The fourth and final stage of the Circuit Franco-Belge between Grand Place de Mons and Toumai was the last chance to conquer the overall victory from the powerful Tyler Farrar (Garmin) after having celebrated two stage wins already. Tom Boonen's clever stunt on the last kilometer yesterday was refreshing and gave, if nothing else, the American a more human face as he only finished third.
Today's short stage of only 147 kilometers was used by Stijn Vandenbergh (CAT), Florent Brard (COF), Fabrice Jeandesboz (BCS) and Martin Kohler (BMC), who slipped away after 35 kilometers. Team Saxo Bank's Lars Bak demonstrated great strength and will power as he single-handedly shot out of the peloton to catch the quartet. However, another three riders managed to reach the strong Danish rider so the front group now consisted of eight riders.
But the breakaway was under severe pressure from the peloton where Team Garmin was at the very front. Only 35 seconds separated the front and the chasing pack 15 kilometers from the finish line. And the time ran out for the break as they were caught shortly after. Just as everyone was sure everything was settled, Tyler Farrar (Garmin) was held back by a flat and he spent the last few kilometers in a hurry to catch the front group of the peloton in order not to lose his leadership of the race.
On the finish line, Team Saxo Bank rider Juan Jose Haedo thundered an impressive sprint winning the last stage of the race.