Dan Martin lost valuable time in his quest to win the Tour of the Alps following a late crash on the final descent of the fourth stage.

The Israel Start-Up Nations' rider was in contention for a stage win, chasing a gap of just ten seconds behind a breakaway duo, however, Martin came off his bike on a corner during the tricky descent to Pieve.

Simon Yates stretched his lead as former Tour de France winner Chris Froome helped animate the queen stage by joining a breakaway.

Team BikeExchange's Yates finished third at the end of the 168.6km run from Naturns to Pieve di Bono as Bahrain-Victorious’ Pello Bilbao took a win which moved him up to second overall.

Martin's crash led to a loss of almost three minutes on the leaders and as a result he has dropped to 14th on the general classification, now 4:01mins behind Yates.

Nico Roche finished well off the pace on the fourth stage and sits in 54th place overall.

After escaping on the final climb, Bilbao, Yates and Astana’s Aleksandr Vlasov came to the line together, with Bilbao taking an emotional victory ahead of Vlasov – with both riders remembering Bilbao’s former Astana team-mate Michele Scarponi on the fourth anniversary of the Italian’s death.

But with the Ineos Grenadiers’ Pavel Sivakov cracking on the final climb and Martin losing time in the small crash, Yates increased his lead to 58 seconds from Bilbao going into Friday’s final stage.

"I tried something on the climb but I think Bilbao was the one guy we didn’t want to ride with on the descent because you saw how quick he can go," said Yates, who is using the race to prepare for next month’s Giro d’Italia.

"But from a (general classification) point of view it was a good day… for sure there’s always a threat and anything can happen (on Friday) but we’ll do our best."

Martin's team-mate Froome, who had already conceded 27 minutes in the opening three stages, joined a nine-rider breakaway that built a lead of around two minutes but no more.