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Critérium du Dauphiné 2014

Date range:
June 8-15

June 11, Stage 4: Montélimar - Gap 169.5km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Barry Ryan

Live coverage of stage 4 of the Critérium du Dauphiné, 167.5 kilometres from Montélimar to Gap.

  1. 12:15:12 CEST

    After a day for the sprinters on stage 3, Wednesday's stage has been billed as a day for the escape artists, but the climb - and descent - of the Col de Manse in the finale could see the general classification contenders spring into action on the road to Gap this afternoon. There are two climbs on the menu today, the short category 4 Côte de Rosans after 80km, and then the longer haul over the category 2 Col de Manse (9.6km at 5.2%), which comes just 12.5km from the finish.

     

  2. 12:16:34 CEST

    The descent of the Manse is not quite the same one used in the 2003 Tour de France, when Joseba Beloki crashed out, and in last year's race, when Chris Froome and Alberto Contador endured a scare, but it will provide a robust test of technical skills nonetheless.

  3. 12:18:49 CEST

    Froome and Contador, of course, are at the top of the general classification following their duel on the Col du Béal on Monday afternoon. The overall picture looked like this at the roll out this morning:

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 10:07:47
    2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:12
    3 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:21
    4 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:33
    5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol 0:00:35
    6 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:50
    7 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:22
    8 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
    9 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge 0:01:31
    10 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 0:01:35

  4. 146km remaining from 169.5km

    12:21:46 CEST

    It's been a brisk start to proceedings in the Drôme, but after 20 kilometres of racing, a break has yet to gain traction. An early move from Lieuwe Westra (Astana) was quickly shut down, and a bid from Arthur Vichot (FDJ.fr) and Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) to forge clear in a nine-man group also came to nothing.

  5. 12:26:10 CEST

    There were three non-starters today - Benat Intxausti (Movistar), Thor Hushovd (BMC) and Daan Olivier (Giant-Shimano). Intxausti was a crash victim yesterday and has not recovered. Hushovd, meanwhile, was at a loss to explain how he lost almost 17 minutes yesterday, but realised that the problem was not going to be solved by grinding through the rest of the week. "I am not feeling good and I'm suffering on the bike," Hushovd told his team website. "I have to realize this is not normal. So instead of pushing through more, I decided together with the team that I will withdraw from the Dauphiné and not start Stage 4. First, it is mentally hard for me to be like this, and second, I am not providing support to the team when I am in this condition."

     

     

  6. 12:28:03 CEST

    Hushovd, of course, was last week informed by BMC that his contract would not be renewed for 2015, but the 36-year-old is reportedly still keen to extend his career by two more seasons.

  7. 140km remaining from 169.5km

    12:31:00 CEST

    After 21 kilometres of racing, a 13-rider group escaped and they finally seem to have broken the deadlock. Five kilometres on, the peloton has relented and their lead is out to two minutes.

  8. 12:31:43 CEST

    The 13 riders in the move are: Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Andriy Grivko (Astana), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Romain Sicard (Europcar), Pim Lightart (Lotto Belisol), Gustav Larsson (IAM Cycling), Damiano Caruso (Cannondale), Bob Jungels (Trek Factory Racing), Peter Velits (BMC), Yuriy Trofimov (Katusha), Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Belkin) and Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge). After 25 kilometres of racing, their lead was 2:15.

  9. 132km remaining from 169.5km

    12:42:00 CEST

    Maxime Bouet (23rd at 2:43) is the highest-placed rider on GC among the thirteen escapees but for now at least, Team Sky are not unduly concerned. After 35 kilometres, the break has a gap of four minutes and Bouet is in the provisional overall lead.

  10. 12:44:18 CEST

    • Garmin-Sharp

    Meanwhile, Garmin-Sharp's Lachlan Morton has abandoned the race.

  11. 12:53:27 CEST

    • BMC Racing

    Tejay van Garderen will lead BMC's challenge at the Tour de France next month but the American was short of his best on the summit finish at the Col du Beal on Monday. He revealed to Cyclingnews yesterday that he had fractured his hip during the Tour de Romandie and his training had suffered as a consequence, but he was confident that he would be ready for July. "I’m realistic that this week needs to be a building week. By next weekend, I should be up there and closer to the leaders," he said.

     

  12. 122km remaining from 169.5km

    12:54:46 CEST

    The 13 leaders have covered 44 .3 kilometres in a brisk first hour of racing, and their lead is still hovering around the four-minute mark.

  13. 13:00:51 CEST

    At the weekend, L'Equipe pointedly referred to Bob Jungels as Luxembourg's best rider and it will be interesting to see what the multi-talented youngster can do as part of this break. Still only 21, he insists that he will not ride the Tour de France this year, but he is in line for a grand tour debut at the Vuelta a Espana. And, as Sam Dansie spotted, he has

    been testing Trek's new road bike

    at the Dauphiné this week.

     

  14. 111km remaining from 169.5km

    13:10:35 CEST

    Team Sky continue to set the tempo at the front of the bunch and they seem reluctant to allow the escapees extend their lead beyond four minutes. 3:55 is the current gap.

  15. 13:23:44 CEST

    As the gap yawns out towards five minutes, NetApp-Endura are moved to take action. Perhaps hoping to set up Leopold Konig for an attack on the Col de Manse, they have begun to marshal at the head of the pack.

  16. 13:28:44 CEST

    • Team Sky

    Chris Froome is riding unperturbed near the front of the peloton. He enjoyed a relatively quiet day in the yellow jersey yesterday, at least out on the road, although he faced questions afterwards regarding his use of an inhaler during Monday's stage. He told reporters that he suffers from exercise-induced asthma and you can read that story here.

  17. 13:28:46 CEST

    • Team Sky

    Chris Froome is riding unperturbed near the front of the peloton. He enjoyed a relatively quiet day in the yellow jersey yesterday, at least out on the road, although he faced questions afterwards regarding his use of an inhaler during Monday's stage. He told reporters that he suffers from exercise-induced asthma and you can read that story here.

  18. 95km remaining from 169.5km

    13:30:00 CEST

    • Netapp

    NetApp-Endura's decision to contribute to the chase effort seems to be having the desired effect. The break's lead has been snipped back to 4:10.

  19. 13:44:20 CEST

    • Orica GreenEdge

    Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) has had a hugely impressive debut professional season to date, and he is continuing in the same tone at the Dauphine. Winner of the Tour of Turkey and 5th overall at the Tour of California, he was a very solid 8th at the Col du Beal on Monday. That result leaves him 9th on GC but he told Cyclingnews that his focus is on winning a stage this week.

  20. 85km remaining from 169.5km

    13:45:13 CEST

    NetApp-Endura continue to lead the peloton and they have pegged the break's lead back to four minutes flat.

  21. 13:58:57 CEST

    • Climb

    Up front, the 13 escapees have crossed the summit of the Côte de Rosans, with Jan Bakelants the first to the top, ahead of Jungels and Grivko. 

  22. 73km remaining from 169.5km

    14:10:29 CEST

    • Omega Pharma QuickStep

    Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) has abandoned the race at the feed zone. Meanwhile, the break's lead has crept back up to 4:25.

  23. 14:24:59 CEST

    • Team Katusha

    The word from Spain today is that Joaquim Rodriguez will line up in the Tour de France, but only as preparation for the Vuelta. The Catalan rider has revised his schedule after he was forced out of the Giro d'Italia prematurely. Rodriguez was injured in the mass crash at Montecassino, and his directeur sportif Dimitri Konyshev has told AS that he will be on the start line in Leeds. “If he loses 20 minutes in the early stages, then so much the better, because then he’ll have more room to manoeuvre and it’ll be easier for him to take a stage win," Konyshev said.

  24. 53km remaining from 169.5km

    14:29:16 CEST

    The break's lead has continued to fluctuate between four and five minutes for the last hour or so of racing, but we can probably expect an injection of urgency in the peloton in the final 50 kilometres. The race reaches Gap with 25 kilometres to go, incidentally, but swings out of town to tackle the Col de Manse before the technical drop back to the line.

  25. 14:37:05 CEST

    Away from the Dauphiné, Sky have confirmed that Sergio Henao will line up at the Tour de Suisse next week. The team's internal investigation into his blood values has apparently cleared him of wrongdoing, and just in time for the Tour de France too. Timely. Stephen Farrand has the full story here.

  26. 44.5km remaining from 169.5km

    14:39:03 CEST

    Out on the road, the 13 escapees are collaborating very smoothly. Nobody is shirking his turn and they still have 4:11 in hand on the bunch, which is being led again by Team Sky.

  27. 14:40:34 CEST

    There is a string of black Sky jerseys on the front of the back, just in front of maillot jaune Chris Froome. Behind them is a phalanx of Tinkoff-Saxo riders surrounding Alberto Contador, who continues to wear the green jersey on Froome's behalf.

  28. 14:42:51 CEST

    A reminder of the riders in the break: Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Andriy Grivko (Astana), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Romain Sicard (Europcar), Pim Lightart (Lotto Belisol), Gustav Larsson (IAM Cycling), Damiano Caruso (Cannondale), Bob Jungels (Trek Factory Racing), Peter Velits (BMC), Yuriy Trofimov (Katusha), Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Belkin) and Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge).

  29. 38.5km remaining from 169.5km

    14:48:08 CEST

    The pace is high in the peloton on the long false flat that leads towards Gap, but in spite of Sky's efforts, the break is retaining its four-minute buffer.

  30. 14:50:20 CEST

    • Tinkoff-Saxo

    Alberto Contador is happy to maintain a watching brief for now, but he might spark into action on the Col de Manse. Speaking at the start this morning, Contador warned against reading too much into the Dauphine when the Tour is still over three weeks away: "I think that for the Tour de France it’s important to realise that there are some important riders missing like Alejandro Valverde who can change the conditions. I think Vincenzo Nibali will go better and I don’t know if Joaquim Rodriguez will be there. Okay the number one favourite is Froome but after that there’s another group and it doesn’t just contain me."

  31. 34km remaining from 169.5km

    14:55:20 CEST

    There has been waning of commitment from the escapees. With 3:50 in hand on their first approach to Gap, they're starting to believe in their chances, although their collaboration will doubtless recede as soon as they hit the slopes of the Col de Manse.

  32. 32km remaining from 169.5km

    14:58:56 CEST

    • Puncture

    An untimely front wheel puncture for Chris Froome, but he gets a quick bike change and with Geraint Thomas' help, he is safely back at the rear of the peloton.

  33. 15:00:16 CEST

    That puncture might just have bought a little time for our thirteen breakaways. Sky had just pegged their lead back inside 3:30 but the pace in the peloton slackened considerably while Froome was rejoining the bunch.

  34. 28km remaining from 169.5km

    15:02:31 CEST

    Jan Bakelants leads the break on the sweeping descent into Gap. Once they hit town, they'll start climbing again towards the Col de Manse. Their lead is 3:34.

  35. 15:04:27 CEST

    Tinkoff-Saxo and Astana are now beginning to commit riders to the front of the peloton. It's going to be a long, fast lead-out to the base of the Col de Manse, and the scramble for positions will be frantic.

  36. 24km remaining from 169.5km

    15:06:49 CEST

    Tinkoff-Saxo are forcing a hyper-active pace on this fast drop towards the foot of the Manse, and they are chipping significant chunks off the break's lead. The gap is now inside three minutes.

  37. 21km remaining from 169.5km

    15:11:15 CEST

    The peloton fragments as it hits the Col de Manse, with a trio of Sky riders - Pate, Zandio and Kiryienka - among those to sit up.

  38. 15:12:14 CEST

    The break's lead has been sliced back to just 2:07 on the lower slopes of the climb. Damiano Caruso and Maxime Bouet have opened a small gap over the rest of their companions.

  39. 19km remaining from 169.5km

    15:13:16 CEST

    The peloton has splintered dramatically, although there are still around 50 riders in the front group. Team Sky are tapping out the tempo in support of Froome.

  40. 19.5km remaining from 169.5km

    15:14:23 CEST

    The break has reformed up front, with Imanol Erviti (Movistar) easing to the front in a bid to set an even tempo. They still have 1:52 in hand on the bunch and every chance of staying clear.

  41. 19km remaining from 169.5km

    15:16:57 CEST

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) attacks out of the main peloton. Jersey flapping open, his face contorted, his radio earpiece hanging loose, the Frenchman is putting in an important dress rehearsal for the Tour here. He doesn't look very fluid but it's been effective - he's opened a small gap and has brought a couple of riders for company.

  42. 15:18:29 CEST

    Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol) is with Voeckler and they're just in front of the yellow jersey group. Up ahead, Yury Trofimov (Katusha) has attacked alone from the break.

  43. 17km remaining from 169.5km

    15:19:58 CEST

    After Voeckler and Gallopin are caught, Christophe Le Mevel (Cofidis) tries to slop away, but he won't get far with Sky setting such a brisk tempo behind.

  44. 16km remaining from 169.5km

    15:21:44 CEST

    The break has fragmented behind Trofimov,  but the Russian is showing no signs of weakness and has 25 seconds in hand on his closest chasers. The yellow jersey group is at 2:37.

  45. 15.5km remaining from 169.5km

    15:23:01 CEST

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) accelerates out of the yellow jersey group and blasts past Le Mevel. The Canadian has opened a decent margin over the peloton but he's still 2:30 off the front of the race and is running out of road.

  46. 15:24:39 CEST

    Hesjedal has 15 seconds on the yellow jersey group, and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) is the next to jump from the peloton, where Team Sky are setting a steady pace.

  47. 15:26:09 CEST

    Sky's pace is brisk but not oppressive, and they're facing a volley of attacks on this climb as another small group jumps away featuring Tejay van Garderen and Romain Bardet. So far, however, Contador and Nibali remained put in Sky's slipstream.

  48. 13.5km remaining from 169.5km

    15:27:28 CEST

    Trofimov is just a kilometre from the summit and he has a lead of 2:37 over the Froome group. His closest pursuers appear to be at 25 seconds, and we believe Bob Jungels is among them.

  49. 15:29:20 CEST

    Trofmov has a lead of 20 seconds over the remants of the break, and he is 2:20 ahead of a three-man group made up of Hesjedal, Bardet and van Garderen. The Sky-led peloton is at 2:35.

  50. 15:30:16 CEST

    Geraint Thomas leads the yellow jersey group, with Contador and Nibali lined up just behind Chris Froome.

  51. 11km remaining from 169.5km

    15:31:01 CEST

    Trofimov is on the descent into Gap. Provided he holds his nerve, he looks on course for stage victory.

  52. 9km remaining from 169.5km

    15:34:11 CEST

    Trofimov has a lead of 38 seconds on his closest chasers as he hits the most sinuous section of the descent. He is 2:10 up on the Hesjedal group and 2:25 ahead of the Froome peloton.

  53. 7km remaining from 169.5km

    15:35:25 CEST

    This descent is very technical. Hesjedal is losing a couple of lengths to Bardet and van Garderen on every bend and then battling his way back up on the straights.

  54. 15:36:04 CEST

    The yellow jersey group, meanwhile, is strung out in one long line, but so far there don't seem to have been any speculative attacks on Froome's overall lead.

  55. 5km remaining from 169.5km

    15:37:58 CEST

    A super slow-motion replay from France Televisions suggests that Jungels and Erviti crashed on the descent. Trofimov, meanwhile, is safely negotiating the corners and is 2:33 up on the Froome group.

  56. 3.5km remaining from 169.5km

    15:38:52 CEST

    Nibali and Contador are at the front of the yellow jersey group, but neither man appears to be forcing the issue on this descent.

  57. 3km remaining from 169.5km

    15:39:49 CEST

    Mercifully, although the sun is out, the temperatures aren't quite as high as yesterday, and there hasn't been too much melted tarmac on the descent.

  58. 2km remaining from 169.5km

    15:40:42 CEST

    Trofimov has 30 seconds in hand on his closest group of chasers, which we believe includes Jan Bakelants.

  59. 15:41:18 CEST

    The Hesjedal group is picking off the remnants of the break on the descent. They've just swept up Sicard and Jungels, but they won't catch the flying Trofimov.

  60. 1km remaining from 169.5km

    15:42:23 CEST

    Trofimov enters the final kilometre. He didn't even take the time to zip up his jersey on the descent, but flying in the face of aerodynamics, he is scorching towards stage victory.

  61. 15:44:07 CEST

    Yury Trofimov (Katuhsa) wins stage 4 of the Criterium du Dauphine. Such is his joy that he doesn't even zip up his jersey as he crosses the line. It's the second Dauphine stage win of his career.

  62. 15:45:18 CEST

    Gustav Larsson (IAM Cycling) beats Pim Ligthart (Lotto Belisol) in the sprint for second place, 25 seconds down. The other survivors of the break, including Maxime Bouet, cross the line just afterwards.

  63. 15:46:33 CEST

    Hesjedal, van  Garderen and Bardet cross the line 1:31 down on Trofimov. They'll have pegged back a bit of time on the yellow jersey.

  64. 15:47:02 CEST

    Froome, of course, retains the overall lead, 12 seconds clear of Alberto Contador.

  65. 15:47:31 CEST

    "Right to the last minute, I didn't believe it was possible," Trofimov says as he waits to mount the podium.

  66. 15:50:04 CEST

    The Froome group comes in 2:10 down on Trofimov. That gap means that Maxime Bouet moves into the top ten on GC this evening, having clawed back 1:32 of his overnight deficit.

  67. 15:53:54 CEST

    Result:

    1Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha
    2Gustav Larsson (Swe) IAM Cycling00:00:23
    3Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Belisol00:00:25
    4Lars-Peter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin00:00:28
    5Peter Velits (Svk) BMC
    6Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale
    7Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
    8Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale
    9Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana00:01:31
    10Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp

  68. 15:56:05 CEST

    General classification:

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 14:09:19
    2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:12
    3 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:21
    4 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:33
    5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol 0:00:35
    6 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:50
    7Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale00:01:01
    8 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:22
    9 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
    10 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge 0:01:31
     

  69. 15:59:42 CEST

    Thanks for following our live coverage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. We'll be back with more tomorrow and right through to the finish on Sunday. In the meantime, stay with Cyclingnews a full report, results and pictures from today's stage, as well as all of the news and reaction from Gap.