Tour de France (st. 4)
Telefónica-backed squad’s leader avoids crashes in yet another bunch sprint; now focuses on demanding time trial from Changé to Laval, set to start defining the GC outcome.
A crash-free day in the 2021 Tour de France! The race ended its journey through Brittany on Tuesday with a short stage four -150km from Redon to Fougères- that didn’t feature as much stress as in previous days. No changes in the GC meant that Enric Mas (Movistar Team) remained in 7th overall, 40″ behind Mathieu van der Poel (AFC).
The Spaniard, well protected in the last third of the stage by Arcas, Cortina and Erviti, finished just behind the sprinters – with Mark Cavendish (DQT) taking an emotional victory, five years later – and avoided any setbacks before the first individual time trial on Wednesday.
The riders will cover 27km between Changé and Laval, not easy at all with three short climbs -two at the very start, with 7-8% slopes and some double-digit sections; a gentler one (4-5%) halfway through the course; and a final one just before the finish, peaking at 11% – and lots of little lumps making for a course not so suited to specialists.
REACTION / Enric Mas:
“As we’ve seen for the last few days, crashes a crucial factor in this race, and we have to take all precautions. Remanining at the front in good position is one of them. Regarding the ITT: we’re coming in good condition, I can’t say I’m fresh, yet I feel like I’m doing well. Let’s see what I think about that tomorrow! It’s true that time trials have been a bit harder for me this year, yet I feel like the progression from Itzulia to Dauphiné and here has been good in terms of form, so I hope we can do a good TT in the Tour tomorrow.”
– TT start times (Wednesday 30th, all CEST): Arcas 13.18, Erviti 13.51, Verona 14.13.30, Valverde 15.12, Cortina 15.18, López 15.37.30, Mas 16.38.
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto
- 01 Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates 82h56'36"
- 02 Jonas Vingegaard Jumbo - Visma +5'20"
- 03 Richard Carapaz INEOS Grenadiers +7'03"
- 06 Enric Mas Movistar Team +11'43"
- 24 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team +1h07'50"
- 67 Imanol Erviti Movistar Team +2h49'07"
- 90 Jorge Arcas Movistar Team +3h14'41"
- 94 Iván García Cortina Movistar Team +3h21'25"
- 101 Carlos Verona Movistar Team +3h28'40"