It was an active start to the 159.5-kilometer race with Kamil Gradek jumping into an early seven rider breakaway. However, the peloton kept them on a short leash going over the day’s three categorized climbs, which all came in the first half of stage four.
In the end, the race was back together with 70 kilometers still to go after attacks started to fly off the front of the main bunch with the teams eyeing up the General Classification looking to put pressure on one another.
CCC Team continued to work well for its leader with Geschke sitting in the wheel of Gijs Van Hoecke and Joey Rosskopf heading across the line for the first time to start the first of two finishing circuits with 18 kilometers remaining.
Despite various attacks, no rider, or group of riders, was able to go clear but, instead, the pace being set saw the main bunch whittled down in size before heading for a fast and furious sprint for the line, won by Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain – Merida).
Rosskopf gave one last strong push for Geschke just before the race headed under the flamme rouge with the German rider ultimately sprinting to 10th place on the line and, with no one able to make a difference on the overall leaderboard, he finished 12th, 23 seconds behind Jasper Stuyven (Trek – Segafredo).
Quotes From the Finish Line:
“Today was a bit harder than expected but the team rode really well again. They have done a great job all week. In the end, I couldn’t move up any places on the GC but I also didn’t lose any time today which I think was also important and I was even able to finish the stage in the top 10. We always stayed on top of things today and, overall, it was a really nice week of racing with the guys in my home country. Everyone knew what to do which was nice and I felt well looked after all the time. It was also a really nice race to be a part of and I’m already looking forward to coming back here again.”
Stage 4: Eisenach > Erfurt (159.5km)
Top 3: 1. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain – Merida) 2. Yves Lampaert (Deceininck – Quick-Step) 3. Alexander Kristoff (UAE -Team Emirates)
CCC Team Top 3: 10. Simon Geschke 28. Joey Rosskopf 31. Gijs Van Hoecke
Top 3 on GC: 1. Jasper Stuyven (Trek – Segafredo) 2. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida) 3. Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step)
CCC Team Top 3 on GC: 12. Simon Geschke 24. Joey Rosskopf 50. Riccardo Zoidl