• Aqua Blue Sport's Larry Warbasse on the way to his biggest career win. (Getty)Source: Getty
Larry Warbasse won Stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse as Damiano Caruso took the mantle of race leader.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
AAP
14 Jun 2017 - 8:34 AM 

Warbasse (Aqua Blue Sport) was the sole survivor from a 150km breakaway in the mountain stage and reached the summit finish 40 seconds ahead of BMC's Caruso with Steven Kruijswijl (LottoNL-Jumbo) third.

The BMC rider leads Kruijswijl by 15 seconds on the general classification with Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R) third at the end of the 143.2km stage from Bern to Villars-sur-Ollon.

It was the first win of his career for Warbasse, a former member of the now-defunct Swiss team IAM Cycling after he found himself a minute clear of his fellow escapees with only 2.3km remaining.

"It’s my first victory in my career," he said. "It’s amazing I love this race, I love Switzerland.

"Today I felt like it was my home race. I’ve never had so many people cheering for me, everyone was yelling my name. I’m really happy. As soon as I got in the breakaway, I knew. I told everyone yesterday, I worked really hard the whole last season - I always give 110 per cent, I’m just so happy it finally paid off."

Caruso supplanted Michael Matthews (Sunweb) as race leader but the Australian retained the green sprinter's jersey after over 16 minutes behind Warbasse.

“I did everything I could today to get a result together with the team, but I quickly realised that I would be hard to get it," Matthews said.

"We still went for it and I tried to hang on for as long as possible, but at a certain moment the line broke and it was over.”

Wednesday's 222km fifth stage from Bex to Cevio is the longest of the nine-day Tour.

"Tejay van Garderen was especially strong on the last climb and other guys were able to put me in the right position at the key moments," Caruso said.

"On the last climb, I tried to follow the best riders and in the end, I surprised myself because I was able to take second place and the bonus seconds. I am really happy about this and I will enjoy this jersey and see what happens over the next few days.

"Tomorrow is a long stage and the goal will be to keep safe and keep the jersey. After that we will see what happens."