The DiData Continental team continued to rule the Bestmed Tour of Good Hope as Italian Matteo Sobrero won the fourth stage near Paarl in the Cape Winelands today.
The 20-year-old collected the third stage win in a row for the DiData outfit after Stefan de Bod won the time-trial on Tuesday and defending champion Kent Main took stage three up Du Toitskloof Pass yesterday.
After 134km of racing, Sobrero stopped the clock at 3:38:42 to shade Berge en Dale and Ride for Sight champion Reynard Butler (ProTouch) and Clint Hendricks (BCX) for the day’s honours.
De Bod retains his tight grip on the yellow jersey as the 491km race, presented by Scicon and the City of Drakenstein, culminates tomorrow with the tough climb to the Taal Monument above Paarl.
The penultimate stage saw several attacks and a few breakaways before inevitably coming down to a sprint, with De Bod playing his part in the final outcome.
The former U23 national road champion said a group of three riders got away after the ascent of Bain’s Kloof Pass, about 30km from the finish.
“Kent, Matteo and I then closed the gap but I think Kent spent a few pennies in that period to protect the GC and he dropped off a bit.
“Within the last kilometre, I was able to lead out Matteo, taking him into the final corner. From there he kept the gap to the finish.”
De Bod, the champion in 2016, said their priority in tomorrow’s 82km stage would be to protect the yellow jersey.
“Because we have won the last three stages, there are going to be a lot of teams wanting to take something from the race. So I expect there will be plenty of attacks.
“We will definitely look for another stage win, but mostly it will be important for me not to lose any significant time in the GC.”
Ariane Luthi (Spur) shrugged off an early mechanical to sprint to her third stage win in a row in the women’s race.
Her efforts have made her overwhelming favourite for the title as she enjoys a three-minute lead over Lucy James.
Luthi’s lead was in the balance for a while when she suffered a mechanical – a snapped cable severely limiting her gearing – following the descent of Du Toitskloof Pass early in the stage.
“After I realised what the problem was and worked out what I had to do, I had to chase back to the pack. But they were very fair and did not attack me at that stage.”
When a breakaway of four happened with 30km left, Luthi timed her finish to perfection, taking the lead around the final bend to hang on for victory.