Cycling: Cadel Evans beats Alberto Contador in dramatic Tour de France finish

Alberto Contador was beaten to victory by Cadel Evans in a dramatic finish to the fourth stage of the Tour de France in Brittany.

The 172.5-kilometre route from Lorient to Mur-de-Bretagne was staged in damp conditions and featured rolling hills and a category three climb to the finish.



It was akin to a northern European spring classic and suited stage one winner Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), who today was celebrating his 29th birthday.



But Contador, seeking to chip away at a deficit of one minute 42 seconds from the previous three days of racing, made his move, only for Evans to come around him in the finishing straight to take the victory in a photo finish.



It was a second Tour stage win for the Australian, the runner-up in 2007 and 2008.



Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) was third, as Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) finished in the front group to retain the race leader's yellow jersey.

The day's five-man breakaway, which began after 9km, featured Spanish duo Gorka Izagirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Imanol Ervitti (Movistar), Frenchmen Blel Kadri (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Jeremy Roy (FDJ) and Holland's Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil).

Hoogerland led the escapees over the intermediate sprint, with Mark Cavendish taking ninth place as Tyler Farrar - the winner of stage three - led the peloton over the line to take 10 points in the race for the green jersey.



BMC Racing and Omega Pharma-Lotto, riding for Evans and Gilbert, respectively, were leading the way at the front of the peloton for much of the day, with Garmin-Cervelo working for maillot jaune Hushovd, doing a turn in the final 30km.



Evans, like Bradley Wiggins earlier in the day, suffered a mechanical problem and had to be paced back to the bunch - an extra effort which may have affected the finale.



The breakaway was caught with little more than 4km remaining before the squads then battled for position at the foot of the final ascent out of Mur-de-Bretagne.



Contador attacked with 1.3km remaining, with Gilbert in pursuit, along with Evans, Frank Schleck and others.



The attacks continued without any advantage gained before defending champion Contador accelerated again in the finishing straight.



But Evans overtook the Spaniard - subject of a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing into his failed drugs test at last year's Tour next month - to take the win on the line.



Contador punched the air in celebration, but the still image of the finish showed it was the Australian's success.



A group of 10 riders finished on the same time, with Team Sky's Rigoberto Uran fourth, Gilbert fifth, Hushovd sixth and Frank Schleck (Leopard Trek) seventh.



Team Sky leader Wiggins led a group of 31 riders over the line eight seconds behind and now lies in sixth place overall.



Wiggins' team-mate Geraint Thomas retained the white jersey for best young rider after also finishing in the second group.



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Java Developer - 1 year contract

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Junior Analyst - Graduate - 6 Month fixed term contract

£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

SAS Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Retail Banking

£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...

Project Manager - Pensions

£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone