Stage 4 of the Tour de France should provide more drama
The Tour de France continues with a second consecutive stage which will likely please sprinters as the race heads away from the Basque coast and into the heart of South West France.
A 182km stretch from Dax to Nogaro features just one categorized climb, with the fast men of the peloton making another triumphant streak on the slick tarmac of the Circuit Paul Armagnac.
Jasper Philipsen completed the first mass sprint of this year’s Tour in Bayonne yesterday and used a brilliant lead from his Alpecin-Deceuninck teammates to win stage three.
But many of the sprinters in the field showed good legs in a twisty finale, including Astana’s Mark Cavendish, who finished sixth.
The Manx man came to his final Tour de France aiming for his 35th stage win, which would edge him ahead of Eddy Merckx as the most successful stage chaser in the history of the race, and hopes to challenge for victory at Nogaro.
Follow the latest updates from stage four below:
The peloton’s average speed today is about five kilometers per hour below the most conservative estimate of the race before the stage – that’s a real head turner for Nogaro.
Harry Latham-CoyleJuly 4, 2023 2:20 p.m
109 km to go
The lack of a breakaway means the first man to cross the finish line in the intermediate sprint is a full 20 points up for grabs. Mads Pedersen has been very active on the mid-stage sprint points so far in the race – if Wout van Aert isn’t keen on another green jersey shot, Pedersen likely has the right mix of sprint speed, climbing legs and resilience for the points contest.
Harry Latham-CoyleJuly 4, 2023 2:18 p.m
112 km to go
We’ll see what happens as we get closer to the intermediate sprint some 25km away and the only categorized climb later in the stage, but if things continue it could be difficult to find a suitable candidate for the most combative rider.
Harry Latham-CoyleJuly 4, 2023 2:12 p.m
117 km to go
Those caught napping as the small acceleration threatened to cause a split are working their way back through the back end of the peloton. This attack would have roused some from their sleep.
Harry Latham-CoyleJuly 4, 2023 2:05 p.m
119 km to go
This really came out of nowhere. The peloton is lined up and the crosswinds probably aren’t strong enough to threaten the relays, but it still keeps everyone alert. Simon Yates has to face forward, the yellow jersey ensures he’s well positioned in case it breaks even further.
Van Aert finally gives in and the sprinter teams spread out at the front to calm things down again. But that was all pretty quick – and quite necessary.
Harry Latham-CoyleJuly 4, 2023 2:01 p.m
120 km to go
Today it is over 60 km.
Wait! Wout van Aert wants to have fun! He sets the pace at the front in a powerful group at the front. It’s the Belgians again…and there is a split!
Harry Latham-CoyleJuly 4, 2023 1:59 p.m
Tour de France 2023 stage guides
Harry Latham-CoyleJuly 4, 2023 1:56 p.m
127 km to go
Right, back to full focus on the Tour de France as the peloton meanders through the villages south of Mont-de-Marsan. This is real French rugby territory. Today’s route passes through the town of Condom, where Gregory Alldritt, lucky charm number eight, grew up. Drivers have just passed the Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Rugby, which includes a memorial of Rugby memorabilia alongside more traditional religious iconography.
Harry Latham-CoyleJuly 4, 2023 1:54 p.m
130 km to go
She did it! Antonia Niedermaier just manages to stop Annemiek van Vleuten and by just a few seconds secures the fifth stage of the Giro Donne and the biggest win of her young career.
Van Vleuten’s second place will increase their lead in the overall standings.
Harry Latham-CoyleJuly 4, 2023 1:44 p.m
136 km to go
Drama in Italy – both Van Vleuten and Longo Borghini are at the start! The Dutch leader soon got back on her bike, but the Italian crashed into a hill on the edge of a corner and stayed a little longer.
Luckily she can get back in the saddle, but that was pretty scary for the Lidl Trek rider. That could secure victory for Antonia Niedermaier – what a win that would be for the budding Canyon/SRAM star.
Nothing changes in the situation on the tour. The peloton stays together for nearly 50km in a soporific stage.
Harry Latham-CoyleJuly 4, 2023 1:35 p.m