International Cycling

Martin wins Beijing Stage 4

2014-10-13 12:40
Dan Martin (File)

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 lead.

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.

He 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.

The 157km 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.

Tuesday's final stage takes place in Beijing city centre, starting at Tiananmen Square and finishing at the Bird's Nest stadium that hosted the 2008 Olympics.

The 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 Alejandro Valverde.

Results from the 157 km fourth stage of the Tour of Beijing from Yanqing to Mentougou on Monday:

Stage

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

Overall standings

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

Read more on:    dan martin  |  cycling
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