Gilbert was honored as most competitive rider after a breakaway of 118 kilometer. (©Sirotti.)

Santos Tour Down Under, Stage 4: Gilbert's Escape

25.01.2013, Tanunda, Australia

BMC Racing Team world road champion Philippe Gilbert earned "most competitive rider" honors on Friday's stage of the Santos Tour Down Under after he and UniSA's Damien Howson held off the field for 118 of 126.5 kilometers.

Breakaway For Training

Gilbert and Howson launched their attack right from the start and the pair enjoyed a more than three-minute lead before being caught inside the final eight kilometers. Gilbert said with no hopes for a high overall finish following his crash on Stage 2, his motivation to break away was for a good day of training. "It's important for me to go deep at times so I can get better condition in the next week," Gilbert said. "It was good, and he (Howson) was good. I knew it was only a one percent out of 100 that we would make it to the finish, but we had a good ride together."

Lodewyck Finishes 10th

André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) took the stage win and bettered the race record for career stage victories with his 13th. Klaas Lodewyck was the BMC Racing Team's best finisher in 10th. "I'm very happy with my first Top-10 result of 2013. Each day I felt better already and I got used to the heat in Australia", said Lodewyck. Several teammates worked to keep him out of trouble as three crashes occurred in the last seven kilometers.

Listen to complete comments from Gilbert and Lodewyck on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.