Mitchelton-SCOTT stay safe on a day for the sprinters on stage fourTue 9 Jul 2019
Mitchelton-SCOTT played it safe on stage four of the Tour de France as the sprinter’s took their chance to battle for the stage win into Nancy.
European champion Matteo Trentin was to the fore in the closing kilometre and eventually crossed the line in 11th, while Brit Adam Yates rolled home in the bunch alongside a host of teammates.
A three-man breakaway formed as soon as the flag dropped on the outskirts of Reims and with the day billed as one for the sprinters the peloton were happy to see just a trio of riders head down the road.
Team Jumbo-Visma took on the responsibility of setting the pace at the head of the field as they pegged the escapees advantage to a maximum of 3’30”. A headwind was making it tough going for the leaders while the pace in the peloton was relaxed as Mitchelton-SCOTT sat safely in the bunch.
The gap remained the same over the first of the two categorised climbs on the menu, but it soon began to fall thereafter with more than a minute being shaved off with 70-kilometres remaining.
As the race passed through the intermediate sprint the gap was down to under two-minutes and it continued to fall steadily as the bunch began to up the pace with narrow roads approaching and positing key ahead of the final climb.
With the final ramp on the horizon the breakaway began to attack each other and just one rider was left by the time the race hit the foot of the climb. The race was all back together as the peloton crested the climb with the attention turning to the looming sprint finale.
South African champion Daryl Impey moved to the head of the race to keep Adam Yates safe heading into the final three kilometres, with the sprint trains then taking over. Trentin was left to surf the wheels in the finale, but the Italian stayed clear of the fight for the victory as Elia Viviani (Deceuninck - Quick Step) sprinted to the win.
Matt White (Sports Director):
“The focus on all the sprint stages is to just stay out of trouble. Today had a lot of potential to be dangerous and tricky because there was a lot of wind, but never in sustained sections."
"Also, with Alaphilippe in the yellow jersey that changed the dynamic. One because Askgreen, one of their big strong boys crashed really hard yesterday and is injured, and two they didn’t need to try and split the bunch and put pressure on the bunch because Alaphilippe is a climber that’s in the jersey."
"Tomorrow is solid enough, it’s a medium mountain stage. The stage in general is quite easy, but the second half of the stage is quite challenging and again, like always the riders decide how hard the race is and if they go hard on those climbs I don’t expect any pure sprinters making the final."
Tour de France 2019 Stage 4 Results:
1. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck–Quick-Step) 5:09:20
2. Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates)
3. Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) ST
11. Matteo Trentin (Miitchelton-SCOTT) ST
General Classification After Stage 4:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck–Quick-Step) 14:41:39
2. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) +0:20
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Team Jumbo-Visma) +0:25
20. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:01
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.