Swiss BMC rider leaves breakaway companions behind to claim the fourth stage on his home race
Stefan Küng (BMC) soloed to the win on a wet and windy stage four of the Tour de Romandie 2015, after spending a large part of the day in the breakaway, before going alone with around 25km to go.
The initial break peaked at over five minutes from the peloton before the gap began to come down. Lieuwe Westra (Astana), Anton Vorobyev (Katusha), Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Jan Bakelants (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Pavel Kochetkov (Katusha) were the men to join Küng out front.
But riders began to drop-off in the final 100km and the 21-year-old Swiss time trial specialist was able to put 30 seconds into the chasing Bakelants and Lindeman over the final category three climb of the day, before racing into Fribourg for the win.
There was no real concerted chase from the peloton, except by Etixx – Quick-Step pair Tony Martin and Julian Alaphilippe who made a last gasp attempt to make an impact in the overall, but were reeled in by the bunch in the final few kilometres. In fact, Alaphilippe’s efforts saw him drop time, falling from fifth to 23rd in GC, 50 seconds behind.
There was no other significant change in the overall though, with Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) holding onto the yellow jersey, and Brits Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) in third and fourth respectively at 20 seconds after finishing safely in the main group.
Saturday sees the queen stage and the first real chance for a GC shake-up, with riders taking in three category one climbs en-route before finishing on the summit at Champex-Lac.
Tour de Romandie, stage four: La Neuveville – Fribourg (170km)
1. Michael Albasini (Sui) Orica-GreenEdge, 4-14-56
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx-Quick-Step, st
3. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC, st
4. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida, st
5. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge, st
6. Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin, st
7. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx-Quick-Step, st
8. Ramunas Navardauskas (Lit) Cannondale-Garmin, st
9. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Alpecin, st
10. Sergei Chernetkii (Rus) Katusha, st
Overall Classification after stage four
1. Michael Albasini (Sui) Orica-GreenEdge, at 13-33-40
2. Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Orica-GreenEdge, at 20 seconds
3. Christopher Froome (Gbr) Team Sky, st
4. Simon Yates (Gbr) Orica-GreenEdge, st
5. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha, at 25 seconds
6. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha, st
7. Yuri Trofimov (Rus) Katusha, st
8. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha, st
9. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step, at 27 seconds
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step, st