Primoz Roglic, the consensus Tour de France favorite from Holland’s Team Jumbo-Visma, rode to a victory in Stage 4’s summit finish following a hellacious power climb up to Orcieres-Merlett. Roglic quickly recovered from a nasty crash at the Criterium du Dauphine two weeks earlier to win his first stage at this year’s Le Tour.
“I’m coming back after my crash,” said Roglic. “We can see that I can race and every day I feel a little better. It’s nice to be able to ride again. I already got proof that I was ready for the start. Now we need to continue the whole team with (a) good job.”
Roglic came into Stage 4 as the favorite to win the punchy 161 km ride up to Orcieres-Merlett that included a treacherous Category 1 ascent.
Julian Alaphilppe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) finished in fifth place in Stage 4, and the Stage 2 winner retains his yellow jersey.
|TOUR DE FRANCE – STAGE 4 RESULTS|
- Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 4:07:47
- Tadej Pogacar (Team Emirates)
- Guillaume Martin (Cofidis)
- Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic)
- Julian Alaphilippe (DQS)
The Tour de France doesn’t frequent Orcieres-Merlett very often, but nearly 50 years ago, the mountain summit became a part of cycling history and lore.
Spanish rider Luis Ocana secured a “dramatic victory” over Eddy Merckx in the 1971 Tour de France. Belgian star Merckx would hold on for his second win on Le Tour, but Ocana’s surge up the mountain put his pursuit for the yellow jersey in jeopardy.
Stage 4: Sisteron > Orcieres-Merlett
The ride from Sisteron to Orcieres-Merlett is a 160.5 km route that begins with four small climbs before the difficult 7 km stretch on the ascent to the finish. Mountain summits aren’t uncommon on the Tour de France. It’s just that one of this magnitude doesn’t usually occur until the back end of the Grand Race.
On the final sprint, Roglic held off Tadej Pogacar (Team Emirates) and Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) to win Stage 4.
“It was quite a fast day, it was hard but the guys again did a really good job,” said Roglic. “I was always in a good position and so could do a nice sprint, so I’m very happy.”
Alaphilippe made a move in the last 200 meters, but ran out of gas short of the finish line. Alaphilippe finished in fifth.
“The objective today was to control things to keep the jersey,” said Alaphilippe. “Obviously, in the final, I’d love to have been able to win and I tried to do it, but the tempo was very, very high on the final ascent. I was on the limit, so there’s no disappointment.”
Adam Yates finished in 10th in Stage 4, but didn’t lose any time, and held onto second place.
Defending champion Egan Bernal currently sits in seventh place overall in the GC.
“It was really fast and a really short climb, punchy in the final,” said Bernal. “It was a good climb to see how the GC riders are. I’m happy to arrive with them because it was really hard.”
On Deck: Stage 5 Gap > Privas
The cool kids call it punchy.
That’s what the riders will expect on Wednesday during a 183 km ride from Gap to Privas in Stage 5. Riders will journey through Provence and the Rhone Valley before making their way through the Nougat Kingdom in Montelimar. The final approach in Privas has a somewhat easy Category 4 climb, but a deceiving false-flat road.
The sprinters will have another go at it at the end of Stage 5. Caleb Ewan, the Stage 3 winner, comes into Stage 5 as the 2/1 favorite. Sam Benne and Gacomo Nizzolo are also favorites to challenge Ewan for the victory at Privas.
|GC STANDINGS (THRU STAGE 4)|
- Julian Alaphilippe (DQS) 4:07:47
- Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +4 seconds
- Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +7 seconds
Alaphilippe, the Stage 2 winner, holds the overall lead in the GC. He’s currently 20/1 odds to win Le Tour.
Roglic moved into third place overall. He’s seven seconds behind the leader. Oddsmakers at DraftKings adjusted Roglic’s odds to win the Tour de France to +110. Roglic came into Le Tour as the overall favorite over Bernal, despite his crash at Dauphine.
A total of 15 riders shared the finishing time with Roglic. One of them was last year’s winner, Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers). Bernal is currently the second-highest rider on the Tour de France futures board at +275.