- - Tour de France 2024 Stage 4

Tour de France 2024 Stage 4

photo credits @ Le Tour

Stage 4 of the Tour de France was won in style by Tadej Pogacar in Valloire, with the UAE Team Emirates rider attacking on the Galibier climb before descending to the finish line to reclaim the Yellow Jersey. After controlling the evolution of the breakaway on the climbs to the Italian resort of Sestriere, then the Col de Montgenevre, the UAE riders put their leader into position on the Col du Galibier. It was 800 meters from the summit that Pogacar struck a big blow to his rivals. The Slovenian then increased his advantage on the descent to Valloire to claim the 12th stage victory of his career on the Tour, also reclaiming the Yellow Jersey. He will start the fifth stage 45” ahead of Remco Evenepoel and 50” ahead of Jonas Vingegaard.

The intermediate sprint for Pedersen

After the peloton left Pinerolo for this short, tough (139.6 km) stage in the mountains, the positioning of the intermediate sprint at km 18.6 inspired Mads Pedersen, who immediately tried to launch a breakaway, though the attack would not succeed. So it was from within the bunch that the Dane accelerated to the line to take the maximum 20 points in the Castel Del Bosco intermediate sprint, in the fight for the green jersey.

The first big climb

At km 30, on the ascent to Sestriere – with 20km of the climb remaining, 17 riders broke clear, with Chris Juul-Jensen (Jayco-AlUla), Julien Bernard (Lidl-Trek), Bruno Armirail (Decathlon-AG2R), David Gaudu, Romain Grégoire, Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ ), Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Oier Lazkano (Movistar), Raul Garcia, Cristian Rodriguez (Arkes-B&B), Kobe Goosens (Intermarche-Wanty), Warren Barguil (dsm-Firmenich), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Odd Christian Eiking, Tobias Johannessen (Uno-X), Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies) and Stephen Williams (Israel-Premier Tech) all in the group.

Williams shows his prowess

It was 2024 Flèche Wallonne winner Williams who topped the Sestriere climb (Cat 2, km 50.4) first and by the time the breakaway riders reached the summit of the second categorized climb – Col de Montgenevre (Cat 2, km 71,1) – their gap over the peloton was 2’10”. Again it was Williams who reached the top of the climb first, earning himself 10 points for the Mountain classification from those first two peaks of the day. On the descent from Montgenevre, Nils Politt set a very fast pace for Pogacar and UAE Team Emirates causing several splits in the peloton, which were nullified when the bunch passed through Briançon (km 82.1), with Richard Carapaz accelerating to 86.6 km/h in the Yellow Jersey to chase his way back to the GC group. The breakaway’s advantage increased to 2’30” as the escapees gained some momentum in the valley to the foot of the Galibier.

The breakaway disintegrates on the Galibier

The breakaway group fell apart on the Galibier with Chris Juul-Jensen (Jayco-AlUla), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), Tobias Halland Johannessen (Uno-X) and Oier Lazkano (Movistar Team), the last four to stay at the front, not opting to assist each other. Only 30 riders remained in the main group of a reduced peloton when it caught and overtook Lazkano with 26 km to go, driven by the UAE Team Emirates riders. The elimination game in the main group saw the Yellow Jersey Carapaz distanced at 6 km from the summit and he would eventually finish 5’28” down on the GC. There were only eight riders at the front at 3 km from the top of the climb: Almeida, Ayuso, Pogacar, Vingegaard, Car.Rodriguez, Roglic, Evenepoel and Landa. Pogacar then produced a sublime attack 800 meters from the summit of the Col du Galibier, with Vingegaard hanging onto his wheel for around 100 meters, but the gap grew with the UAE leader taking the Henri-Desgrange souvenir by 10” ahead of his rival. On the descent and in the final kilometers to Valloire Pogacar opened up a clear gap to win by 35” from Evenepoel, Ayuso and Roglic, with Vingegaard in fifth, two further seconds behind.

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