Davide Torosantucci (D’angelo & Antenucci-Nippo) proved the strongest on stage 4 of the Cell C Tour of South Africa, when he attacked with 5km to go from a select lead group to win the stage in George.
It was a hard day of racing where a quarter of the peloton was dropped early on the first climb, forming the day’s grupetto. Meanwhile, Rapha Condor-Sharp set a steady pace to protect their race leader Kristian House.
Adamant to get into the breakaway, Jay Thomson slipped off the front to form the break of the day. The South African was released from his US trade team Bissell Pro Cycling to ride as a guest on Team 360 Life for the race. The bunch only allowed him a maximum lead of 2:30 before reeling him in.
As expected, the race blew apart on the final climb of the day when a steep ascent separated the weaker riders from the race favourites. The lead group of 12 was surprised when race leader House put in an attack with 7km to go. Naturally, everyone responded and brought him back.
Torosantucci took full advantage and counter-attacked, knowing there would be hesitation in chasing him as he was 13:15 down on the general classification. The Italian, who had his appendix removed in December, held on by 18 seconds to win the stage from Kevin Reza (Europcar) and Darren Lill (DCM).
Team D’angelo & Antenucci-Nippo race manager and former Tour de France yellow jersey Alberto Elli said, “I was really angry with the team yesterday when we had no one in front. Torosantucci is a good climber, so I am glad he could win today.”
The King of the Mountains competition was contested between Daryl Impey (MTN-Qhubeka) and Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Rapha Condor-Sharp). Impey, the former RadioShack rider, held onto his lead in the competition at the end of the day. However, being fifth overall, he said the general classification was still in his sights.
Kristian House enjoys a 2:22 lead in the overall classification with three stages to go.