July 3, 2017
Tour de France 2017
Stage 4: Mondorf-Les-Bains (Luxembourg) - Vittel, 203km
Arnaud Démare delivers much needed French win but celebration slides into controversy a crash in the finishing straight sees Peter Sagan disqualified and Mark Cavendish heading home with a broken shoulder after the two clashed.
French National Champion Arnaud Démare (FDJ) took an emphatic sprint win ahead of Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Alexander Kristoff ( Team Katusha - Alpecin) on a stage that saw two crashes in the final kilometre. The first crash took out several of the sprinters including Marcel Kittel while the second precipitated by a clash between Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) saw the Brit on the deck nursing what an MRI later showed to be a cracked scapula.
In decision that soon split the peloton Sagan was later disqualified by race Commissaires for causing the crash.
Van Keirsbulck Big Break
A day-long break by Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) provided the supporting entertainment. He attacked from the gun and whne there was no reaction from the peloton he pulled out a lead that 13'15" at km 59 before Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Julien Vermote (Quick-Step Floors) started setting the pace of the peloton.
French teams FDJ and Cofidis had clear ambitions for a home ground win and steadily ate into the lone Van Keirsbulck's lead, With 90km to go it was down to six minutes. At the intermediate sprint of Goviller with 50km to go, the deficit of the peloton was 2.40 and the fastest man was Démare who outsprinted Peter Sagan, André Greipel and Marcel Kittel.
Van Keirsbulck's advantage was down to two minutes when he scored the only King of the Mountains up for grabs at the col des Trois-Fontaines 37km away from the finish in Vittel. Nathan Brown (Cannondale-Drapac) though remained in the polka dot jersey, becoming the first American to do so since Greg LeMond (in 1986). The other Americnas to werar it, Tejay van Garderen (in 2011) and Taylor Phinney (yesterday), both lost it after one day.
Van Keirsbulck was finally caught with 16.5km to go after 191 kilometers of a solo breakaway. He received the price of the most aggressive rider of the day.
Démare restores Fremch pride
Démare is the first Frenchman to win a bunch sprint of the Tour de France since Jimmy Casper in Strasbourg in 2006. The last French stage winner wearing the blue-white-red jersey of French champion was Thomas Voeckler in Bagnères-de-Luchon in 2010 Luchon. Démare also took the green jersey, which no Frenchman has done since Sylvain Chavanel, also in 2010.
Geraint Thomas came home safely to retain the yellow jersey.
Stage Four Results and GC
Stage 1: 1 July - Dusseldorf - Dusseldorf (time trial), 13km
Stage 2: 2 July - Dusseldorf - Liege (Belgium), 202km
Stage 3: 3 July - Verviers (Belgium) - Longwy, 202km
Stage 4: 4 July - Mondorf-Les-Bains (Luxembourg) - Vittel, 203km
Stage 5: 5 July - Vittel - La Planche des Belles Filles, 160km
Stage 6: 6 July - Vesoul - Troyes, 216km
Stage 7: 7 July 7 - Troyes - Nuits-Saint-Georges, 214km
Stage 8: 8 July 8 - Dole - Station des Rousses, 187km
Stage 9: 9 July - Nantua - Chambery, 181km
First rest day: 10 July
Stage 10: 11 July - Perigueux - Bergerac, 178km
Stage 11: 12 July - Eymet - Pau, 202km
Stage 12: 13 July - Pau - Peyragudes, 214km
Stage 13: 14 July - Saint-Girons - Foix, 100km
Stage 14: 15 July - Blagnac - Rodez, 181km
Stage 15: 16 July - Laissac-Severac L'Eglise - Le-Puy-en-Velay, 189km
Second rest day: 17 July
Stage 16: 18 July - Le-Puy-en-Velay - Romans-sur-Isere, 165km
Stage 17: 19 July - La Mure - Serre-Chevalier, 183km
Stage 18: 20 July - Briancon - Izoard, 178km
Stage 19: 21 July - Embrun - Salon-de-Provence, 220km
Stage 20: 22 July - Marseille - Marseille (time trial), 23km
Stage 21: 23 July - Montgeron - Paris Champs-Elysees, 105km