The finish line came up a little short for Thomas Dekker as Spaniard Igor Anton won the wet and hill
PIC: Gary Boulanger Spaniard Igor Anton (Euskatel -Euskadi) played his cards and won the bet, outsprinting his three breakaway companions to win a mountainous and wet stage 4 of the Tour de Romandie. American Chris Horner (Predictor-Lotto) finished third in the stage and snagged the leader’s jersey from Astana’s Paolo Savoldelli, now lying fourth overall. “The Tour de Romandie is a great race and this was a tough mountain stage, so it’s a great win for a climber like me,” Anton said. “I’m not a time trial specialist, but there is a climb at the finish tomorrow so who knows?” Horner was pleased to don the leader’s jersey. “I always prefer to win stages, but the others wouldn’t let me have both the yellow jersey and the stage win,” he said. “At the finish, it was a very simple situation – if you want a slice of the pie, you can’t go for the whole pie, you can’t gamble as Pinotti did yesterday.” With just a few kilometers remaining, Anton, Horner, Thomas Dekker (Rabobank), and John Gadret (AG2R) kicked it into overdrive. Nearing the finish line, Horner led out the sprint, was passed by Dekker, who was himself passed where it mattered most: the finish line. Dekker didn’t look very pleased with the outcome. Anton got the victory and proved the spoiler today. Booyah! As a reward for the day’s effort, Horner took over the GC lead, with Anton second, Dekker third and previous leader Savoldelli fourth, 15 seconds down. Sunday’s finale is a 20.4km time trial around Lausanne, which will be the primary focus of Horner’s teammate and defending champion Cadel Evans after today’s fifth-place finish. The Australian won Romandie in 2006 after winning the final time trial, overtaking Spaniards Alejandro Valverde and Alberto Contador, who were ahead in the final standings prior to the TT. Despite his lead, Horner doesn’t see himself, or his teammate Evans, as a favorite in Sunday’s time trial. “If I had to pick someone now, I would pick Dekker,” Horner added. “He looked incredibly strong to me today and he is an excellent time trial specialist. If I led by 30 seconds, I would be much more confident. But it’s not the case and I’ll be happy to finish in the top five.” Tour de Romandie Stage 4: Charmey – Morgins (155.9km) Stage 4 results 1 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa, Euskaltel – Euskadi) 4:36.56 2 Thomas Dekker (Ned, Rabobank) 00:00:00 3 Chris Horner (USA, Predictor – Lotto) 00:00:00 4 John Gadret (Fra, AG2r Prvoyance) 00:00:02 5 Cadel Evans (Aus, Predictor – Lotto) 00:00:16 6 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol, Lampre – Fondital) 7 Andy Schleck (Lux, Team CSC) 8 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita, Astana) 9 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz, Astana) 00:00:23 10 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa, Caisse d’Epargne) 00:00:16 General classification after stage 4 1 Chris Horner (USA, Predictor – Lotto) 17:00:17 2 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa, Euskaltel – Euskadi) 00:00:07 3 Thomas Dekker (Ned, Rabobank) 00:00:09 4 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita, Astana) 00:00:15 5 John Gadret (Fra, AG2r Prvoyance) 00:00:22 6 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa, Caisse d’Epargne) 00:00:28 7 Cadel Evans (Aus, Predictor – Lotto) 00:00:29 8 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol, Lampre – Fondital) 00:00:31 9 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz, Astana) 10 Andy Schleck (Lux, Team CSC) 00:00:33 Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.