning stage four with a strong attack on the final climb.

Having broken clear at the top of the three-kilometre Crispiero, Poels held off the chasing peloton in the fast-paced descent to win solo. Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-Quickstep) won the sprint for second ahead of Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) as the chasing group finished 15 seconds behind.

Also in the group were big-name GC favourites Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), as well as Britain’s Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge).

Joaquin Rodriguez (3rd) and Rigoberto Uran (2nd) sprint for the line (Watson)

Joaquin Rodriguez (3rd) and Rigoberto Uran (2nd) sprint for the line (Watson)

Greg Van Avaemaet (BMC) was dropped earlier on at the climb, losing the leader’s jersey and slipping out of overall contention.

He slipped to the back of the group under the fast pace set by Alexis Vuillermoz, who appeared to be setting something up for AG2R teammate Domenico Pozzovivo. But it was Katusha’s Giampaolo Caruso who made the first attack, to which Pozzovivo laboured to respond.

Both, however, were caught by an onrushing Wout Poels just as they were about to crest the climb, and neither could follow as he passed them and took off on the descent.

Steve Cummings of MTN-Qhubeka moved into third place in the general classification (Watson)

Steve Cummings of MTN-Qhubeka moved into third place in the general classification (Watson)

On the first ascent of the Crispiero (tackled on the first of two circuits), a promising quartet of Julian Arredondo (Trek-Factory Racing), Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Michele Scarponi (Astana) and Daniel Moreno (Katusha) broke clear of the peloton, but were caught with 10km to go thanks to work from Tinkoff-Saxo at the front of the peloton.

The initial break of the day was formed by Orica-GreenEdge duo Matthew Hayman and Luke Durbridge, before they were caught on the first ascent of the Crispiero.

Tirreno-Adriatico stage four: Indicatore – Castelraimondo (218km)
Result

1. Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky
2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step at 14 secs
3. Joaquin Rodriguez (Esp) Katusha
4. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R
5. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R
6. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo
7. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
9. Jurgen van den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Soudal
10. Adam Yates (GBR) Orica-GreenEdge all at same time

Overall classification

1. Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky
2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step at 17 secs
3. Stephen Cummings (GBR) MTN-Qhubeka at 26 secs
4. Thibaut Pinto (Fra) FDJ
5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo at 27 secs
6. Nicolas Castroviejo (Esp) Movistar at 28 secs
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
8. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo at 30 secs
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 31 secs
10. Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff-Saxo at 32 secs