BEIJING (AFP) — Marco Haller won the fourth stage of the Tour of Beijing on Friday for his first professional victory, and defending champion Tony Martin retained the overall lead with just one leg to go.
Haller, a 21-year-old Austrian racing for Katusha, had a late burst to overtake Italian Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) in a bunch finish. Stage 1 winner Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) was third.
“With a final like this it’s also like a casino. You have to be in the right moment in the right spot,” Haller said. “Today I had the luck, I had good legs; everything came together.”
Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) remains in a strong position to defend the title he won last year at China’s first WorldTour calendar event.
The 27-year-old German enters the final stage on Saturday with a 40-second lead over Francesco Gavazzi (Astana).
Friday’s race started at Yanqing near the Great Wall, northwest of the capital, and finished 165.5km later at Changping Stadium, north of the city center.