Today's Stage 4 of the Tour de Taiwan 2008 was held under perfect weather in downtown Taichung City.
The city police completely closed down part of a main arterial boulevard to accommodate one side of the classic 4-corner criterium layout. The same road also has a huge public school, so hundreds of lucky kids were let out of class to watch the race pass in front of their school.
Actually, seems the riders were the lucky ones, to have such enthusiastic fans.
Most of the guys from Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling team were in much improved spirits and conditions today. Pete Morse and Bryson Bowers were pretty active in the first half of the race, trying to get in moves and show the team colors at the front of the race.
In the end, it came down to a field-sprint again with Pete acting as Daniele Defranceschi's leadout train. Undermanned and still under the weather with a respiratory ailment, Daniele manged to place in the top-20. Later Daniele said that the course was perfect for him with a long long straightaway to the finish, but his breathing was bothering him the whole race; he did the sprint only on instinct and adrenaline.
The teamwork of the Polish team was pretty impressive in the closing laps, they sent off a lone breakaway with about 5 laps to go and that guy was motoring, which forced the other sprinter's teams to chase hard. That played into the Poles hands, as once their guy was caught with 2 to go, they set up their train and launched their sprinter to victory.
Stage 4 results (preliminary)
1. Jezowski Krzysztof (Pol)
2. Taiji Nishitani (Jpn)
3. John Murphy (USA)
17. Daniele Defranceschi (Can), Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
21. Peter Morse (Can), Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
76. Shane Braley (USA), Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
84. Bryson Bowers (Can), Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
Overall after Stage 4 (preliminary)
1. John Murphy (USA)