It took 35 kilometers, one third of the 103.5-kilometer stage, for a seven-rider breakaway to be given the freedom to go clear at the front of the race after a fast start wgroups that were trying to go up the road.
With the red leader’s jersey on the shoulders of the team’s German sprinter, Jonas Koch, CCC Team took responsibility at the front of the peloton, a job which also meant that team leader, Zoidl, was well-positioned and out of trouble surrounded by his teammates.
After going over the top of the first category one climb, CCC Team continued to set the pace and eventually on the slopes of the final hors catégorie climb, only a small group of General Classification favorites was left out in front after the final rider from the breakaway was caught.
The attacks soon started but with Zoidl, using his home turf advantage, and de la Parte, who is also a former winner here, riding defensively they were able to limit the time loss on the line as Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy) went on to take the stage winner and the overall lead.
While the red hardest changed hands, a bonus sprint after just 6km of racing saw Koch take second to consolidate current lead in the Points Classification, which he also took control of after finishing third on stage three while Zoidl, who sits sixth overall, now leads the Best Austrian Classification.
Quotes From the Finish Line:
“First of all I just want to say a big thanks to the team because they worked really hard and we did a good job all together to keep the breakaway under control at the beginning of the stage. In the final, I was surprised that the attacks started so early, with almost 10 kilometers to go. At first I waited a little bit because I know that it is a long climb and with the altitude, you have to be careful. I was then able to make it back across but in the moment when Anacona and Hermans made their final attack I could not follow and I was using some time to recover. I knew I could only go full gas once more so with two kilometers to go, I went all in. For me, the final was quite good and I felt like I finished well. I was able to come close at the end and I am happy with my shape but at the decisive moment, it was not possible to go.”
“I still hope to make the podium because its still realistic for me I think. On Friday, you can gain a lot of lose a lot of time so it will be important. It will be hard to take first overall as Hermans is looking strong but I will definitely give it my best shot.”
Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt-Tour of Austria
Stage 4: Radstadt > Fuscher Törl (103.5km)
Top 3: 1. Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy) 2. Ben O’Connor (Team Dimension Data) 3. Winner Anacona (Movistar Team)
CCC Team Top 3: 6. Riccardo Zoidl 7. Víctor de la Parte 23. Łukasz Owsian