Thursday's stage four in the 60th International Tour of Austria, taking the bunch from Lienz to Wolfsberg over 216.8 kilometres, was held in hot weather conditions and came down to a field sprint, dominated by sprint talent André Greipel (Team Columbia) ahead of René Haselbacher (Aut - Astana) and his own fellow German Danilo Hondo (Serramenti Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli), with Werner Riebenbauer (Aut - Arbö Wels Gourmetfein) and Scandinavia's #1 sprinting prospect Edvald "next Thor Hushovd" Boasson Hagen as best of the rest in fourth and fifth place respectively .
Yellow jersey holder Thomas Rohregger (Aut) took some time bonuses on offer at an intermediate sprint and put a further two seconds into Ruslan Pidgornyy (Team LPR Brakes) as well as all other top-placed guys, extending his GC lead over the Ukrainian to 09"; Chris Anker Sörensen of both Denmark and Team CSC keeps sitting in spot number three, with a gap of 27 seconds to make up for - if possible.
Tom Stamsnijder (Hol - Gerolsteiner) and Olivier Kaisen (Bel - Silence-Lotto) stayed in the limelight for much of the day: they broke clear after 32 km and built up a maximum lead of a over a dozen minutes, but the chase was effective and the front pairing got reeled in at the right time, with 7k to go. The very late miles were all about the sprinter's teams doing their leadout job and notably the "Columbians" setting Greipel up for the sprint; The man from Rostock finished off the job, adding a new gem to his stage triumph at the past Giro d'Italia, the Tour Down Under overall victory and a few more excellent results. "Every victory is great anyway. Today's was a demanding stage but my team worked very well" the 26-year-old said after getting his triumph. At his turn Haselbacher was basically satisfied with his accomplishment, albeit regretted not taking the initiative before Griepel started the sprint with a timely move.
Friday's trip goes from Wiener Neustadt to Bad Vöslau (hosting a Tour of Austria stage finish for the first time) over 184 kilometres. Many top players are expected to save their legs for Saturday's crucial ITT of 26 km. around Podersdorf.
Stage 4 (Lienz to Wolfsberg, 216.8 km): Top 20 Places
1. GREIPEL, André (Ger - TEAM COLUMBIA) - 05h33'51" (10")
2. HASELBACHER, René (Aut - ASTANA) - s.t. (06")
3. HONDO, Danilo (Ger - DIQUIGIOVANNI-ANDRONI) - s.t. (04")
4. RIEBENBAUER, Werner (Aut - RC ARBÖ) - s.t.
5. BOASSON HAGEN, Edvald (Nor - TEAM COLUMBIA) - s.t.
6. KORFF, André (Ger - TEAM VOLKSBANK) - s.t.
7. FERRARI, Roberto (Ita - TEAM LPR BRAKES) - s.t.
8. NAPOLITANO, Danilo (Ita - LAMPRE) - s.t.
9. WROLICH, Peter (Aut - GEROLSTEINER) - s.t.
10. SCHWAGER, Sebastian (Ger - TEAM MILRAM) - s.t.
11. VIGANÒ, Davide (Ita - QUICK STEP) - s.t.
12. SEROV, Alexander (Rus - TINKOFF) - s.t.
13. BOSSONI, Paolo (Ita - LAMPRE) - s.t.
14. FRAPPORTI, Marco (Ita - CSF-NAVIGARE) - s.t.
15. KNOPF, Michael (Aut - ARBÖ-KTM) - s.t.
16. JACOBS, Pieter (Bel - SILENCE-LOTTO) - s.t.
17. PROBST, Rupert (Aut - ARBÖ-KTM) - s.t.
18. KERSCHBAUM, Christof (Aut - RC ARBÖ) - s.t.
19. ISAK, Christian (Aut - RC ARBÖ) - s.t.
20. WALKER, William (Aus - RABOBANK) - s.t.
* Complete stage results here (pdf file)
60th Tour of Austria - GC after Stage 4: Top 20 Places
1. ROHREGGER, Thomas (Aut - ELK HAUS SIMPLON) - 19h14'59"
2. PIDGORNYY, Ruslan (Ukr - TEAM LPR BRAKES) - at 09"
3. SÖRENSEN, Chris Anker (Den - TEAM CSC) - at 27"
4. GUSEV, Vladimir (Rus - ASTANA) - at 29"
5. CARUSO, Giampaolo (Ita - FLAMINIA-BOSSINI) - at 35"
6. REBELLIN, Davide (Ita - GEROLSTEINER) - at 02'16"
7. PEDRAZA, Walter (Col - TINKOFF) - at 02'47"
8. BRAJKOVIC, Janez (Slo - ASTANA) - at 02'58"
9. GOLCER, Jure (Slo - TEAM LPR BRAKES) - at 03'25"
10. MOSER, Leonardo (Ita - DIQUIGIOVANNI-ANDRONI) - at 03'28"
11. TRAMPUSCH, Gerhard (Aut - ELK HAUS SIMPLON) - at 04'19"
12. BARRY, Michael (Can - TEAM COLUMBIA) - at 04'40"
13. FREI, Thomas (Swi - ASTANA) - at 05'01"
14. STALDER, Florian (Swi - TEAM VOLKSBANK) - at 05'01"
15. PICHLER, Michael (Aut - RC ARBÖ) - at 05'09"
16. LLOYD, Matthew (Aus - SILENCE-LOTTO) - at 05'14"
17. SESTILI, Luigi (Ita - FLAMINIA-BOSSINI) - at 05'47"
18. SERRANO GONZALES, Ricardo (Spa - TINKOFF) - at 05'49"
19. SIMEONI, Filippo (Ita - FLAMINIA-BOSSINI) - at 08'09"
20. BETTINI, Paolo (Ita - QUICK STEP) - at 08'10"
* Full GC after Stage 4 here (pdf file)
Points: 1. PIDGORNYY, Ruslan (Ukr - TEAM LPR BRAKES) - 33 p.
(Full standings here - pdf file)
Mountains: 1. CARUSO, Giampaolo (Ita - FLAMINIA-BOSSINI) - 57 p.
* (Full standings here - pdf file)
Teams: 1. ASTANA - 57h53'28"
* (Full standings here - pdf file)
* 60th Tour of Austria - Prologue & Stage 1
* 60th Tour of Austria - Stage 2
* 60th Tour of Austria - Stage 3