Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep-Floors) picked up his 2nd stage win of the 105th edition of the Tour de France by sprinting to the victory on today’s 4th stage. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished in 2nd place and Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) rounded out the stage podium.
The 4th stage of the Tour de France took riders from La Baule to Sarzeau, covering a distance of 195km. It was always expected to be a stage for the sprinters today and the prevailing head wind made sure life would be difficult for any breakaway attempts. Four riders gave it a go nevertheless and the peloton gave them as much as 7-minutes lead.
The team of the yellow jersey, BMC Racing took control of the peloton in the early part of the stage before Quickstep-Floors added some riders into the mix. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka sat back in the 2nd row for the majority of the stage, leaving it up to the favourite sprint teams.
As the finish approached, the breakaway did not make life easy for the peloton, still hanging onto over a minutes lead with 10km to go. It was here where Jay Thomson then went forward to help reel back the escapees. Serge Pauwels and Julien Vermote then positioned our train for the final 2km, where Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Edvald Boasson Hagen took over, doing a great job to lead the race under the kilometer to go kite.
The headwind made the sprint tricky and timing was everything. Mark Renshaw and Mark Cavendish had to fend off Trek-Segafredo coming up their left side, and eventually slotted in behind the surge Quickstep made in the final 450m. Unfortunately Cavendish was out of the running when the sprint opened up and finished outside the top 20.
Mark Renshaw – Rider
The team rode really well in the final five kilometers with all the guys getting together in the last four and half kilometers to put Cav in a good position. We rode exactly how we wanted and how we had planned this morning. We knew the finish would be uphill so we kept him to the left side and out of trouble. We got inside the final kilometer and then he just missed the jump when the guys went, but we’re happy the team rode really well and got the positioning right.