Mitchelton-SCOTT on the right side of luck, finally, for stage 4 of the Tour de France

Tue 10 Jul 2018

Mitchelton-SCOTT has successfully navigated the fourth stage of the Tour de France in what was their first incident-free road stage of this year’s race. 

After mishaps on the first two stages, the Australian outfit avoided two crashes in the final 50km today to ensure leader Adam Yates crossed the line unscathed and on bunch time with Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep Floors) who took his second sprint victory.

Four form breakaway:
BMC Racing Team allowed four breakaway riders to move out to a seven-minute advantage as they rode on the front of the peloton having claimed the yellow jersey on yesterday’s team time trial. 

It wasn’t until the sprint teams began to contribute that the advantage began to shrink and it was quickly down to three-minutes as the stage entered its final 100km.

After briefly going under 90seconds, it stretched back out again in the final 50km before they were finally caught inside the last ten. 

On the right side of luck:
Having found themselves on the wrong side of luck on the first two days, Yates and his Mitchelton-SCOTT teammates managed to avoid the trouble on stage four. 

An initial crash with 50km to go had a few riders chasing, but with little urgency in the bunch the mishap didn’t pose much any general classification contenders caught up. 

The same couldn’t be said for the crash with five kilometres to go, with the biggest loser in the overall battle Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha Alpecin) who lost over a minute.

Damien Howson:
“Today was a pretty straight forward day. The teams knew the parcours so they were happy to ride conservatively and make it as easy as possible until the final 25km where it became a bit of a hectic chase. 

“There was a crash towards the final five kilometres and some of the GC guys were caught out there, but thankfully we were on the right side of it today and we can look forward to tomorrow.” 

Matt White – Head Sports Director:
“It was a day we knew would be a little less stressful because of the course and the wind but the team still needed to stay attentive, protect Adam, and thankfully today we have got through without incident.” 

Tour de France – Stage 4 Results:
1. Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep Floors) 4:25:01
2. Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe) ST
3. Andre Griepel (Lotto-Soudal) ST 
31. Michael Hepburn (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

Tour de France – General Classification after Stage 4:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) 13:33:56
2. Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing) ST
3. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) +0:03
18. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:00

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.