Marco Haller won the fourth stage of the Tour of Beijing yesterday in his first professional victory, though last year’s champion, Tony Martin, retained the overall lead with just stage to go.
Haller, a 21-year-old Austrian racing for the Katusha Team, managed a late burst to overtake Italian Alessandro Petacchi of Lampre-ISD Team, who had sprinted for the finish line.
Behind them in third was the winner of the first stage, Italy’s Elia Viviani, who rides for the Liquigas-Cannondale team.
Lucas Sebastian Haedo of Argentina was fourth, with Italy’s Daniele Bennati fifth.
“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.”
Haller and Petacchi both moved up one place to 87th and 77th, respectively.
Martin, who races for Omega Pharma-Quick-Step, remains in a strong position to defend the title he won last year at China’s first World Tour calendar event.
The 27-year-old German enters the final stage today with a 40-second lead over Italian Francesco Gavazzi, who races for the Astana team and who won the third stage on Thursday.
Ireland’s Daniel Martin is in third place in the overall standings with Edvald Boasson-Hagen of Norway lying fourth.
Germany’s Martin won the second stage on Wednesday after dominating the day and cruising across the finishing line with a strong lead of 46 seconds.
He took silver in the men’s individual time trial at the London Olympics this year.
Yesterday’s race started at Yanqing near the Great Wall northwest of the Chinese capital and finished 165.5km later at Changping Stadium north of the city center.
The tour of Beijing is the final event of the season.