• Caleb Ewan celebrates his second stage victory at the 2020 Tour Down Under, taking Stage 4 at Murray Bridge over Sam Bennett and Jasper Philipsen (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Caleb Ewan survived a brief stint in the gravel a kilometre from the finish to reign supreme in a pedal stroke for pedal stroke sprint battle with Sam Bennett on Stage 4 of the Tour Down Under.
Source:
Deceuninck–Quick-Step, Lotto Soudal
24 Jan 2020 - 6:24 PM  UPDATED 24 Jan 2020 - 6:34 PM

Bennett was left to rue the road book, claiming today's stage was different in reality. 

"We took control at the front and were really committed," Bennett said. "But unfortunately the final was different from what was in the roadbook and I ran out of gas once I got over that crest.

"If it was the way it said in the book we would have got it."

"But we can look on the bright side of things, which is that we were again present when it mattered and our train worked even better than on the first day. This gives us a lot of confidence." 

Ewan said he relished the technical difficulties of the finish. 

"It was a very tight corner into the finish but to be honest i like it when there's a bit of a corner.

"I just told my last man Roger (Kluge) to put me on the wheel of Bennett and that's what he did.

"I was off the road a little bit with a kilometre to go but luckily he was still there and he got me on the wheel and I was exactly where I wanted to be on that last corner. 

"We knew there was going to be a lot of wind once we turned on to that flat part. My team was always up the front i was never in trouble. That meant i could have good legs in the finish."

Jasper Philipsen (UAE) finished third and retained the sprint jersey. 

In the battle for the ochre jersey, Daryl Impey halved his deficit to Richie Porte after picking up three bonus seconds out on the road. Working for his Trek-Segafredo leader, world champion Mads Pedersen kept Impey to just the one second at the first sprint, with UAE's Jasper Philipsen grabbing second spot.

But the rainbow jersey couldn't stop the South African at the second contest with Philipsen grabbing the maximum points to Impey's two. 

An aggressive Rob Power (Sunweb) hoovered up the last bonus second improving his position on the overall to sit just eight seconds behind Porte and five down on Impey. 

After the intermediate sprint hijinks were over, Laurens De Vreese (Astana), Joey Rosskopf (CCC), James Piccoli (Israel Start-Up Nation), Jorge Aracas and Sergio Samitier (both Movistar) escaped, building a maximum advantage of around three minutes before the race came back together 25 kilometres from the finish. 

An accident with around eight kilometres to go brought down De Vreese and Australian Mitch Docker.