New Zealand’s Jesse Sergent claimed victory in the rain-hit fourth stage of the Eneco Tour Friday as Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen took over the race lead from Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert. The 23-year-old Sergent, who rides for RadioShack, finished the 14.7 km course 14-seconds ahead of Dane Alex Rasmussen to claim his third win of the season.
Gilbert, who held an overnight lead of 6-second on Team Sky rider Boasson Hagen, dropped to second overall at 12-second ahead of Saturday’s penultimate stage over 189km around Genk. Sergent competed in dry conditions but the majority of his rivals had to contend with the wind and a slippery road making the Kiwi’s time of 17:55 unbeatable. Boasson Hagen was the best of the later riders finishing in ninth place some 30-seconds behind the winner giving him a 12sec lead on Gilbert in the overall standings with Scotland’s David Millar third at 18-seconds down.
“It was my intention to take the (leader’s) jersey this Friday but it turned out be more complicated than planned because of the wind and rain,” said Boasson Hagen. “Twelve seconds lead on Gilbert with two stages to go – I don’t know if it will be enough. But I’ll do all I can to win this Eneco Tour,” added the 2009 winner ahead of the penultimate stage which should favor the sprinters.
Eneco Tour Stage 4
1. Jesse Sergent (NZL/RadioShack) 17:55
2. Alex Rasmussen (DEN) @ .14
3. Jurgen Roelandts (BEL) @ .20
4. Vladimir Isajtsjev (RUS) @ .27
5. Lars Boom (NED) @ .27
6. Jens Mouris (NED) @ .30
7. Maarten Tjallingii (NED) @ s.t.
8. Taylor Phinney (USA)
9. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) @ .32
10. Bert Grabsch (GER) @ .34
General Classification After Stage 4
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/Sky) 13:49:06
2. Philippe Gilbert (BEL) @ .12
3. David Millar (GBR) @ .18
4. Taylor Phinney (USA) @ .27
5. Jos van Emden (NED) @ .47
6. Joost van Leijen (NED) @ .54
7. Dominique Cornu (BEL) @ .57
8. Dries Devenyns (BEL) @ .58
9. Ben Hermans (BEL) @ .59
10. Linus Gerdemann (GER) @ 1:03