Tour de Suisse 2024: Adam Yates takes Maillot Jaune as Torstein Traeen holds on for breakaway stage win in thrilling finale

Torstein Traeen has held onto a breakaway stage win in a thrilling finale to stage 4 of the 2024 Tour de Suisse, as UAE Team Emirates' Adam Yates moves into the overall race lead.

With the stage all about the final climb to the line, a number of riders you wouldn't typically see in a breakaway got themselves clear early on. Among the leading group of eight, was stage 2 winner Bryan Coquard as well as fellow sprinters Michael Matthews and Gerben Kuypers. Also involved were the likes of Silvan Dillier, Lilian Calmejane, Torstein Traeen and a pair of Swiss riders.

By the foot of the final two categorised climbs, that pretty much one big rise to the finish line, the breakaway's advantage was over six minutes on the peloton. Once the climbing began, things began to split up the lead group, with both Calmejane and Matthews attempting attacks without being able to break free of their companion's clutches.

As the top of the first of the two climbs was reached, Traeen and Roland Thalmann of the Tudor Pro Cycling Team were proving the strongest of the group. And with a lead of over four minutes with around 15km of climbing to go, a stage win looked up for grabs. There was no respite after the first climb though, with false flat before a sharp incline towards the line still to come.

With 10km to go, Traeen attacked Thalmann and moved clear solo. Heading into the final 5 kilometres, Traeen was over a minute clear of his nearest challengers and still three minutes ahead of the remainder of the peloton that was beginning to accelerate.

Then further down the climb, the Maillot Jaune of Alberto Bettiol began to lose touch with around 4.5km to go. Although Traaen was no danger in the general classification, the fact Bettiol was being dropped ensured a change in the overall race lead at the end of the day. The reason Bettiol and other were in trouble? An acceleration at the front of the group by UAE Team Emirates. With 4km to go, Isaac del Toro pulled over and Adam Yates launched a blistering attack, immediately gapping his rivals.

Such an attack was it by Yates that with 3km to go, the Brit had already dropped the time gap to Traeen to just 1:25. Behind, the rest of the GC hopefuls were leaning on defending champion Mattias Skjelmose to do the majority of the work. Through the Flamme Rouge Traeen had just 33 seconds over Yates who was closing in. Eventually though, the Bahrain - Victorious managed just held on, but for Yates, GC gains were the most important thing and the UAE Team Emirates leader moved into Yellow.

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