Wout Van Aert finally breaks from the shackles of bad luck as he takes his first win at the Tour de France. Van won stage 4 on Tuesday 5th July. After ending up second consecutively in the opening trial and stage 2 and stage 3 as well, the Jumbo-Visma rider decided to take his game up a notch. The stage took place in Calais.
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With just 10 km left of the race, Jumbo-Visma seemed determined to take the win today, but it was the sole effort of Van Aert on Tuesday, which dedicated the win to them. Van Aert chased Tiesj Benoot with such a speed that only Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Adam Yates (Ineos) were able to catch up with him, they too eventually lost track of the yellow jersey.
Van Aert explained the happenings of the day:
The goal was to go full to the top and see what happened, but then I came over the top alone, and I was a bit in doubt if I should wait for Jonas and I think Yates, the two guys behind me
He went on to say:
But by going full, I also put Jonas and the others in a good position where they didn’t have to ride. So I decided to go alone, and then it was 10k of all-out suffering
The GC riders were scurrying to catch up with the yellow jersey today. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) said:
I was too far behind to follow, so I tried to go as fast as possible to the top to see what the situation was, It was OK, Van Aert dropped even his teammates, and when I saw that, I was more calm, and I didn’t stress.
Wout Van Aert sailed through the finish line to savor the moment, which gave the chasing party a chance to close in with a gap of 8 seconds. Even the team’s leader Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) was not able to catch up with Van Aert today. Wout Van Aert finally broke free of the “eternal second” curse.
Van Aert now leads with 25 seconds and Pogačar on 32 seconds. We also have Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck), who just made clear his intentions to take the yellow jersey on the cobbles stage on Wednesday, standing on 38 seconds.
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How It Happened
The race begins with observing a silent minute, to remember the victims of Copenhagen’s mass shooting incident. The tragic incident unfolded on Sunday afternoon.
The riders are aligned behind the starting line, with just one question in their minds, “Will I win it or not”? Magnus Cort (EF Education First-EasyPost) is seen wearing the mountain’s jersey. Anthony Perez (Cofidis) also catches the eye and as soon as the race begins, the duo slips away ahead of everyone else. In doing so, they earned an advantage above the others.
At category 4 Côte de Nielles-lès-Bléquin, the duo still has an advantage of 3:30 minutes as Magnus Cort leads the way to Côte de Harlettes. . Anthony Perez launches an attack after the climb leading to Côte du Ventus.
The rest of the squad is catching up with the duo up on the final climb of the day. Sensing the danger pre hand, team Ineos gathered their GC men upfront, only to be taken down by Jumbo-Visma. Yates took to the camera and spoke for everyone as he said:
They did the same thing at Paris-Nice, and we had the suspicion they might do the same thing here. I sprinted full gas bottom to the top, but I just ran out of legs over the top
While admitting that he is not looking forward to cobbles:
No, I’m not looking forward to it.
Pogačar is carrying similar views as he said about Wednesday’s race:
Tomorrow I need to survive, it will be a big war
|Wout van Aert
|Danny van Poppel
Featured Image Via YouTube / Eurosport France