Cycling: Cycling-Van Aert masterclass as Belgian extends Tour lead with stage four solo win


CALAIS, France (Reuters) -Wout van Aert prolonged his general lead within the Tour de France when he completed off some sterling workforce work to win the fourth stage on Tuesday after three second locations within the opening three race days.

The Jumbo Visma rider left all his rivals gasping for air on the ultimate hill of the 171.5-km experience from Dunkirk after his Jumbo Visma workforce’s brutal acceleration blew aside the peloton.

The Belgian jumped away from a skimmed pack with lower than 12km left within the brief ascent of the Cote du Cap Blanc Nez and by no means regarded again to clinch his seventh particular person stage win on the Tour.

Belgian Jasper Philipsen took second place with France’s Christophe Laporte ending third, eight seconds behind.Overall, Van Aert leads compatriot Yves Lampaert (Quick Step Alpha Vinyl) by 25 seconds and defending champion Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates) by 32.

France’s Anthony Perez and Dane Magnus Cort Nielsen fashioned the day’s breakaway and constructed an honest lead however it was by no means going to stay as the sprinters’ groups managed the hole.

A brutal acceleration by the Quick Step Alpha Vinyl workforce break up the bunch after the descent of the Cote de Cassel, some 130km from the end.

The peloton shortly regrouped, nonetheless.

The sprinters’ groups upped the tempo halfway via the stage and the main duo’s seven-minute benefit began to soften.

The stage actually got here into life when Van Aert’s workforce mates went full gasoline within the final brief climb of the day earlier than the Belgian went solo.

Briton Adam Yates and final 12 months’s runner-up Jonas Vingegaard had been the final to be dropped earlier than being caught by the remainder of the bunch.

Philipsen was the quickest of the chasers and, unaware that Van Aert was on his personal in entrance, bumped his chest in celebration when he gained the dash, solely to be notified by Laporte that another person had already crossed the road.

Wednesday’s fifth stage is a gruelling 155-km experience from Lille to Arenberg that includes nearly 20km of cobbled roads – the identical used on the Paris-Roubaix basic, additionally identified as the ‘Hell of the North’.

The high contenders might be trying to keep away from shedding the Tour on day 5 on a tough terrain that favours the heavier riders and Van Aert might be once more be one of many stage favourites.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Clare Fallon and Christian Radnedge)

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