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Santos Tour Down Under. Stage 4. Luis Leon Sanchez is 3rd in Campbelltown

Third day in a row Luis Leon Sanchez is coming very close to a stage win at the Santos Tour Down Under. After a brave attack at stage 2, where he finished 8th, and solid sprint yesterday at stage 3, where he nearly lost to Peter Sagan, taking 2nd, today the Astana rider once again was among the best riders, getting another podium place at the finish line in Campbelltown. 

Coming in front after the last corner, he was forced to start his sprint with around 400 meters to go. Anyway, Sanchez did it quite well and finished 3rd just behind the 2018 Tour Down Under winner Daryl Impey and the current race leader Patrick Bevin.

- If we talk about my GC ambitions, I can be happy with this day and in general with the last three stages, where I always was in front, fighting side by side with the other favorites. But, of course, when you are fighting for a stage win and you are coming so close as I did yesterday and today with this third place, you could be a bit disappointed. Before the last corner I was on third position and after crossing the corner I found myself right in front of the group. It was still some hundred meters to the finish… In that situation I just did my best, but was able to finish just third. However, the main goal is still to do well in the overall classification and I am looking forward to the last day of the race. I am happy to have such a strong team around me, so all together we will do our best, - said Luis Leon Sanchez.

- It was a short stage of just 129 km with the only climb Montacute in the final with only 6 km to go from the top of the climb. A group of 6 riders went away with a maximum gap of 5.30. Our team helped to control the race in front of the peloton and I have to note a great work of Artyom Zakharov and Daniil Fominykh. The things came nearly together at the bottom of the climb and Luis Leon Sanchez was placed in a perfect position going into this climb thanks to a very nice team work – firstly Davide Ballerini and later Manuele Boaro and Laurens De Vreese helped him to get a good position. Just before the top of the climb 4 riders broke clear, but everybody came back together before the final kilometer. Sanchez was focusing to stay at third position for the last corner with 500 meters to go, but coming on the last straight he became first and had to lead-out the group with 400 meters to go. It was not easy to hold this leading position until the end, so he finished third, but took some bonus seconds, which is important for the GC, - explained the stage Lars Michaelsen, sport director of Astana Pro Team.

As result of the stage Luis Leon Sanchez still holds his third position in the overall standings, having 11 seconds to the race leader Patrick Bevin.

Stage 5 of the Santos Tour Down Under will be held tomorrow: 149,5 km from Glenelg to Strathalbyn.

Photo credit: © Tim De Waele/Getty Images

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