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  • Tour de France, Stage Four

Orica stun world champions Omega Pharma

ESPN staff
July 2, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Team Sky and Chris Froome will be more than happy with their third-placed effort © AP
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World team time trial champions Omega Pharma had to settle for second in Stage Four of the 100th Tour de France, as Orica clinched top spot with a time of 25 minutes and 56 seconds - one second better than Mark Cavendish and co.

Team Sky, along with Le Tour favourite Chris Froome will be happy with their effort, finishing just over two seconds off the lead for third place - giving the Brit significant time advantage over rivals Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans in the overall standings.

Stage Four victory for Orica means that Simon Gerrans will start the fifth stage in the coveted yellow jersey.

After three incident packed days on the island of Corsica, which saw the Orica team bus become wedged under the finish line and a stray dog almost take out the peloton, Le Tour moved to mainland France as the 22 teams took on the team time trial.

The trial took place on the French Riviera - a 25km course around Nice. Each team featured nine riders, apart from Astana and Confidis - who lost Andrey Kashechkin and Yoann Bagot respectively during Monday's Stage Three.

The teams were let go in reverse order to the overall standings over four-minute intervals, with each time being set when the fifth member crossed the finish line.

Argos were first to go but finished well behind world champions Omega, who set the benchmark early after a final push down the Promenade des Anglais. The Lotto team eventually finished 17 seconds behind, as did David Millar and Garmin.

Team Sky were up next, with Geraint Thomas putting in another stellar effort - the Welshman peddled through the pain barrier with a fractured pelvis he suffered after a crash in stage one.

However, it would be Orica and Gerrans who would spoil Cavendish and co's celebrations, storming down the home straight to take stage victory by the slightest of margins.

Elsewhere, BMC and 2011 Tour winner Evans could only post the ninth fastest time, meaning Evans loses 23 seconds in the overall standings to rival Froome and 17 seconds to Contador, whose Saxo-Tinkoff team finished fourth - nine seconds off the pace.

Stage Four, Team Time Trial
1. Orica Greenedge 25:56
2. Omega Pharma + 0.01
3. Team Sky + 0.03
4. Saxo-Tinkoff +0.09
5. Lotto +0.17
6. Garmin +0.17
7. Movistar +0.19
8. Lampre - Merida +0.25
9. BMC +0.26
10. Katusha +0.28

General Classifications after Stage Four
1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica 12:47:24
2. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica
3. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma 0:00:01
5. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma
6. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky 0:00:03
7. Christopher Froome (GB) Team Sky
8. Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky
9. Nicholas Roche (Irl) Saxo-Tinkoff 0:00:09
10. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff

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