- Van Aert misses out by two seconds but extends overall lead
- Roglic and Vingegaard best of the pre-race favourites
Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 4 of the Critérium du Dauphiné
After three hilly opening stages, the battle for the overall title begins in earnest with this 31.9km time trial. Given the relative lack of mountains compared to previous editions, this lengthy TT is set to prove pivotal.
Pre-race Primoz Roglic is expected to lay down foundations for overall victory by putting time into the purer climbers, while his teammate Wout van Aert is already in the overall lead and is among the favourite's for the stage win. However, while Van Aert has tried to win all three stages so far - and succeeded once - world time trial champion Filippo Ganna has been saving himself for today and starts as the hot favourite.
Matthew Walls (Bora-Hansgrohe) is the first rider down the ramp. We're setting off in reverse order of the general classification, at intervals of one minute.
This is the start area today
⏱ Jour de chrono sur le #Dauphiné ! La route est mouillée, mais il ne pleut plus.⏱ ITT day on the #Dauphiné! The route is wet, but it’s not raining anymore. pic.twitter.com/ghNESdoiS2June 8, 2022
There aren't many big contenders among the early starters. Luke Durbridge (BikeExchange) at 13:25 can set a strong time but it's Ganna at 13:52 who acts as the reference point for this time trial.
For the full list of start times, click here.
A little bit more about today's course. It's pretty much flat, with the exception of a drag up to kilometre-21, but it's nothing that will really disrupt the rhythm. It's also not overly technical, so it's one for the big rouleurs.
Here's a look at the map. Ignore the orange line.
We have two intermediate time checkpoints on today's course, the first after 11.6km and the second after 21km.
We have our first finisher. It's not Walls (who's heavily bandaged after crashes earlier in the week), but Dries Van Gestel (Total Energies), who posts a time of 38 minutes 56 seconds.
But Mathias Norsgaard (Movistar) swiftly bumps Van Gestel out of the hotseat and puts more than a minute into his time, raising the bar to 37:42.
Ganna starts his ride!
B&B Hotels' Miguel Heidemann goes four seconds quicker than Jorgenson, but Durbridge is nearing the finish and set for the hotseat.
Durbridge with the early benchmark
The Australian puts 1:13 into Heidemann and sets a new fastest time of 36:25.
Ganna going well
He's 19 seconds up on Durbridge after 11.6km
Ganna finds another 20 seconds on Durbridge at the second checkpoint. He could finish a minute up at this rate.
Ganna into the lead
The world champion stops the clock on 35:32. He takes 53 seconds out of Durbridge to move into the hotseat. Will he stay there all afternoon?
Frenchman Remi Cavagna (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) is underway now. He's one of the few riders expected to be able to get close to Ganna today.
Here's Ganna on his way to the best time so far
Ganna's average speed?
Cavagna doesn't look like he's going to trouble the world champion. He's half a minute down at the first checkpoint.
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Jannik Steimle (QuickStep) is the third fastest rider so far but he's 1:40 down on Ganna.
Cavagna more than a minute down at the second checkpoint.
Cavagna finishes in fourth place so far, 1:52 down on Ganna.
Ethan Hayter starts
The young Brit missed out to Van Aert on the opening day but is also a very strong time triallist and could be a dark horse today.
Hayter is going strong. Not as strong as Ganna, but better than the rest. He's 30 seconds down on his teammate at the second checkpoint and nine seconds up on Durbridge.
A reminder of our running order
Time for the GC contenders
With only medium mountains so far, there's not much to separate the riders at the top of the overall standings, and there's a group of 20 riders who are all 23 seconds down on Van Aert, then a few whose deficit is a little less. Samuele Battistella is the first of that big group to set off but the first real contender is Jumbo-Visma co-leader Jonas Vingegaard.
Vingegaard has started well, 21 seconds down on Ganna at the first checkpoint after 11.6km
Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos) set off after Vingegaard and is 11 seconds slower at the first checkpoint.
Hayter is coming into the finish. He's not going to beat Ganna but he's going to go well quicker than anyone else.
35:49 for Hayter - 17 seconds down on Ganna and 36 seconds up on Durbridge.
Hayter was 30 seconds down on Ganna at the second checkpoint and 17 seconds down at the finish, so he rode the final 10km quicker than the world champion.
Vingegaard is almost a minute down on Ganna at the second checkpoint, although the real benchmark for him will be his GC rivals.
Geoghegan Hart is 18 seconds down on Vingegaard at the second checkpoint.
Wilco Kelderman and Enric Mas are several seconds down on Vingegaard at the first checkpoint, while Damiano Caruso goes a couple of seconds quicker.
Primoz Roglic is heading towards the start ramp. He's 8th overall so after him we have seven riders to take to the course
Mechanical for McNulty!
The US rider is fuming. He was in the GC mix but it could be falling apart here.
He stops, bangs his top tube, and the mechanic comes over and starts fumbling with the rear wheel. He can't get to grips with it, and it's decided a new bike is needed. Arms in the air from McNulty. Finally, he gets a new machine and gets on his way, but that will cost him dearly.
McNulty has had a great season so far and is among the stronger TT riders of the overall contenders. That advantage has been wiped out here.
Vingegaard comes to the finish. Fourth place so far, 1:11 down on Ganna's top time.
Roglic, Vingegaard's co-leader here and at the Tour, is underway.
Vingegaard was the first pre-race favourite from this main GC pack, so he'll be our reference point for the time being.
Spanish sensation Juan Ayuso (UAE) has started well, a second up on Vingegaard at the first checkpoint.
Mas is going well too, fifth at the second check, 11 seconds down on Vingegaard
Geoghegan Hart comes to the finish now.... fifth place so far. 1:31 down on Ganna, 19 seconds down on Vingegaard. A solid showing.
Caruso has lost a little in the middle section, now a few seconds down on Vingegaard.
Ineos are having a good day. Michal Kwiatkowski has made it four riders in the top seven for them as it stands.
Mattia Cattaneo (QuickStep) has gone through the first checkpoint just 8 seconds down on Ganna.
Kelderman comes to the finish now. He rode the Giro so is squeezing out the form from that. He's 1:47 down on Ganna, 36 seconds down on Vingegaard, who's our GC reference at this stage.
McNulty is 1:14 down on Ganna at the first checkpoint, and nearly a minute down on Vingegaard. That bike change mess has proven costly.