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by Shane Stokes
April 20, 2018
Sanchez soloes to win stage 4 of the Tour of the Alps; Siutsou wins stage 3 of the Tour of Croatia; Cycling world pays tribute to BMC Racing Team owner Andy Rihs; Marco Haller out for months after being hit by car, French amateur shot; Buchanan comments on lack of bike brand, undergoes surgery; Brown awarded Amy Gillett scholarship, Wiggle High5 provides development spot; Silca tease upcoming Sicuro Titanium Bottle Cage; Wiggle-CRC rejects claim Chain Reaction company is in meltdown; Video: Chris Froome post-race interview, stage 4 Tour of the Alps 2018; Video: Tour of the Alps 2018 – Day 3: big surprise in Meran; Video: As A Midlife Cyclist
Luis León Sanchez racked up Astana’s fourth win in five days when he triumphed on stage 4 of the Tour of Alps. The Spaniard jumped clear two kilometres from the finish line in Lienz. He soloed in six seconds clear of George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) and 11 ahead of the group of main favourites, led in by LottoNL-Jumbo’s Koen Bouwman.
“I had regrets after yesterday’s stage as I was supposed to go for success on the day, but I hesitated a little too much, and the Aussie [Ben O’Connor] went away,” he said. “Today I didn’t have a doubt: I wanted to go without waiting for the sprint. It turned out to be the right choice.”
The penultimate stage of the race was a lumpy one, with two second category climbs along the route. The first of these helped form a nine-man break, including riders such as Louis Meintjes (Dimension Data) and David De la Cruz (Team Sky). These were unable to build a lead of more than two minutes, and when Bennett jumped across on the uncategorised climb before the second category two ascent, the move was snuffed out by the peloton.
A group pushed forward before the categorised Bannberg climb, with Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) jumping across. This was closed down, and hard racing reduced the list of contenders to 15. Sanchez and Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) then attacked on the descent and were soon joined by Chris Froome (Team Sky). Although things came back together again, Sanchez had enough left to leap clear and take the win.
Overnight leader Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) maintains a 15 second lead over Pozzovio and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), with Froome a further second back. The race concludes on Friday with a lumpy stage to Innsbruck.