Luke Durbridge won the stage four time trial at the Tour de Poitou Charentres in La Roche Posay. The Australian National Time Trial champion posted a time nine seconds faster than Jérémy Roy (FDJ-Big Mat) in second place, covering the 22.1 kilometer course in 26:30, to move into the race lead. It is the fourth individual time trial win for the neo-pro this year.
“The time trial was good,” said Durbridge. “When you come out with a win, it’s always good. It’s a big relief. I’m happy to be able to repay my teammates for the hard work they do to save my legs before a time trial. When I can come out and do a good ride like this, I know that I was well looked after all week.”
Durbridge described the course as ‘solid’ with a second half that required more power and energy than the first half.
“The course started off with a bit of a tailwind, and I was able to reach a high speed quickly,” he explained. “We rode on flat farm roads until around the half-way point when there was a bit of a climb. It was nothing super steep, but the road was quite dead and sort of bumpy for the rest of the course.
“The wind started to pick up, and I faced a stiff headwind for about five kilometers once I got over that climb,” he continued. “From there, it was a three kilometer descent to the finish. The back half of the course was heavy, and it was important to save as much as energy as possible for that second half.”
The leader’s jersey has been with the team from the start after Aidis Kruopis won the stage one sprint, and Durbridge is confident the team can keep it until the race finish on Friday.
“I came here with good form, and the focus was always for me to take the stage win today and move into the overall lead,” explained Durbridge. “We came into today ahead of schedule with two stage wins and the race lead. It will be tough to defend the jersey tomorrow, but I have every confidence that the team can do it.”