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Dutch rider Theo Bos (Belkin) out-sprinted South Africa’s Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) to bring his team a second consecutive stage win at the Tour of Alberta.
“They timed it really well, my teammates. I only followed,” said the Dutch winner. “In the end, I waited to make my sprint, and when I attacked I knew it was enough to win.”
Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) finished with the main peloton to maintain his eight-second lead over Ruben Zepuntke (Bissell Development Team). Dumoulin has held the race lead since the opening prologue, which he won.
Impey received a six-second time bonus because of his second-place finish, moving him up to third-place overall, nine seconds down on Dumoulin.
Sunday’s final stage of the Tour of Alberta delivers an 11-lap, 11-kilometer circuit in Edmonton’s Centre City.
“I am good climber and tomorrow’s race is good for me,” Dumoulin said. “Many people said our team is built for the flats but I think this team is actually better for the hills. I am confident to keep the jersey tomorrow and we will be ready to defend.”
Sunday’s stage will contain mid-race time bonuses, as well as finish bonuses, which may alter the strategy for some teams.
Other than Repuntke and Impey, other danger men with in 30 seconds of Dumoulin’s lead include Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp), Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly-Maxxis); Ryan Anderson (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies), and Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge), all of whom are strong climbers on the short, punchy climbs the peloton will face in Sunday’s finale.
“I don’t think I can make up 16 seconds and take the lead,” Anderson said. “But my goal is to steal some time and jump up a couple of places.”
Saturday’s stage 4 was the longest of this year’s Tour of Alberta, winding 163.5km from Edmonton’s Northlands to Strathcona County’s Sherwood Park. The stage included six sections of Canadian pavé, or “dirt-controlled roads”, with three fast, flat, 2.8km circuits.
“The day was not easy,” Bos said. “The winds were not bad. The pavé they talked about was not so bad. It was the pace of the race. It was fast and we chased hard to get in a position to win. I feel it’s been a pretty good week for us. One second place and two stage wins.”
Saturday’s stage saw a breakaway of eight riders early in the race, instigated by Canadian Nic Hamilton (Jelly Belly-Maxxis) and pushed by Garneau-Quebecor’s Janvier Hadi of Rwanda. Hadi’s impressive ride garnered him the most aggressive rider’s jersey, the first ever by a Rwandan in a North American race.
Sunday’s final stage starts and finishes at Sir Winston Churchill Square in Edmonton’s Centre City. The circuit features a steep climb up Bellamy Hill, a short 300m hill averaging 20-percent gradient, and a longer climb up Victoria Park Rd.