Tour du Loir stage 4: Guldhammer wins as Briggs keeps lead

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April 20th, ’14.  The penultimate stage of the Tour du Loir et Cher E Provost did live up to some of its expectations, with large time gaps between first and last place; but it was surprising to see that a large peloton still contested out the win on the difficult and testing course. 

April 20th, ’14.  The penultimate stage of the Tour du Loir et Cher E Provost did live up to some of its expectations, with large time gaps between first and last place; but it was surprising to see that a large peloton still contested out the win on the difficult and testing course. Team Trefor-Blue Water’s Rasmus Guldhammer was the victor in just under four hours in a very close finish.

The 165km course that started and finished in Ange was expected to throw up some very difficult racing, and indeed almost half of the original field are now left in the race with a number of riders not making it to the finish; for many doubtless a combination of today’s multiple uphill sections and yesterday’s queen stage combining for a lot of agony in the legs.  But not such problem existed for Guldhammer as he managed to forge out an advantage of just three seconds in the finale.  His speed was enough to hold off the very consistent Anthony Maldonado of France and compatriot David Menut who brought home the nearly 70 strong peloton.

Graham Briggs of the Rapha Condor JLT team continues to lead in the overall standings with just the final stage to come.  Guldhammer’s win however, was enough to leap into the top five overall with Maldonado also joining him in the top 10.  Gert Van Der Weijst – winner of the opening stage – continues to lead the points classification, while Dries Hollanders still has a one point advantage in the king of the mountains classification.  In the young rider competition, Lotto Belisol U23 rider Amaury Capiot still leads while Metec-TKH Continental Cycling has a 48 second lead in the team classification.

The final stage of this year’s race is by far the shortest at just 97.5km in length; starting and finishing in Blois and following a short circuit.  Do not be too quick to think that it will result in a sprint finish though as a long grind of a climb leads up the finish line at the end of each lap.

Kiwi Hayden McCormick opted not to start the penultimate stage, instead choosing to focus on resting after a big training block prior to the Tour du Loir.  McCormick is set to be racing in Poland in just under two weeks time so he will be preparing for that after having a break.

Stage 4 results:
1st:  Rasmus Guldhammer (DEN) Team Trefor-Blue Water
2nd:  Anthony Maldonado (FRA)
3rd:  David Menut (FRA)
4th:  Geert Van Der Weijst (NED) Cycling Team Jo Piels
5th:  Jasper Bovenhuis (NED) Koga Cycling Team
6th:  Alexis Bodiot (FRA)
7th:  Alfonso Fiorenza (ITA) Nankang-Fondriest
8th:  Carlos Barbero Cuesta (SPA) Euskadi
9th:  Pavel Gatskiy (KAZ) Continental Team Astana
10th:  Romain Cardis (FRA)

General classification after stage 4:
1st:  Graham Briggs (GBR) Rapha Condor JLT
2nd:  Rasmus Mygind (DEN) Team Trefor-Blue Water
3rd:  Troels Vinther (DEN) Cult Energy Vital Water
4th:  Yann Guyot (FRA)
5th:  Rasmus Guldhammer (DEN) Team Trefor-Blue Water
6th:  Geert Van Der Weijst (NED) Cyclingteam Jo Piels
7th:  Fabien Schmidt (FRA)
8th:  Anthony Maldonado (FRA)
9th:  Amaury Capiot (BEL)
10th:  Jesper Asselman (NED) Metec-TKH Continental Cyclingteam

Points classification after stage 4:
1st:  Geert Van Der Weijst (NED) Cyclingteam Jo Piels
2nd:   Anthony Maldonado (FRA)
3rd:  David Menut (FRA)

Mountains classification after stage 4:
1st:  Dries Hollanders (BEL) Metec-TKH Continental Cyclingteam
2nd:  Matija Kvasina (CRO) Team Gourmetfein Simplon Wels
3rd:  Rasmus Mygind (DEN) Team Trefor-Blue Water

Young rider classification after stage 4:
1st:  Amaury Capiot (BEL) Lotto Belisol U23
2nd:  David Menut (FRA)
3rd:  Romain Cardis (FRA)

Team classification after stage 4:
1st:  Metec-TKH Continental Cyclingteam
2nd:  Cult Energy Vital Water
3rd:  Armee de Terre

By:  Ed Wright

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