Nice - Orica Greenedge won the team time trial by less than one second
Tuesday on the fourth stage of the Tour de France to put veteran
Australian rider Simon Gerrans in the race leader's yellow jersey.
an outsider to win the 25-kilometer (15.5-mile) dash along the streets
of the southern seaport of Nice, Orica just beat early pacesetter Omega
Pharma-Quickstep by .75 seconds with the top four teams finishing within
10 seconds of each other. Orica finished in a provisional time of 26
minutes, 25 seconds.
"I couldn't have imagined this would happen.
It's a dream for me, my team and a lot of people in Australia as well,"
said Gerrans, who was speaking in French. "My first coach was Phil
Anderson, who was the first Australian to wear the yellow jersey. So to
do that as well is something special."
The 33-year-old Gerrans,
who won Monday's third stage in a sprint finish, takes over the overall
lead from Belgian rider Jan Bakelants.
"I knew there were some
special stages for me in the first week," Gerrans said. "It's a huge
satisfaction to win the stage and take the yellow jersey. We'll try and
hold it for a couple of days now."
The Orica riders formed a circle and then hugged and slapped each other on the back when they were sure of the win.
a bunch of friends in the team, we've known each other for a long
time," Gerrans said. "So this is a team win and this jersey is for the
team as well."
Tour favorite Chris Froome's Sky team finished third, ahead of rival Alberto Contador's Saxo-Tinkoff.
lost the leader's jersey because his RadioShack team finished way
behind. He narrowly avoided a crash as he went perilously close to
hitting some railings.
Froome is three seconds behind Gerrans, who
is not considered a Tour challenger, and two-time Tour champion
Contador is six seconds behind Froome.
The peloton returned to mainland France after three stages in the searing heat and sinewy climbs of Corsica.
sunny blue skies, the teams set off at four-minute intervals and the
overall team standings were reversed, meaning the first team to go was
Argos-Shimano and the last team down the ramp was RadioShack.
Argos-Shimano team, including Marcel Kittel — the German who won the
Tour's hectic first stage on Saturday — set off first. But Omega did the
early damage, setting a ferociously quick time despite the fact their
best rider — Tony Martin — was carrying the raw scars of his fall on
Garmin-Sharp, convincing winners of the team time trial
when it was last held two years ago, were again among the favorites and
set off with high hopes of placing veteran David Millar in the yellow
But they finished in sixth place, and Millar blamed himself.
wasn't in good form today but the team was very, very strong," the
36-year-old Millar said. "I think it was me who was missing the (16)
There were some injured riders taking part, too, with
Martin and Geraint Thomas saddling up despite nursing some nasty
injuries after crashing on stage one.
Martin became unconscious in
the team bus after his fall and was taken to hospital for injuries
including bruising of the lung, while Thomas rode with a fractured
"He is definitely better today than yesterday," Omega's
team doctor Helge Riepenhof said of Martin. "Yesterday and the day
before were the worst for him. There are bruises everywhere and he lost
so much skin that it hurts when he moves."
Sky was 5.63 seconds
behind Omega at the halfway point as Froome drove relentlessly from the
front, but they left themselves too much to do and the exhausted Thomas
dropped out close to the end.
Results from the fourth stage of the Tour de France, a 25.0km team time trial around Nice on Tuesday:
1. Orica - GreenEdge 25min 56sec
2. Omega Pharma at 0:01sec
3. Sky 0:03.
4. Saxo Bank 0:09.
5. Lotto 0:17.
6. Garmin 0:17.
7. Movistar 0:19.
8. Lampre 0:25.
9. BMC 0:26.
10. Katusha 0:28.
11. RadioShack 0:29.
12. Vacansoleil 0:33.
13. Cannondale 0:34.
14. Belkin 0:37.
15. FDJ.fr 0:42.
16. Astana 0:56.
17. AG2R La Mondiale 1:04.
18. Sojasun 1:10.
19. Europcar 1:13.
20. Cofidis 1:20.
21. Euskaltel 1:24.
22. Argos 1:47.
1. Simon Gerrans (AUS/ORI) 12hr 47min 24sec
2. Daryl Impey (RSA/ORI) at 0:00.
3. Michael Albasini (SWI/ORI) 0:00.
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/OPQ) 0:01.
5. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/OPQ) 0:01.
6. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/SKY) 0:03.
7. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 0:03.
8. Richie Porte (AUS/SKY) 0:03.
9. Nicolas Roche (IRL/SAX) 0:09.
10. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/SAX) 0:09.
11. Michael Rogers (AUS/SAX) 0:09.
12. Alberto Contador (ESP/SAX) 0:09.
13. David Millar (GBR/GRM) 0:17.
14. Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL/LTB) 0:17.
15. Adam Hansen (AUS/LTB) 0:17.
16. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) 0:17.
17. Christian Vande Velde (USA/GRM) 0:17.
18. Andrew Talansky (USA/GRM) 0:17.
19. Daniel Martin (IRL/GRM) 0:17.
20. Tom Danielson (USA/GRM) 0:17.