Beijing - Ireland's Dan Martin took the fourth stage of the
Tour of Beijing with an extraordinary uphill sprint on Monday, but
Belgian Philippe Gilbert stayed just close enough to keep the overall
Martin, who won the Tour of Lombardy earlier this month,
struck in the last kilometre of the long climb up Miaofeng mountain in
Mentougou, after a series of attacks had been reeled in by the peloton.
opened up a gap but overnight leader Gilbert - who is not known as a
climber - was kept in touch by his BMC team-mates and crossed the line
just two seconds behind the Garmin-Sharp rider.
With bonuses, that
meant Martin rose to second place in the general classification, but
was still three seconds behind the Belgian.
stage took place under clear skies in the wooded hills north of Beijing,
some of the green trees dappled in autumnal hues - a contrast to the
heavy pollution earlier in the event that forced Saturday's second stage
to be cut short.
Martin, 28, who finished second in the event
last year, said: "I'm just happy with the stage, the GC would have been a
bonus. I'm still happy with second place."
Gilbert said he "gave
everything" in the sprint to the line. "It was very hard to close the
gap to Martin but he did a nice win," he said.
stage takes place in Beijing city centre, starting at Tiananmen Square
and finishing at the Bird's Nest stadium that hosted the 2008 Olympics.
race - the final WorldTour event of the season - is being run for the
last time, and has been overshadowed by some top-level withdrawals
including Tour of Spain winner Alberto Contador and WorldTour number one
Results from the 157 km fourth stage of the Tour of Beijing from Yanqing to Mentougou on Monday:
1. Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp/IRE) 4 hours 12 mins 14 secs
2. Esteban Chaves (Orica GreenEDGE/COL) + 2 secs
3. Philippe Gilbert (BMC/BEL) same time
4. Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida/POR) st
5. Julian Arredonda (Trek Factory Racing/COL) + 10 secs
1. Philippe Gilbert (BMC/BEL) 15 hours 19 mins 47 secs
2. Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp/IRE) + 3 secs
3. Esteban Chaves (Orica GreenEDGE/COL) + 9
4. Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida/POR) + 11 secs
5. Sergey Chernetski (Katusha/RUS) + 23