TDF: Stage 4 win for Roglic

Primoz Roglic showed that he is definitely in top shape as the Slovenian champion took his third Tour de France stage win in Orcières-Merlette – Julian Alaphilippe, fifth on the line, retained the yellow jersey

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TDF: Stage 4 win for Roglic

Primoz Roglic showed that he is definitely in top shape despite his crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné. The Slovenian champion took his third Tour de France stage win in Orcières-Merlette after he out sprinted his GC rivals. It was a Slovenian double too with Tadej Pogacar in second place. Frenchman Guillaume Martin rounded out the podium while his compatriot Julian Alaphilippe, fifth on the line, retained the yellow jersey.

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Primoz Roglic: “It was quite a fast day and a quite hard stage. Again, the guys did a good job for me. I was all the time in a good position. I’m not in the yellow jersey but that’s a news I have to accept. We stayed safe and the win makes it an even better day. We have to continue like that. It’s nice to be back after the crash at the Dauphiné but I already proved on stage 2 that I was ready for the Tour.”

For Roglic, it is his sixth victory of the season. He previously won the final classification and two stages of the Tour de l’Ain, he was the best on the Col de Porte in the Dauphiné and became national champion of Slovenia. Everyone was very strong. In the end I was able to deliver a nice sprint. I am very happy with that. We all arrived safely and we won. We must continue on this path. I feel better every day. In the second stage I already felt that it is all good.”

Tom Dumoulin was happy for his winning teammate. “It’s a fantastic day for the team. Primoz showed his class once again. He was really good and he also indicated that he wanted to win. The team was incredibly strong today. You can see that in the lead-out of Wout and Sepp. I didn’t feel really well today. In the end it was a fight to reach the finish line. Fortunately I was able to keep up with the first group. I hope I can improve my level in the coming days.”

Julian Alaphilippe: “I had the double goal to retain the yellow jersey and to win the stage. It would have been special to win a second stage. I have no regret because the team perfectly executed the plan, I gave it all and I’ve been beaten by stronger than me. Moreover, I’m happy with my shape even though it’s hard to compare with last year. We won’t be able to keep that rhythm for three weeks. Soon it won’t be up to us to control the race.”

“The main goal of our team was to control the race and keep the jersey. The guys did an amazing job and I’m very proud of them. In the end, I would have liked to win, but the tempo was very high in the closing kilometers and I was a bit on the limit. I’m not disappointed, others were just stronger today. On the other hand, having the yellow jersey makes me very happy and relaxed. Every day I spend in it gives me a lot of joy and satisfaction and I hope my run will continue.”

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Adam Yates: “It was a hard day in general. All the climbs were ridden at a hard pace and in the final, the last kilometre, two kilometres the pace was really on, so it would have been tricky to try something. In the end I think I finished top-10, so not a perfect day, but all in all we can be satisfied. Like I said, it’s been a hard day and we were up there with the best. So, day by day.”

Esteban Chaves: “There were six strong guys on the front, so all day we were going pretty fast in just one line, all day. The guys did a really good job to look after myself and to look after Adam in the final. I prefer steeper (climbs), because when it’s five, six percent like this you climb with a big gear and it’s for strong guys, and everyone now has fresh legs, it’s stage four. So, normally I need climbs steeper or longer, which will come later in the race.”

Matt White (Head Sports Director): “It was a very solid day because Deceuninck – Quick Step wanted to keep the jersey and there were a couple of good climbers in the break and one guy at 3’50”. So, it was solid, the six guys out front were really pushing it all day and to keep the jersey the pace had to be on until the bottom of the last climb. The final climb was fast, too fast for any of the real climbers to make a difference and the way it was ridden, at a really fast tempo, especially by Jumbo-Visma in the last couple of kilometres, the gradient just wasn’t steep enough for it to be an advantage for any of our climbers.”

Peter Sagan: “Today it was so-so for me. It’s been a hard stage, I don’t know, it was more of a transfer. I did my sprint, took some points, it’s okay. Will see tomorrow what can I do. I’ve seen the finale and it is okay for me. We’ll see.”

Emanuel Buchmann: “I felt OK until 1.5km to go, when they started going really fast and I was too far behind in the group. I spent a lot of energy riding in the wind to keep my position, so, when they accelerated, I was unable to follow and I lost some time in the finish but not too much. My injuries are getting better by the day and I don’t feel any pain anymore, I’m not yet at 100% but I hope the next days will be better. It’s still a very long way to Paris with many mountain stages and we’ll see how it all goes.” –

Tadej Pogacar: “It’s really nice to be with the best on the Tour de France. The team did a great job to keep me safe. Roglic was really strong today. Had I sprinted right from his wheel, maybe I could have matched him. But you never know. I’m happy for him. And it’s good to be second behind Roglic. I’m satisfied. The White jersey is something I want to achieve. But the Tour de France is still long, there is a lot of road to cover until we reach Paris.”

“To wear the white jersey in the Tour is a really nice moment for me. I wasn’t sure after I crossed the line if I had taken it or not. Wearing the white in the Vuelta was special but this is even more so. Today’s stage was not so hard but the final part was full gas. Primoz was a bit faster than me in the final but I’m happy with my result. The team is good – De La Cruz is still recovering from his crash but he’s getting better. The motivation is really high in the group.”

Benoît Cosnefroy: “I wasn’t feeling very well today. I was hoping to recover during the stage but it wasn’t the case because of the rhythm of the race. Therefore, I reached the finish in the grupetto to keep some strength for the coming days. I intend to fight again for the polka dot jersey. I’m proud of wearing it.”

Alejandro Valverde: “We’re still in the early stages of the Tour and everyone is still pretty fresh. There are teams with great strength which put on a pace that makes impossible for attacks to gain an advantage – if you try a move, you come back to the group with less energy. I think we did well, considering how we tackled this Tour. Enric just lost those little nine seconds and I was able to finish close, 20″ down – the feel after the stage is that we’re doing better and better. People must keep in mind that the Tour is only starting. We already saw during the Dauphiné how things changed from the start to the final stage, with many surprises. The same could happen in the Tour.”

Miguel Angel Lopez: Today I felt quite good and my legs worked perfectly. I like this kind of climbs as it suits me quite well. The team did a very good job for me during the whole day and in the final I was up there among the main favorites. Unfortunately, I was boxed in twice during the last two kilometers, but with my sixth place today I can be satisfied. It was just the first real test in the mountains, and I am happy that my form is growing on and my condition is improving day by day. It is still the first week of the race and all the fight is still ahead, so I will continue going through the race day by day”.

Bauke Mollema: “It was a bit of a strange climb, not super steep, not super long, and only 7 kilometers so it was really explosive in the end. The start of the climb was quite easy but for the last 3-4 km, it was a super hard pace. The last kilometer, I really had to sprint to stay in the group and not lose any seconds. I just made it, but yeah, I didn’t have any sprint in the legs anymore. It was a pretty fast day, all day, we rode hard to get the break back and then in the end it was just explosiveness with the GC guys. It was more or less what I was expecting for today; I was not expecting any big gaps.”

Egan Bernal: “It was a really fast – the stage felt like we were only racing for a short time and it was really punchy in the final. I think it was a good climb to see how the GC riders are, so I’m happy to arrive at the finish with them as it was really hard. It is not good when another GC rider takes some seconds, but you need to be really patient and to know that our aim is to reach the third week without losing too much time, and then try and regain a bit of time on the long climbs. For us, it will be all about minimising the time lost and arriving as fresh as we can for the last week.”

…. continued after the advert.

The Race
A peloton of 172 riders took to the start of stage 4 in Sisteron. Six riders attacked from the gun: Nils Politt and Krists Neilands (Israel Start-Up Nation), Mathieu Burgaudeau (Total Direct Energie), Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale), Tiesj Benoot (Sunweb) and Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) and there was no reaction from the peloton. Vuillermoz, the highest ranked of the breakaway riders 3’53″ down on Alaphilippe, became the virtual Maillot Jaune at km 18 when the maximum lead reached four minutes. Deceuninck-Quick Step sent Rémi Cavagna and Tim Declercq to set the pace at the head of the peloton and they never allowed the escapees to dream of a stage victory.

Tiesj Benoot crashed spectacularly but with no consequences except for his broken bike on a descent with 24km to go. Politt sat up and Burgaudeau got dropped, so Vuillermoz, Neilands and Pacher approached the last 20km in the lead with an advantage of 1’30″ over the peloton. Neilands went solo on the côte de St-Léger-les-Mélèzes with 19.5km to go and the Latvian had 35″ lead with 10km left in the race.

He got reeled in with 7.5km to go at the bottom of the final ascent to Orcières-Merlette where Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) was first to attack with 4.5km to go. The Frenchman rode solo for 600 metres before getting caught and Jumbo-Visma set a high pace up the hill, mostly with Wout van Aert putting the hammer down. The Belgian rouleur was phenomenal in preparing the terrain for Sepp Kuss to finish the job for Roglic who repaid his teammates with the victory.

Pogacar crossed the line in second place while Martin who had tried to anticipate the sprint was in third place. Fifth on the stage, Alaphilippe remains in the lead of the overall ranking after stage 4.

Stage 4
1. Primoz Roglic Team Jumbo – Visma 04:07:47
2. Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates
3. Guillaume Martin Cofidis
4. Nairo Quintana Team Arkea-Samsic
5. Julian Alaphilippe Deceuninck-Quick Step
6. Miguel Angel Lopez Astana Pro Team
7. Egan Bernal INEOS Grenadiers
8. Thibaut Pinot Groupama-FDJ
9. Mikel Landa Bahrain-McLaren
10. Adam Yates Mitchelton-Scott
11. Tom Dumoulin Team Jumbo – Visma
13. Bauke Mollema Trek-Segafredo
14. Richie Porte Trek-Segafredo
15. Rigoberto Uran EF Pro Cycling
16. Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale
17. Emanuel Buchmann Bora-Hansgrohe @ 09
18. Enric Mas Movistar Team
19. Sepp Kuss Team Jumbo – Visma
20. Hugh Carthy EF Pro Cycling @ 15

53. Daniel Martin Israel Start-Up Nation @ 03:09
95. Jack Bauer Mitchelton-Scott @ 12:31
104. Luke Rowe INEOS Grenadiers @ 13:08
146. Mads Pedersen Trek-Segafredo @ 20:13
147. Connor Swift Team Arkea-Samsic @ 20:13

1. Julian Alaphilippe Deceuninck-Quick Step 18:07:04
2. Adam Yates Mitchelton-Scott @ 04
3. Primoz Roglic Team Jumbo – Visma @ 07
4. Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates @ 11
5. Guillaume Martin Cofidis @ 13
6. Egan Bernal INEOS Grenadiers @ 17
7. Tom Dumoulin Team Jumbo – Visma
8. Esteban Chaves Mitchelton-Scott
9. Nairo Quintana Team Arkea-Samsic
10. Miguel Angel Lopez Astana Pro Team

Full Result Here

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