Showing fine tactical instinct amid stop/start racing on the final climb of Mentougou Miaofeng mountain, Movistar’s Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga capitalised on a slight lull with two kilometres to go, accelerated clear and then drove hard to the line to win the stage and take over as race leader in the Tour of Beijing.

Riding strongly, the Spaniard held off a hard chasing Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp), who left it late to respond, putting in a strong final kilometre but running out of time.

He crossed the line three seconds back, while Sky’s David Lopez and world road race champion Rui Costa (Movistar) finished third and fourth, four and six seconds back respectively.

Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) and 2011/2012 Tour of Beijing winner Tony Martin both finished eleven seconds back, while the rest of the field were scattered down the mountain. Overnight leader Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) was dropped as expected and slipped out of the red jersey.

With tomorrow’s stage being a fast, flat race in Beijing that is expected to finish in a bunch sprint, Intxausti looks almost certain to win the race. Dan Martin was the favourite before today’s stage but with his rival getting a time bonus and moving ten seconds clear, he will find it very difficult to get the time back. 

Stage 4, Yanqing to Mentougou Miaofeng Mountain:

1, Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga (Movistar) 150.5 kilometres in 3 hours 43 mins 25 secs
2, Dan Martin (Garmin Sharp) at 3 secs
3, David Lopez Garcia (Sky) at 4 secs
4, Rui Costa (Movistar) at 6 secs
5, Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) at 11 secs
6, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma Quick Step) same time
7, Jan Bakelants (RadioShack Leopard) at 13 secs
8, Robert Gesink (Belkin)
9, Ivan Basso (Cannondale) both same time
10, Mathias Frank (BMC Racing Team) at 18 secs

General classification after stage four:
1, Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga (Movistar) 17 hours 11 mins 50 secs
2, Dan Martin (Garmin Sharp) at 10 secs
3, David Lopez Garcia (Sky) at 13 secs
4, Rui Costa (Movistar) at 18 secs
5, Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) at 24 secs
6, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma Quick Step) same time
7, Jan Bakelants (RadioShack Leopard) at 26 secs
8, Robert Gesink (Belkin)
9, Ivan Basso (Cannondale) both same time
10, Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Euskaltel Euskadi) at 31 secs