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Tour de France stage 4 – Live coverage

(Image credit: ASO)

Tour de France: Caleb Ewan wins stage 3

Tour de France's first summit finish: a power climb – Preview

2020 Tour de France stage 4 preview

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2020 Tour de France start list

2020 Tour de France: The Essential Guide

Stage 4 result

1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 4:07:47

2 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates

3 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis

4 Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic

5 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep

6 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team

7 Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers

8 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ

9 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren

10 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott

General classification

1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep 18:07:04

2 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:04

3 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:07

4 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:11

5 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 0:00:13

6 Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:17

7 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma

8 Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott

9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic

10 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team

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Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 4 of the Tour de France, the first summit finish of the race to  Orcières-Merlette.

We're around 35 minutes away from the start of the stage in Sisteron. The start festivities are underway, while the start proper will be called at 13:30 local time, five minutes after the roll out from the town.

Lotto Soudal sprinter Caleb Ewan won yesterday's stage into Sisteron with a dazzling sprint finish. He's still pretty pleased about it, but today is far from a day for him.

If you missed yesterday's action then we have a comprehensive stage report here as well as a look at the stage 3 highlights

Today we'll have five climbs on the menu, culminating in the first category summit finish.

Col du Festre: 7.6km, 5.3 per cent

Côte de Corps: 2.2km, 6.3 per cent

Côte de l’Aullagnier: 3km, 6.4 per cent

Côte de Saint-Léger-les-Mélèzes: 2.8km, 6.8 per cent

Orcières-Merlette: 7.1km, 6.7 per cent

Today will be the first big chance for the GC favourites to make their mark. Early summit finishes are usually quieter affairs than anticipated, with a large group of GC men crossing the line together. Will things be different today?

A bit of a downbeat look at the day from one of them, Arkéa-Samsic's Nairo Quintana...

We're about to get underway in just a few minutes now.

There's a 2.5km ride through the town of Sisteron before the flag drops and racing gets underway.

160km to go

And here we go. Christian Prudhomme drops the flag and the director's car is away.

Five riders have jumped away immediately. Krists Neilands and Nils Politt (Israel Start-Up Nation) are up there, as is Tiesj Benoot (Team Sunweb).

Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale), Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) are there too, while Mathieu Burgaudeau (Total Direct Energie) also made it across.

156km to go

The six-man group is already a minute up the road. Not much of a battle for the break, then...

3:30 for the breakaway now. Those are certainly our six for today.

A good job by Israel Start-Up Nation to get two men in the break here, at their first Tour de France. Hard to imagine this group has a chance to stay away until the end, though...

Deceuninck-QuickStep are up front with two men leading the peloton. Their team leader Julian Alaphilippe wears yellow today.

144km to go

3:50 for the break. It's a sunny day in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department.

Tim Declercq and Remi Cavagna are the men on the front for Deceuninck-QuickStep. Jumbo-Visma lurk right behind the duo.

Vuillermoz, who lay 3:53 down on Alaphilippe this morning, is now the virtual leader of the race. The break are 4:10 up the road at the moment.

Julian Alaphilippe at the start today:

"It’s a nice stage today and another day for me to enjoy wearing the yellow jersey. The finale won’t be a walk in the park but I’ll give everything to retain the yellow jersey.

"Some favourites for the GC would be happy if I’d stay in the lead for longer but others like Adam Yates who is only four seconds down would love to take over from me. Anyway, the end of the Tour is still a long way away…"

UAE Team Emirates are next in line behind Deceuninck-QuickStep and Jumbo-Visma.

134km to go

There's not a ton going on right now. The intermediate sprint comes with 109km to go.

Some analysis of yesterday's stage courtesy of our colleagues at Procycling magazine:

Tour de France stage 3 analysis: Ewan proves 2019 was no fluke

Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 3rd stage Nice Sisteron 198 km 31082020 Caleb Ewan AUS Lotto Soudal Sam Bennett IRL Deceuninck Quick Step photo Kei TsujiBettiniPhoto2020

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The wind is blowing on these flat roads and the peloton is all strung out in single file under the high pace up front.

The wind isn't too strong though, so there's no danger of big splits in the peloton heree.

Riders are peeling off from the peloton for nature breaks. No worries in the main group.

No wonder-drugs in Remco Evenepoel's pocket, says Boonen

Retired Belgian comes to youngster's defence and reveals 'concrete plans' had been made for comeback

121km to go

3:25 between break and peloton. There's 11km to go until the intermediate sprint, so we should see Sagan and co jump away from the peloton there.

Tour de France's first summit finish: a power climb – Preview

While Orcières-Merlette has the honour of being the 2020 Tour de France's first summit finish for stage 4 on Tuesday, in one sense it wouldn't matter much if it were missed off the route for another two or three decades. And that's because whatever happens today, when it comes to the sheer scale of the events there back in 1971, it's very, very unlikely to match them.

Luis Ocaña (centre) and Lucien Van Impe go on the attack with race leader Joop Zoetemelk and Joaquim Agostinho on stage 11 of the 1971 Tour de France between Grenoble and Orcières-Merlette

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

111km to go

2km to go until the sprint now. 3:10 between break and peloton. No real change in the situation.

Politt led the break over the sprint ahead of Burgaudeau and Benoot.

Nine points down to one point on offer for the peloton.

Sam Bennett and Peter Sagan are up towards the front of the peloton in anticipation of the sprint.

Total Direct Energie lead the way to the sprint. Sagan sits on Bennett's wheel.

Bennett takes the nine points for seventh place. Sagan was only the sixth man over the line in the peloton after a wild effort ended with him being boxed in. Four points for him, then.

Nizzolo, Coquard and Trentin also grabbed some points. A number of riders – Ewan, Greipel, Bol – were nowhere.

Looks like Bennett will take green off Sagan then. He was five points behind the Slovakian but made up those points there.

103km to go

Bennet hit 70kph in that intermediate sprint after jumping from Michael Mørkøv's wheel. It was a fast one.

A quick video highlight of that intermediate sprint from the peloton:

The break are about to start the Col du Festre (7.6km, 5.3 per cent) now, the first climb of the day.

100km to go

The breakaway passes the 100km to go mark shortly after starting the third-category climb.

The Deceuninck-QuickStep duo and Jumbo-Visma remain planted on the front of the peloton.

This six-man break is hardly made up of star climbers, but so far they're all sticking together on this Cat 3 climb. Three minutes back to the peloton.

The two Israel Start-Up Nation riders lead the way in the break.

96km to go

The break are 3km from the top of the climb now. Only two and one point available up there, by the way.

700 metres from the top and Pacher goes on the attack from the break.

The Frenchman has a decent gap on his breakmates and looks like leading the way over the top.

Pacher takes the two points at the top. Politt led the rest of the break over.

The peloton will cross the top of the climb in 2:50.

89km to go

A short downhill before another kick up and a longer descent before the next climb. Politt has gone off the front of the break.

The fourth-category Côte de Corps comes in around 25 kilometres.

Politt is really going for it here. He has a handful of seconds on the rest of the break in the downhill.

82km to go

12 seconds between Politt and the break, 3:20 back to the peloton.

The full Deceuninck-QuickStep team has taken to thhe front of the peloton now, in addition to Declercq and Cavagna, who have been there all day.

73km to go

Politt is still out there, just 10 seconds up the road. His teammate Krists Neilands is hanging in at the back of the break, not doing any work obviously.

Tour de France bikes: Julian Alaphilippe's Tarmac SL7

Clincher tyres, inner tubes, mountain bike rotors and a splash of yellow for the Frenchman in the maillot jaune

Julian Alaphilippe's Specialized Tarmac SL7

(Image credit: Wout Beel)

Politt is back with the break now. 7km to go until the next KOM – the Côte de Corps: 2.2km, 6.3 per cent.

Now Vuillermoz has slipped off the front of the break. 

A rather large group has split from the rear of the peloton on the descent. Shouldn't be any worries to make it back fairly quickly though.

The break close in on the top of our second climb of the day. Only one point on offer up there.

Here's a look at today's six-man break:

Team Jumbo rider New Zealands George Bennett R Team AG2R La Mondiale rider Frances Alexis Vuillermoz C and Team Total Direct Energie rider Frances Mathieu Burgaudeau L ride at the front of the race during the 4th stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 157 km between Sisteron and OrcieresMerlette on September 1 2020 Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD AFP Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARDAFP via Getty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Pacher leads the break over the top of the climb. Another point for him, so three in total now.

60km to go

25km to go until the next climb of the day, the third-category Côte de l'Aullagnier.

55km to go

Pacher, Vuillermoz and Politt have taken over the lead of the race after a split in the breakaway. 2:40 back to the peloton.

Politt drops back to help his teammate Neilands, however.

The move didn't last long at all. The break is all back together now.

50km to go

Still no change in situation at the moment. It's an uphill drag to the next classified climb.

Roll on the finale...

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The breakaway now has 10km to go til the next climb of the day. The gap is 2:30.

Tour de France: Alaphilippe equals Thévenet in list of French yellow-jersey wearers

Current race leader has held jersey for 16 days in his career, matching 1975 and 1977 Tour champion Bernard Thévenet – and is just one day away from Darrigade and Pingeon

Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Julian Alaphilippe easily held on to his leader’s yellow jersey for another day on stage 3 of the 2020 Tour de France, finishing safely in the main bunch in Sisteron

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The break hit the Côte de l'Aullagnier now. It's 3km at 6.4 per cent with two and one point on offer at the top.

37km to go

A number of teams are at the front of the peloton, spread across the road. Jumbo-Visma, Deceuninck-QuickStep, Cofidis, Trek-Segafredo, AG2R La Mondiale.

A 41kph average pace after three hours of racing. The break are in the final kilometre of the climb.

Who will take the points? Pacher once again, I imagine...

Yep, Pacher heads to the front for the final 500 metres. That's another two points for the Frenchman.

Five points for him now as he goes joint-fifth in the mountain classification.

33km to go

The Côte de Saint-Léger-les-Mélèzes is 13km away. Then it'll be a short downhill before we finally reach the final climb of the day. We should see some sort of action there...

BIG DRAMA ON THE CLIMB!

Greg Van Avermaet has a mechanical issue before sprinting back to the peloton.

Some sprinters are dropping away from the rear of the peloton. Nizzolo, Kristoff, Coquard, Greipel all at the back.

Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) gets a wheel change from Mavic neutral service.

The break hit a descent on the run-in to the penultimate climb of Côte de Saint-Léger-les-Mélèzes. That's 2.8km long at an average of 6.8 per cent.

Tiesj Benoot crashes out of the break, going over the armco barrier into the grass. He's OK but his seat post and top tube got sliced clean in two.

25km to go

1:45 between break and peloton now, with Benoot riding between them.

Here's a look at Benoot's Cervelo after that crash.

Tiesj Benoot broken bike Tour de France 2020

(Image credit: Eurosport)

The Belgian is back with the peloton now. The breakaway hits the penultimate climb.

21km to go

Nils Politt drops back from the break on the climb. Four left now.

And now Burgaudeau drops. Just Pacher, Neilands and Vuillermoz left.

Four Deceuninck-QuickStep riders left at the front of the peloton now, including Alaphilippe. Jumbo-Visma and Arkéa-Samsic are just behind them.

Neilands heads off in search of two KOM points and the combativity prize. He has a gap on Pacher and Vuillermoz.

Neilands took the two points and Pacher took one. A descent now to the base of Orcières-Merlette.

Here's a look at the final climb today.

Orcieres-Merlette TDF 2020

(Image credit: ASO)

14km to go

20 seconds between Neilands and the Pacher-Vuillermoz group. 1:15 back to the peloton.

Kasper Asgreen and Bob Jungels remain at the front for Alaphlippe. Jumbo-Visma and Ineos Grenadiers lie behind the Belgian team.

10km to go

Neilands passes under the 10km banner. He's just 40 seconds up on the peloton now.

Pacher and Vuillermoz are brought back. Neilands is the last man standing but he won't last much longer either.

9km to go

UAE Team Emirates, Arkéa-Samsic and Jumbo-Visma are all positioned at the front. Alaphlippe has Jungels for company.

8km to go

Neilands has just 15 seconds now. It's almost over for him.

7km to go

And Neilands is caught just as the climb officially begins. Bahrain, Jumbo, UAE, Astana, EF all visible towards the front of the peloton.

6km to go

Tony Martin drops off and now Alaphilippe is at the front with two teammates.

Ineos move to the front for the first time now. Four of their men move up.

Dries Devenyns drops back and now it's just Jungels left for Alaphilippe.

The group is still quite large though. Around 50 riders are there.

5km to go

So far it looks like an attritional climb with a large group of favourites together at the finish, just as everyone predicted.

Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) is still in there at the back of the group.

4.5km to go

An attack! Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) jumps away from the peloton to bid for a stage victory.

4km to go

UAE Team Emirates put a rider on the front in response. Nobody else went with Rolland there.

Rolland is quickly brought back. Robert Gesink has done his work for the day and drops from the group.

Mitchelton-Scott send Mikel Nieve up front.

3.5km to go

Dan Martin (ISN) is off the back too, still getting back to full fitness after his Dauphiné crash and injury.

3km to go

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) is leading the peloton now, as Greg Van Avermaet drops. Not the hardest climb we'll see all Tour, this.

2.5km to go

No movement in the peloton yet as Van Aert controls things...

Alaphilippe, Roglič, Bernal all close behind the Belgian leading the peloton.

2km to go

Three Ineos men are right behind Van Aert, with Sepp Kuss the next man in line.

1.5km to go

Still no change in the situation. Alaphilippe sits behind Ineos now.

Van Aert drops off the front now. Kuss takes it up after Ineos decline to do so.

1km to go

Final kilometre! Kuss leads the way ahead of Roglič.

Bernal, Pogačar, Alaphilippe, Landa all lined out behind the Jumbo men.

Quintana, Pinot, Yates further back.

500m to go

Still Kuss pushes the pace. Roglič should launch soon?

Guillaume Martin attacks!

Roglič gives chase and gets on the wheel.

Martin launches the sprint but Roglič comes around the outside.

Pogačar and Alaphilippe try to get across but it's an easy win for Roglič!

Roglič wins stage 4 ahead of Pogačar, Alaphilippe, Quintana, Martin and López.

Landa, Bernal, Yates, Pinot were also in the lead group.

No time gaps in the group, just bonuses for the top three. Alaphilippe remains in yellow.

Dumoulin, Chaves, Mollema, Porte and Urán also finished in that first group. 15 riders accounted for so far.

Bardet was the last man in the lead group.

Carapaz (24th at 28s), Martínez (26th at 28s), Higuita (27th at 28s), Buchmann (17th at 9s), Valverde (21st at 21s), Mas (18th 9s), Aru all lost time today.

Stage result

1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 4:07:47

2 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates

3 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis

4 Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic

5 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep

6 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team

7 Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers

8 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ

9 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren

10 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott

General classification

1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep 18:07:04

2 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:04

3 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:07

4 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:11

5 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 0:00:13

6 Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:17

7 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma

8 Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott

9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic

10 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team

Here's what Roglič had to say after the finish:

"Phew, it was quite a fast day, it was hard but the guys again did a really good job; I was always in a good position and so could do a nice sprint, so I’m very happy. 

"It’s the news I have to accept, I don't really care. It’s a nice day, wes stayed safe and we won, so even better. Let's continue like that. 

"I’m coming back [to my best], eh. We can see that I can race and every day I feel a little better. It's nice to be able to ride again. I already got proof that I was ready for the start. Now we need to continue the whole team with good job."

Roglič sprinting to victory on top of the mountain.

ORCIERES FRANCE SEPTEMBER 01 Sprint Arrival Primoz Roglic of Slovenia and Team Jumbo Visma Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia and UAE Team Emirates Guillaume Martin of France and Team Cofidis Solutions Credits during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 4 a 1605km stage from Sisteron to OrcieresMerlette 1825m TDF2020 LeTour on September 01 2020 in Orcieres France Photo by Stephane Mahe PoolGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) injected some life into proceedings late on, putting in an attack with 600 metres to go before finishing third. Here's what he had to say afterwards.

"The sensations were good. The final climb was quite rolling, as we’d expected. There weren’t a lot of attacks from distance and the tempo was high. There was a lot of battling for positions too.

"The final kilometre went well, and then with 600m to go, I tried to spring a surprise. I said this morning I was going to be opportunistic and that’s what I tried to do. In the sprint, I wasn’t able to win but it was good to be up there.

"The Tour is still long and there are much harder days ahead of us."

Not too many big conclusions to take from today.

Jumbo-Visma and Roglič are firmly in control as the strongest team. Ineos... are not. Injured Buchmann lost some time. Movistar are off the pace. Urán is stronger than EF's young guns. Carapaz was building to the GIro, not the Tour.

Today we mostly got confirmation on what we already knew or suspected.

Here's our short report, gallery and results from today's stage. A full report will be coming soon.

Here's what race leader Julian Alaphilippe had to say after today's stage.

"The objective today was to control things to keep the jersey. Obviously, in the final, I’d love to have been able to win and I tried to do it, but the tempo was very, very high on the final ascent. I was on the limit, so there’s no disappointment.

"The Jumbo-Visma train was really hard to follow, so there’s no disappointment for us. We’re just happy to be in yellow again tomorrow. But I don’t want to ruin the team either, we’re not here to control the race for three weeks."

Tour de France: Which GC contenders lost time on first summit finish

Roglič moves up to third as Alaphilippe hangs on

Roglič with his customary celebration on the podium today.

ORCIERES FRANCE SEPTEMBER 01 Podium Primoz Roglic of Slovenia and Team Jumbo Visma Celebration Medal Flowers Mask Covid safety measures during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 4 a 1605km stage from Sisteron to OrcieresMerlette 1825m TDF2020 LeTour on September 01 2020 in Orcieres France Photo by AnneChristine Poujoulat PoolGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Tour de France 2020 stage 4: Finish line quotes

Reaction from Roglič, Alaphilippe, Bernal, Buchmann and Pinot

We'll have more stories and analysis from stage 4 coming througgh the evening so keep checking back for more.

Bernal biding his time for the third week of Tour de France

As Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) confirmed at Orcières-Merlette he is on the comeback trail with a vengeance, Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) said he is aiming to play a long game at the Tour de France this year - just as he did so successfully in 2019.

Check out highlights of stage 4 here.

Analysis of what went down on stage 4, courtesy of our colleagues at Procycling magazine.

Tour de France stage 4 analysis: Jumbo-Visma's rise to the top

First Tour de France mountain finish reveals Alaphilippe's GC weaknesses

'I'm very proud to be in the yellow jersey but our plan won't change' says Frenchman

Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 4th stage Sisteron Orcieres Merlette 1605 km 01092020 Julian Alaphilippe FRA Deceuninck Quick Step photo POOL Yuzuru SunadaBettiniPhoto2020

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Tour de France: Pogacar shadows Roglic to move into best young rider jersey

2019 Vuelta a España podium finisher currently in fourth overall in Tour

Tour de France: Doubts over Roglic's injuries evaporate at Orcières-Merlette

Slovenian takes third stage win of career and 2020 Tour's first summit finish

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