Dutch sprinter Kirsten Wild finished first in a bunch sprint against some formidable opponents including devastatingly fast Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda), who was second, and Melissa Hoskins of Orica-AIS who was third.
Wild's Giant-Shimano team once again kept tight control on the race and saw to it that the many attacks they knew they'd face were kept strictly in check, with Wild herself ensuring a late attempt by Orica's Emma Johansson was thwarted. A few riders managed to get away in the last 10km, but Wild was simply too strong and soon put them back in their places. Following bonification, Wild's victory earned her a 22" General Classification advantage over the second-placed rider, her team mate Amy Pieters - who won Stage 2 and finishes as leading rider in the Youth category.
Wild won the first and second stages, too; her domination of the race is even more impressive due to the fact that she has now won the General Classification four times, having also triumphed in 2009, 2010 and 2013.
More details and results to come...
Stage 4 Top Ten
1 Kirsten WILD (Giant-Shimano) 2h06'23"
2 Giorgia BRONZINI (Wiggle-Honda) ST
3 Melissa HOSKINS (Orica-AIS) ST
4 Trixi WORRACK (Specialized-Lululemon) ST
5 Jolien D'HOORE (Lotto-Belisol) ST
6 Shelley OLDS (Ale-Cipollini) ST
7 Pascale JEULAND (France NT) ST
8 Roxane FOURNIER (France NT) ST
9 Elizabeth ARMITSTEAD (Boels-Dolmans) ST
10 Xiao Ling LUO (China Chong Ming) ST
Full result: stage / GC