Corbin Strong showed his resilience on stage 4 of the Tour Down Under, bouncing back from a crash yesterday to sprint to fifth place in the uphill sprint in Willunga, while Daryl Impey was crowned the most aggressive rider of the day after his day in the breakaway.
The team’s efforts on the tough stage also saw Sebastian Berwick move up to 17th on the General Classification, just five seconds off the top-ten with all to play for on the summit finish on tomorrow’s final stage.
“I was a bit stiff at the start of the stage but I didn’t feel too bad today after the crash yesterday. The guys did a great job to position me today and keep me safe, especially when the peloton split. I knew I didn’t have the best legs on the uphill sprint but I was happy to come away with fifth place,” said Corbin.
A flying start to racing meant it took a while for a breakaway to form but when it did, it was just Impey and Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-EasyPost) who went clear. The duo built a four-minute advantage but that quickly came tumbling down when strong winds caused the peloton to split.
The breakaway was caught by the front group, which featured Strong, Berwick, and Simon Clarke, and Impey immediately got to work on the front to maintain the split and ended the day earning the title of most aggressive rider.
“It was nice to get out there today. It wasn’t really the tactic of the team, I just followed the race and then looked back and we had a gap and then sometimes you think ‘well it’s going to be a very tricky day, sometimes it’s better to have someone up there in case it splits’. But it was okay. We put Corbin up there in the finale and Sebastian is riding really well, so it was a good day. It’s nice to have red numbers tomorrow for my last ever Tour Down Under stage,” added Impey.
With excellent positioning from Clarke, Strong was able to head into the final corner in the first ten riders and launch his sprint with 150 meters to go to cross the line in fifth place, behind winner Bryan Coquard (Cofidis). Berwick benefited from the split and moved up three places on the General Classification heading into tomorrow’s Mount Lofty summit finish.
An unfortunate crash for Taj Jones saw the Australian hit the ground hard but fortunately, the extent of his injuries was limited to multiple abrasions and contusions on his neck and elbow.