TDF 2024: Stage 4: Pogacar Takes Lead After Mountain Stage

TOUR DE FRANCE 2024- Stage 4- Pinerelo, Italy to Valloire, France – July 2, 2024

Tadej Pogacar used his climbing skills to gain time on his rivals on the Col de Galibier, and handily surpassed his rival Jonas Vingegaard to take the Yellow Jersey today. Remco Evenepoel of Soudal-Quick Step came in second and has a 45-second deficit to the Maillot Jaune. Vingegaard looked glum as he came in third to the finish line.

Yesterday’s Yellow Jersey winner Carapaz lost 5 minutes and 9 seconds after he trailed the lead riders through the mountain climbs. However short-lived, it was the first time an Ecuadorian wore the Maillot Jaune in the Tour de France.

“I am super happy I could take Yellow today,” Pogacar told reporters after the stage.

After controlling the evolution of the breakaway on the climbs to the Italian resort of Sestriere, then the Col de Montgenevre, the UAE riders put their leader into position on the Col du Galibier. It was 800 metres from the summit that Pogacar took a flyer off the front. The Slovenian then increased his advantage on the descent to Valloire–traveling at speeds of 55 mph– to claim the 12th stage victory of his career on the Tour.

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)
2. Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) +45”
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease a Bike) +50”
4. Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) +1’10”
5. Primoz Roglic (Red Bull-Bora-Hansgrohe) +1’14”
6. Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos Grenadiers) +1’16”
7. Mikel Landa (Soudal-Quick Step) +1’32”
8. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +1’32”

Today’s stage traveled from Italy to France, and Casper Pedersen (Soudal-Quick Step), who crashed towards the end of Stage 3 near Turin sustained a collarbone fracture, forcing him to leave the Tour.

After the peloton left Pinerolo for this short, tough (139.6 km) stage in the mountains, the positioning of the intermediate sprint at km 18.6 inspired Mads Pedersen, who immediately tried to launch a breakaway, though the attack did not succeed. So it was from within the bunch that the Dane accelerated to the line to take the maximum 20 points in the Castel Del Bosco intermediate sprint, in the fight for the green jersey.

The first big climb
The stage had three climbs, starting with the longest climb to Sestrieres (39km) in this year’s Tour. And with 20km of the climb remaining –  there were 17 riders who broke clear, with Chris Juul-Jensen (Jayco-AlUla), Julien Bernard (Lidl-Trek), Bruno Armirail (Decathlon-AG2R), David Gaudu, Romain Grégoire, Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ ), Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Oier Lazkano (Movistar), Raul Garcia, Cristian Rodriguez (Arkes-B&B), Kobe Goosens (Intermarche-Wanty), Warren Barguil (dsm-Firmenich), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Odd Christian Eiking, Tobias Johannessen (Uno-X), Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies) and Stephen Williams (Israel-Premier Tech) all in the group.

Williams shows his prowess
It was 2024 Flèche Wallonne winner Williams who topped the Sestriere climb (Cat 2, km 50.4) first and by the time the breakaway riders reached the summit of the second categorized climb – Col de Montgenevre (Cat 2, km 71,1) – their gap over the peloton was 2’10”. Williams again reached the top of the climb first, earning 10 points for the Mountain classification from those first two peaks of the day.

On the descent from Montgenevre, Nils Politt set a very fast pace for Pogacar and UAE Team Emirates causing several splits in the peloton, that came back together when the bunch passed through Briançon (km 82.1), with Richard Carapaz accelerating to 86.6 km/h in the Yellow Jersey to chase his way back to the GC group. The breakaway’s advantage increased to 2’30” as the lead group gained some momentum in the valley to the foot of the Galibier.

Galibier splinters the leaders
The breakaway fell apart on the HC (out of category) Galibier with Chris Juul-Jensen (Jayco-AlUla), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), Tobias Halland Johannessen (Uno-X) and Oier Lazkano (Movistar Team), the last four to stay at the front, but not assisting each other.

Only 30 riders remained in the main group of a reduced peloton when it caught and overtook Lazkano with 26 km to go, driven by the UAE Team Emirates riders. The elimination game in the main group saw the Yellow Jersey Carapaz distanced at 6 km from the summit and he would eventually finish 5’28” down on the GC.

There were only eight riders at the front at 3 km from the top of the climb: Almeida, Ayuso, Pogacar, Vingegaard, Car.Rodriguez, Roglic, Evenepoel and Landa.

Pogacar then attacked 800 meters from summit of the Col du Galibier, with Vingegaard hanging onto his wheel for around a 100 meters, but the gap grew with the UAE leader taking the Henri-Desgrange souvenir by 10” ahead of his rival. On the descent and in the final kilometers to Valloire, Pogacar opened up a clear gap to win by 35” from Evenepoel, Ayuso and Roglic, with Vingegaard in fifth, two further seconds behind.

, , , ,