Jai Hindley (Sunweb) took control of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour after victory in the decisive climbing stage Saturday. The victory puts him in the driving seat in the race for the overall.
Hindley dropped podium threats Damien Howson (Mitchelton-Scott) and Neilson Powless (EF Pro Cycling) on the Mount Buller summit finale. He had a harder time shaking U23 rider Sebastian Berwick (St. George), and Hindley nipped him at the line to take the victory.
“Our biggest priority today was to defend Jai’s GC lead,” said Sunweb sport director Luke Roberts. “In the final, Jai followed his rivals who were competing for the podium. Berwick put in a good attack and Jai could go with him and finished it off for the stage win. It was great work by all the team today so full credit to them for not only securing the yellow jersey but also picking up another stage win.”
With a gradient of over 6 percent for 16km, the ramps were destined to shake up the GC battle. Berwick, who started the day third, put in a stinging attack and Hindley was the only rider capable of following. Hindley came off his wheel to attack in the closing 200m.
As a result of bonus seconds on the line, Hindley now leads Berwick by 10 seconds on GC ahead of tomorrow’s final stage in Melbourne, Howson retaining third at 36 seconds back.
“Hats off to Seb Berwick, he threw the kitchen sink at me on the final climb and was super strong,” Hindley said. “It’s really special to be wearing the leader’s jersey at the Sun Tour. This is the third time I’ve done this race now so for an Australian guy to race here is special and to wear the jersey into the final stage tomorrow – I’m a bit lost for words.”
The victory was Hindley’s second win of the week, and sets him up for overall victory going into Sunday’s finale in Melbourne. Powless goes into the finale fourth at 51 seconds back, while Canadians Charles Étienne Chrétien is 12th overall for Aevolo, and Alexander Cataford is 15th for Israel Start-Up Nation.
Stage 4 results:
- Jai Hindley (Sunweb): 3:01:25
- Sebastian Berwick (St George Continental): S.T
- Jay Vine (Nero Continental): +00:00:09
GC after stage 4:
- Jai Hindley (Sunweb): 12:51:45
- Sebastian Berwick (St George): +0:00:10
- Damian Howson (Mitchelton-Scott):+0:00:36