Stage two winner Simon Yates cemented his authority on the Tour of the Alps today by extending his overall race lead. The Brit accelerated away from his rivals on a final hard climb, with only Alex Vlasov able to follow his impressive pace.
After a very hard start, Team BikeExchange worked to keep control of the race before drawing back the breakaway ahead of the decisive ultimate eight-kilometre ascent. The squad then made sure the 28-year-old leader was positioned well into the base of the climb, allowing him to do his thing, upping the pace and riding almost the entire peloton off his wheel.
Vlasov fought to stay on terms with the Brit over the top of the climb before the duo were joined by Pello Bilbao on a steep and technical descent. Yates settled for third place on the stage as the trio arrived to the finish line together for a three-up sprint.
The Team BikeExchange climber now sits 58 seconds ahead of Bilbao and one minute six seconds over third place Vlasov, as Pavel Sivakov dropped down the standings, with only one 120km stage remaining between Yates and the overall race victory.
Simon Yates – Race Leader
“It was a very hard start, and the boys did a very good job to control the race. We rode behind the breakaway to keep them at a close enough gap in the final so we could try to go for the stage win.
Ineos decided to ride on the front, they basically did our job for us so we didn’t need to ride on the final climb.It wasn’t an easy climb, but I was ok and once I saw Sivakov wasn’t ok I had to try something to try and increase the gap on the GC.
I tried to stay safe on the descent, so it was difficult to stay away from Bilbao. He is an excellent descender. From a general classification point of view it was a good day. Anything can happen but we will try our best tomorrow and see from there.”
Matt White – Head Sport Director
“Today went as planned, we knew that teams wanted to put us under pressure and after the break was established we set about controlling what we needed to.
The boys did a great job and only what was necessary to bring back the breakaway just in time for the final climb of the day.
Then it was time for Simon to do his thing and solidify his grasp on the GC. We now focus on tomorrow and our goal of winning the team’s first stage race of the year.”
2021 Tour of the Alps – Stage 4 Results:
1. Pello Bilbao 4:39:42
2. Alex Vlasov ST
3. Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) ST
General Classification after stage 4:
1. Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) 15:31:48
2. Pello Bilbao +0:58
3. Alex Vlasov +1:06
Photo courtesy of Getty Sport