After another hot day in the saddle at Tour Down Under stage 4, Team Sunweb finished the day inside the main bunch, with no time losses incurred.
The fourth stage of action Down Under featured a 128.2 kilometre stage between Norward and Uraidla. A two-rider breakaway dominated the early proceedings of the race, extending their lead out to a huge nine minutes at best. As things came back together with 18 kilometres to go, the pace ramped up in the peloton as the looming Norton Summit approached. As riders lost contact with the main field, Team Sunweb remained with Sam Oomen, Michael Storer and Chris Hamilton in the peloton, which was made up of around 35 riders. Various riders went on the move from within the bunch, however it wasn’t to be, and things came back together for a final bunch kick to the line. After finishing 18th on the stage, Sam now sits 18th overall.
Sam Oomen said: “I’ve never experienced conditions as hot as today. On the last climb to Norton Summit I blew up a bit, struggling with the heat. I managed to hold on and in the end we were left with 30 guys but I wasn’t able to go with the attacks I could just follow. It was a shame I couldn’t do more but the good thing is that the whole team was totally dedicated in supporting me. Michael and Chris were still there with me and for sure did a really good job today. The result isn’t so bad but tomorrow I hope for less heat and better legs.”
After the race Team Sunweb Luke Roberts said: “It was extremely hot again today. It was a new stage finish, we’ve never seen the race ascend Norton Summit and it was a little bit unknown about how the race would play out. We suspected that it would be a group of around 30 riders with a smaller group going onto the finish and that’s more-or-less how things happened. The team set Sam up really well, along with Chris and Michael, to be in a good position on the climb. They couldn’t make the difference on the climb but could finish in the small group at the finish. Sam’s still up there on the GC as we go towards the deciding stage tomorrow.”