World champion Thor Hushovd thundered to victory in typical fashion to claim stage four of the Tour of Britain in Wales.
Classics specialist Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) was part of a group of approximately 25 riders, including race leader Lars Boom, who escaped the peloton on the climb of Caerphilly Mountain.
And, with just 4km to the finish from the summit, the Norwegian, who is one of the best descenders in the pro peloton, launched his attack on the run-in to Caerphilly to clinch a comfortable victory.
Former national champion Kristian House (Rapha Condor Sharp), Pieter Ghyllebert (An Post) and Jack Bauer (Endura Racing) formed the stage-long break soon after the start in Welshpool, gaining an advantage of more than five minutes as the race approached the climb of the Brecon Beacons.
That prompted Rabobank, working for Boom, and Team Sky to lead the chase, with the trio’s advantage slashed on the category one ascent, eventually dropping to less than a minute with 15km remaining.
With the bunch looming large, House launched a final bid for the line but was soon reeled in with the final climb approaching.
The 3km ascent, known locally as the Col de Caerphilly, touches 12 per cent and, after Sky’s Steve Cummings and Rapha Condor Sharp’s Jonathan Tiernan-Locke attacked, the peloton split to form the final selection.
And that left Hushovd, so often at the head of the race on the toughest of finishes, to make the decisive move to seal victory ahead of Boom, who remains in the leader’s jersey.
Discuss stage four in this forum thread.
1) Thor Hushovd (Nor, Garmin Cervelo) 4h 32m 22s
2) Lars Boom (Ned, Rabobank) same time
3) Cesare Benedetti (Ita, Team NetApp) same time
4) Ian Bibby (GB, Motorpoint) same time
5) Boy Van Poppel (Ned, UnitedHealthcare) same time
6) Jan Barta (Cze, Team NetApp) same time
7) Stijn Neirynck (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen) same time
8) Leopold Koenig (Ger, Team NetApp) same time
9) Iker Camano (Spa, Endura Racing) same time
10) Linus Gerdemann (Ger, Leopard Trek) same time
Combativity award: Kristian House (GB, Rapha Condor Sharp)
1) Lars Boom (Ned, Rabobank) 12h 36m 51
2) Geraint Thomas (GB, Sky Procycling) @ 0.12
3) Boy Van Poppel (Ned, UnitedHealthcare) @ 0.14
4) Ian Bibby (GB, Motorpoint) @ 0.19
5) Linus Gerdemann (Ger, Leopard Trek) same time
6) Daniel Lloyd (GB, Garmin Cervelo) same time
7) Steve Cummings (GB, Sky Procycling) same time
8) Jan-Bert Lindeman (Ned, Vacansoleil DCM) same time
9) Jan Barta (Cze, Team NetApp) same time
10) Jelle Wallays (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen) same time
1) Lars Boom (Ned, Rabobank) 37pts
2) Geraint Thomas (GB, Sky Procycling) 29pts
3) Mark Cavendish (GB, HTC Highroad) 26pts
King of the Mountains classification
1) Russell Hampton (GB, Sigma Sport-Specialized) 39pts
2) Jonathan Tiernan Locke (GB, Rapha Condor Sharp) 32pts
3) Steve Cummings (GB, Sky Procycling) 21pts
1) Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel, AN Post) 32pts
2) Russell Hampton (GB, Sigma Sport-Specialized) 13pts
3) Andrew Fenn (GB, AN Post) 10pts
Young rider classification
1) Jan-Bert Lindeman (Ned, Vacansoleil DCM) 12h 37m 10s
2) Jelle Wallays (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen) same time
3) Andrew Fenn (GB, AN Post) @ 0.15