Good morning and welcome to our live coverage from stage 4 of the Criterium du Dauphine. There's only one place to start this morning and that's with the breaking news that Egan Bernal will not start the stage due to a back injury.
All we know for now is that Bernal is out due a back injury. Geraint Thomas, his teammate, confirmed the news this morning at the start after we noticed that Bernal was missing from the sign-on. This might be a minor injury and it could be just a precaution but there's no doubt that this is yet another major blow for Team Ineos ahead of their Tour de France challenge.
We will bring you more on the Bernal situation as we get it. So far the team have remained silent, while the race organisers have posted a tweet.
Le vainqueur du #TDF2019 🇨🇴 @Eganbernal ne prendra pas le départ aujourd’hui.🇨🇴 @Eganbernal won’t start today.#DauphinéAugust 15, 2020
Roglic has just been asked about Bernal. Quote to follow shortly.
Race leader Roglic: "I don't think that this changes much for us. We need to focus on our work and try to be the best. I'm looking forward to this stage. We'll still see a hard race, it's not everything on Egan because we have a lot of really strong guys. It's going to be hard racing. I'm not sure what will happen today but it will definitely be hard racing. There are mountains from the beginning but for us, we want to have control and a good situation. We'll try and focus on that."
In the rush to post about Bernal, we've missed the fact that the stage is about to start. The official roll out is going to take place in just a few minutes and we'll bring you full live text coverage from the entire day of racing. Stay tuned for our stage preview too.
In other news, Nils Politt (Israel Start-Up Nation) , is also out of the race. He crashed a few days ago and is suffering with a knee injury.
So we're in Ugine and the stage is 153km to Megeve, where we will finish for the final two days of the race. It's up and down all day and there's climbing right from the start with six categorised ascents and another mountain-top finish. Here's a profile of the second category climb to the line.
And here's how we stand on GC, without Bernal in the picture.
1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma
2 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:14
3 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:20
4 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 0:00:24
5 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 0:00:26
6 Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Pro Cycling
7 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:00:32
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:00:35
9 Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
10 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:17
And we're rolling through the neutralized zone right now with the race about to start any minute.
With the peloton set to start with a series of climbs in the first section of the stage we're likely to see a break go clear after a wave of attacks. Davide Formolo survived from the break yesterday and that will inspire riders to go on the attack today.
We have the Dauphine today but the new normal in cycling also means that we have a Monument going on too and today it's Il Lombardia. We have full live coverage, right here.
Back to France and we already have our first attackers with Maxime Bouet (Arkéa-Samsic) trying to chase down Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal). 5km covered so far.
And it looks like Bouet has sat up. He'd struggle to catch De Gendt at this point, and that leaves just the Belgian out front with just over 145km to go.
De Gendt is climbing right now but he's not pulling out a huge lead over the peloton at this early point, with his advantage holding at 25 seconds. Will anyone join him?
With the gap so close, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), has joined up with De Gendt at the front of the race. The Frenchman is no threat on GC, having lost time throughout the last couple of day, and that's a pretty powerful duo now on the attack. The gap remains under 30 seconds though.
A few more names have jumped over to the leaders and it looks like the day's break is forming after 20km of action. The pace has been incredible so far.
Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Ineos), Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo) and Fausto Masnada (CCC Team) make it five leaders, and then we have
Lennard Kamnä (Bora-Hansgrohe), David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates), Marc Soler (Movistar), Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) and Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) chasing, according to our friends at ASO. If these pockets of riders can merge they have a great chance for the stage, with the bunch now at 45 seconds.
Rumours on Twitter this morning of Masnada joining QuickStep TODAY, before the UCI transfer window shuts for the summer, in a move that would see the CCC rider link up with Evenepoel for the Giro. It's not confirmed just yet, and we're still awaiting a confirmation from both teams.
The leaders, meanwhile, are just about to arrive on the lower slopes of the Col de Plan Bois. It's a first cat climb, 6.3km in length with an average gradient of 9.5 per cent. This will decide whether the break can make it. Kamna might be a problem, he's just 5'21 down on the race lead and Bora are a real threat for the GC with Buchmann. Will Jumbo Visma want to shut this down before it becomes a problem?
A reminder of the big news from this morning: Egan Bernal is out of the race due to a back injury. You can find more, right here.
Movement on the mountain. De Gendt has sat up, while the Haig group has made contact with the front of the race. A bit further down the climb we have Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team), Dylan van Baarle (Team Ineos), Matej Mohoric, Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-McLaren) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) all trying to break away. We can see real intent from Ineos here who clearly know that they're chasing stage wins with Bernal out of the race. Van Baarle of course won a mountain stage last year, after Chris Froome crashed out.
As expected on this parcours we've seen plenty of attacks at the start of today's #Dauphine stage. @kwiato is in a strong group of nine on the Col de Plan Bois. pic.twitter.com/Eo4vFJnuVCAugust 15, 2020
24km covered and we have a merger of groups with all of the attackers, minus De Gendt, creating a super group of 13. They have 2:15 over the peloton, with Jumbo Visma and Groupama leading the chase. Interestingly Kamna is in the lead group.
Onto the descent and it also looks like De Gendt has made it back into contention. We'll have the full list of riders in the break in just a moment.
Here's a shot from the break on the first climb of the day.
116km to go and the leaders now have 3:20 over the peloton. It's a big day for Tony Martin as he looks to keep the break in check.
The leaders are now onto the second climb of the day, the Col de la Croix Fry. It's another first cat.
And it's two GC riders down. Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma).
Buchmann, Muhlberger and Kruijswijk abandon following their crash.
All we know at the moment is that the fall took place on the first descent, after 29km of racing. No news yet on extent of the injuries.
That is a major blow for both Bora and Jumbo Visma for both race and the Tour de France.
That fall will also alter the tactics for Kemna, who will be allowed to push on and work considerably in the break. He's 5'21 down on GC, and the gap right now is 3'40.
Jumbo Visma are reporting that Kruijswijk has a dislocated shoulder. If accurate that's his Tour de France out of the window.
Our leaders are: Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-McLaren), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team), Dylan van Baarle (Team Ineos), Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-McLaren) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Lennard Kamnä (Bora-Hansgrohe), David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates), Marc Soler (Movistar), Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) , Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Ineos), Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Fausto Masnada (CCC Team) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step).
They have a lead of 3:40 with 110km to go.
In that last frenzied minutes, we've just crested the third cat climb of the Col des Aravis. De la Cruz picked up maximum points on the first two summits earlier in the day, while the break now have 3'10 of a lead with 100km to go. That crash has meant that three of the top four from last year's Tour have all quit the race this morning. Astonishing.
Jumbo have to be thinking about Kamna and that's party why their chipping away at the break's lead alongside Groupama FDJ. We've still got a long way to go in the stage but in terms of Jumbo, Van Aert and Gesink are going to have to rid out of their skins today, and we're going to have to see something exceptional from Tom Dumoulin. Sepp Kuss, he has to put in another stellar ride too.
We still don't know the nature of Buchmann's injuries but from this shot it's unlikely to be a collarbone if he's being handled like that.
Here's our latest update on Buchmann and Kruijswijk. We'll have more shortly.
They're dropping like flies, and now André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Andreas Schillinger (Bora-Hansgrohe) are out of the race too. 88km to go.
Three is the magic number: De la Cruz takes max points on the first three climbs of the stage.
We're now onto the third cat climb of the Côte d'Héry sur Ugine. The gap is back to 3;30 with 86km still to race.
There's a long descent now into the valley and from there it's almost exclusively uphill for the rest of the stage. If you're just tuning in, it's been a crazy morning.
We started with the news that Egan Bernal wouldn't start due to a sore back.
Then a large group, packed with stellar riders jumped off the front.
And in the last couple of hours, two Tour de France contenders have crashed out.
Oh and we've got Il Lombardia going on right now too.
The leading group have now stretched their lead to four minutes with 77km to go. It's still Jumbo-Visma and Groupama on the front and setting the pace for the peloton.
We've not even had chance to talk about how strong today's break is. Look at this talent:
Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-McLaren), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team), Dylan van Baarle (Team Ineos), Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-McLaren) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Lennard Kamnä (Bora-Hansgrohe), David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates), Marc Soler (Movistar), Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) , Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Ineos), Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Fausto Masnada (CCC Team) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step).
De la Cruz crests the latest climb first and is now the leader of the KOM competition. That's his unless his teammate, Formolo, can find something extra later on in the stage. Don't think he needs to after yesterday's stage win, and this is much better from UAE after a poor showing on stage 2.
The break are holding their 3'40 advantage with 69km to go in the stage, and while we only have two more categorised climbs to go, most of the stage is uphill from here until the finish. Even the intermediate sprint comes near an uphill section. You have to feel for the sprinters who were sent here.
82km into the stage and Roglic has crashed.
We don't know any more other than the race leader has fallen.
We wait nervously to find out the condition of the race leader. To repeat, Primoz Roglic has crashed.
We are hearing reports that he is back on his bike.
Several confirmed witnesses have said that Roglic is back on his bike and racing. We don't know anymore at this stage.
This really has been a day of major drama and we've still got to major climbs to come.
The 15 leaders are starting to climb and they have a lead of 4'00 with 62km to go.
ASO report that Roglic's clothing is ripped but that he's back in the bunch. At least he's back on the bike.
The bunch eased for the race leader after his fall and that's given the break another minute, which in turn means that Kamna is just 21 seconds off the yellow jersey. I'm not sure I can handle too many more plots twists right now.
Roglic, as we can see now, landed on his left side. He looks fine but his shorts and jersey are torn and there's spots of blood.
We're still some way off the next climb of the Montée de Bisanne, which is a HC ascent and easily the longest climb of the day.
Just over 50km to go and the gap between the 15 leaders and the main field is down to 4'30.
Jumbo now drive the peloton but there are swarms of riders from Bahrain and Ineos in the mix. Formolo, meanwhile has gone back to the team car and is currently riding back to the bunch.
A reminder of the riders in the break. It's the biggest super group since NSYNC and Backstreet Boys merged.
Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-McLaren), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team), Dylan van Baarle (Team Ineos), Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-McLaren) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Lennard Kamnä (Bora-Hansgrohe), David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates), Marc Soler (Movistar), Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) , Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Ineos), Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Fausto Masnada (CCC Team) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step).
48km to go and Wout van Aert is on the front and setting the pace. Huge responsibility on his shoulders and he string out the peloton with the gap at 3'34.
And the break is starting to splinter as we start to climb once more.
Gesink and Van Aert are swapping turns and it looks like Roglic is fine from what we can see. 47km to go.
We are hearing some reports that Roglic briefly got into the team car but then decided to press... huge if true.
Barguil either isn't happy with the pace or wants to set up something for Quintana. He's just attacked with 46km to go.
We're onto the lower slopes of the Montée de Bisanne but Barguil only has a small gap.
De Gendt has been dropped and we're down to just five leaders from the break. Alaphilippe, De la Cruz, Haig, Elissonde, and Masnada. Back in the main field and Chris Froome has been dropped. 45km to go.
Gesink grits his teeth and really puts the hammer down. Jumbo are giving it everything as they go deep to protect Roglic. I can image us seeing some huge time gaps today, even among the GC contenders.
Castroviejo has pulled up as we see Bahrain McLaren move to the front of the peloton. They're gunning for Roglic.
They even briefly ride off the front and Van Aert has to close this one down.
Valverde latches on and clearly Landa feels good today. That mini-split has been closed down but now Thomas has been dropped.
We're down to about 30 riders in the main field as the break swells again.
Valls sets the pace for Bahrain-McLaren as we now see Formolo, Gesink and Yates lose ground. This pace is utterly relentless.
And now Van Aert has cracked. 41km to go.
That means that Roglic only has two riders left with him, Kuss and Dumoulin.
And now Mas and Valverde have been dropped. Movistar are in a complete state.
Barguil is the next rider to pop as the gap between the break drop to 2'30 with 39km to go.
Pinto and Quintana are both still there and they have support as we see Bahrain keep this frantic pace up. Up ahead and the break split once more and Alaphilliipe jumps away with 38km to go and only a couple of riders can go with him.
Oh my god. They dropped Kenny!
And now it's just Alaphilippe and Kwiatkowski left at the front of the race with 37km to go.
There are just a dozen riders left in the Roglic group but up ahead a few more riders have joined up with our two leaders.
Pinot has crashed. Not sure when but he's kit is torn too. This has been complete carnage.
Elissonde, Kämna and De la Cruz have linked up with Kwiatkowski and Alaphilippe. and now Kamna attacks with 37km to go.
Teuns has been caught by the bunch and he will for sure take a long pull for his teammates. And sure he does. Nice tactics from Rod Ellingworth's men.
Hirschi has made contact with the leaders too, so that's six leaders on the road with 36km to go. 2.7km until the summit of this HC ascent.
Masnada, he makes it back too as Alaphilippe sets the pace. The leaders have 2'33 as we see De Gendt get swallowed up by the Bahrain-McLaren train.
Jumbo Visma come to the front as all of the Bahrain riders, bar Landa, have been burned off.
Haig is back with the leaders as we see Martin (Cofidis) dropped.
It's Dumoulin on the front with Roglic and Kuss on his wheel. 34km to go with the break at 1'42.
Lopez is hanging on and Martin is coming back, but we're down to less than 10 riders in the Roglic group as we move ever closer to the summit of the climb.
De la Cruz is first over the top and now we're onto the descent. Martinez, Pinot and Quintana are still in this very small Roglic group.
Lopez is about to lose contact but it's Lopez, so he'll be back on the descent.
The peloton crest the top of the HC climb and Dumoulin gobbles down a gel before getting back to work and setting the pace.
30km to go
Situation: Elissonde, Kämna, De la Cruz, Kwiatkowski, Masnada, Alaphilippe, Haig, Hirschi have 1'24 over the peloton with 30km to go.
Roglic is the only GC rider with help in the peloton, as Pinot, Landa, Quintana and others are all isolated.
Bardet, he makes it back to the yellow jersey group, as Mohoric is caught and hands a bottle to Landa. As we see Rolland attack but Dumoulin brings him back.
Rolland goes again on the descent and once again Dumoulin goes after him. 26km to go.
Kuss has dropped back for some bottles as the pace drops slightly in the Roglic group. We'll see a number of riders come back but it will blow up on the final climb. I can't see Porte, so it looks like he was dropped on the HC climb.
18km to go, we're almost climbing again and the gap is at 2'05.
Pinot is Roglic's closest rival at 14 second but both riders have fallen today. It's a nail-biting finish.
The Roglic group has swelled to 20 or so riders with 16.5km to go as the break start to look at each other before the climb starts.
The final climb isn't that steep so it's more rolling than anything. That will help the break as we see the lead go out to 2'33 as Rolland has another go. Why? We don't know.
Wout van Aert has made it back, Gesink and Barguil, and several others and it's Van Aert who moves to the front and sets the pace. 13km to go.
Can't see the break being caught on this climb at this point. They have 2'24 with 10km to go as we see Van Aert drive the yellow jersey group along.
The Jumbo Visma rider is basically in full time trial mode on the front and he's just holding the break at 2'23.
The Roglic group take ten seconds off the break's lead in 900m... it's not really enough but that will suit Roglic, who doesn't need to fight for bonus seconds.
8km to go
The eight leaders are working well but the favourites must be Kwiatskowski or Alaphilippe.
Elissonde attacks with 7.4km with very smart move on the right hand side.
The pint-sized climber has a gap and he's moving clear of his rivals. The yellow jersey is at 2'10.
Elissonde has 14 seconds of a gap but we now see De la Cruz try and go after him. 6.2km to go.
Elissonde looks good at this point as Pinot pours a bidon over his head and Van Aert still sets the pace.
A couple more attacks from the break but Elissonde still leads with De la Cruz on his case.
There's still a long way to go on the climb with 5.5km to go.
De la Cruz looks fresher but Kemna and Kwiatkowksi are coming back too. We might have four leaders shortly.
5.1km and De La Cruz catches Elissonde but the Frenchman can just about hang on as Kemna makes it three leaders, and then Kamna attacks and only De La Cruz can go with him. 4.3km to go.
Elissonde is about five seconds back but he's not given up just yet. At the moment it's Kamna and De La Cruz but now it's just the Bora rider left with 3.7km to go. Kamna is going solo.
Alaphilippe then attacks but surely he's got too much left to do at this point. Kamna is clear.
Kamna looks back but he doesn't need to as his gap is healthy with 2.9km to go.
The road kicks up again but the Bora rider looks strong at the moment, so it's going to take something really special to catch him.
Kamna has 15 seconds with 2.2km to go and now it's up to 17 seconds.
Haig then jumps away but it's far, far too late. 40 seconds for Kamna as Lopez moves away from the Roglic group.
Less than 800m to go and Kamna is going to take the biggest win of his career.
Lennard Kämna wins stage 4 of the Criterium du Dauphine.
De La Cruz will take second and the KOM jersey.
A bit of a sprint for third and it's Alphilippe who takes it ahead of Haig.
Here come Groupama on the front of the yellow jersey group and it's Pinot who leads us home but there's no splits in the GC group.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||4:27:56|
|2||David De la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates||0:00:41|
|3||Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep||0:00:56|
|4||Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott||0:00:58|
|5||Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo||0:01:02|
|6||Fausto Masnada (Ita) CCC Team||0:01:10|
|7||Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Ineos||0:01:19|
|8||Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team Sunweb||0:01:43|
|9||Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||0:03:01|
|10||Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma|
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma||17:45:32|
|2||Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||0:00:14|
|3||Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis||0:00:24|
|4||Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren||0:00:26|
|5||Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Pro Cycling|
|6||Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team||0:00:32|
|7||Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic||0:00:35|
|8||Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo|
|9||Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates||0:01:17|
|10||Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale||0:01:24|
A bitter sweet day for Bora who take the stage win but lost Buchmann to injury in an earlier fall.
You can find our reports, results and photos, right here.
Relief for Roglic, who was under pressure when a key teammate crashed. Then he fell, then Bahrain-McLaren briefly threatened, but in the end Jumbo Visma came through and survived. Just one more day to go.
The biggest news of the day came before the start, however, with Team Ineos pulling Egan Bernal out to a back injury. Here's our story.
We've just seen awful footage of Remco Evenepoel crashing out of Il Lombardia. It's a terrible fall, with the young Belgian going over the barriers and into a ravine. Reports are that he's conscious. Here's the latest update we have.
Our full report and results from today's Criterium du Dauphine stage can be found just here.
And Roglic remains in yellow.
That's about all we have time for today. We'll be back tomorrow with complete live coverage from the final stage of the Criterium du Dauphine.
Thanks for joining us.
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