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Stage 4 of the Tour de France is a flat run from Redon to Fougères that should present the sprinters with another opportunity, though it remains to be seen how the peloton will approach the day after the crash-marred stage to Pontivy on Monday.

Today's stage gets underway at 13.25 local time but there will be a lot of discussions before then in the aftermath of yesterday's crash-marred stage. We will have reaction from Philippe Gilbert and UCI president David Lappartient shortly, but these were some of the views from the peloton immediately afterwards

Yesterday's fraught stage saw the general classification picture redrawn quite dramatically, with Richard Carapaz (Ineos) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) the only contenders to finish in the front group. For a full rundown of how the GC men fared, click here.

Primoz Roglic

(Image credit: Getty Images)

General classification after stage 3

1          Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix     12:58:53

2          Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep         0:00:08

3          Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers        0:00:31

4          Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma   

5          Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe      0:00:38

6          Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates       0:00:39

7          Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team        0:00:40

8          Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic     

9          Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies        0:00:45

10        Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo       0:00:52

11        Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo          

12        David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ   

13        Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech

14        Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange     

15        Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo   

16        Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:55

17        Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech  

18        Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers        0:01:07

19        Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious         0:01:12

20        Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma     0:01:35

In a video on YouTube, Philippe Gilbert has outlined that the rider representatives and the CPA had asked for stage 3 to be neutralised with 5km to go. While ASO apparently agreed with the move, the UCI commissaires declined the request because the current UCI rule do not allow it. "There was a big mistake accepting this route," Gilbert said, also calling out other teams for not working together for a common good and wider safety in the peloton,' said Gilbert. "What surprises me is that a number of teams reconned the route and didn’t say anything to ASO. If teams had pointed out the dangers then ASO could have changed the final kilometres. Communication is the key to everything." Stephen Farrand has more here.

MAARKEDAL BELGIUM JUNE 09 Philippe Gilbert of Belgium and Team Lotto Soudal at start during the 90th Baloise Belgium Tour 2021 Stage 1 a 1753km stage from Beveren to Maarkedal baloisebelgiumtour on June 09 2021 in Maarkedal Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

UCI president David Lappartient, meanwhile, has blamed the crashes on the riders themselves and the tension in the peloton, rather than on the route design. "The roads were fine, a constant width and there were no traffic islands. It was technical, but there was a  nice finishing straight, it’s just that everybody was going fast because Pontivy is at the bottom of a  steep valley," Lappartient told Ouest France. “Above all, the peloton was very nervous." Read more here.

UCI president David Lappartient at the 2020 World Championships in Imola, Italy

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

There have been conflicting reports this morning about whether the peloton will stage some form of protest before, or perhaps even during, stage 4. There have been whispers of a go-slow for the opening 50km, though this idea has not been endorsed publicly by anybody as yet. Staf Scheirlinckx of the BCPA, the Belgian riders' union, has reportedly told Sporza that the peloton will pause for one minute before the start and proceed cautiously in the opening kilometres, but he denied that any go-slow would last for 50km. 

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) had to visit the X-ray truck after his crash in the run-in of yesterday's stage but the Slovenian did not report any fractures. "Luckily we saw that everything is still in one piece and nothing is broken but I have scars all around my body," he said. "It was not the best day for us but we go on. We can still continue." Stephen Farrand has the full story from Pontivy here.

Roglic

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Roglic's crashed after clipping handlebars with Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious). The Italian champion issued a statement last night to downplay suggestions that he had been at fault in the incident. "Roglič came from behind me to move up, and our handlebars got caught together, which almost pulled us both to the ground. It was only luck that I remained up on the bike. My reaction after the crash was more out of fear than anything else. I'm really sorry for @rogla, and wish it didn't happen, but I don't believe I'm to blame." Read more here.

Tour de France 2021 108th Edition 1st stage Brest Landerneau 1978 km 26062021 Sonny Colbrelli ITA Bahrain Victorious photo Kei TsujiBettiniPhoto2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The CPA has issued a statement calling for the UCI to adapt the 3km rule to 'avoid circumstances such as those which occurred in yesterday's stage.' The statement in full is as follows:

"Following the crashes during the third stage of the Tour de France, CPA has been working with the riders to discuss how they wish to proceed to show their dissatisfaction with safety measures in place and demand their concerns are taken seriously. The riders have agreed this statement.

"Following the crashes during the third stage of the Tour de France, the riders have been discussing how they wish to proceed to show their dissatisfaction with safety measures in place and demand their concerns are taken seriously. Their frustration about foreseeable and preventable action is enormous.

"The riders wish to stress their respect for their sponsors, their sports groups, the organizer, their international institution. Supporters are very important to them – and this is why they will be riding today.

"In return, the riders of the Tour de France ask for the same respect – respect for their safety.

"For this reason they are asking the UCI to setup discussions with all race stakeholders to adapt the 3 km rule during stage races. This could avoid circumstances such as those which occurred in yesterday's stage.

"Through this course of action, the riders intend to show their understanding to all parties and to open up to a constructive dialogue rather than create difficulties for cycling and the fans. However, riders and CPA are determined to pursue changes for the safety and physical integrity of athletes. These changes are more necessary than ever."

Stephen Farrand is at the start in Redon for Cyclingnews. He reports that a source from a leading team has indicated that the peloton will stage a one-minute stoppage at kilometre zero and will then ride at a slow pace for the opening 10 kilometres of the stage in protest at the safety measures on this Tour de France. 

Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal) has now confirmed as much in the mixed zone at the start. The peloton will pause for a minute at kilometre zero and then stage a go-slow for the opening 10km.

The roll-out today is at 13:25 local time, with the peloton due to reach kilometre zero at 13:40. There will be a one-minute stoppage there, and the race will then proceed slowly for the first 10km.

The terrain is flat, with no classified climbs on the agenda, and it is difficult to envisage anything other than a bunch finish in Fougères this afternoon.

Philippe Gilbert has outlined the nature of the planned protest: "We’re going to stop for one minute at kilometre zero, then ride 5-10km easy. Like this, we still have respect for this town here today, which has nothing to do with the accident of yesterday. We know people have worked hard locally and we have to respect this. The most important thing is to open the dialogue with the different families of cycling."

Stephen Farrand spoke to Peter Sagan at the start in Redon, and the three-time world champion was not optimistic that today's protest would lead to significant changes going forward. "What is going to change, I ask myself. As riders we have to change our minds, otherwise, it’s only going to get even worse," Sagan said. "Nothing is going to change anyway. For the last ten years, it’s been worse and worse. Who is going to take responsibility? And I ask myself where is the CPA in all of this? They are the organisation for this and what are they doing? Nothing.

"I don’t know who to blame. For sure, the CPA and the riders have to go to the UCI and make something in between. I don’t know what more to say."

MRDEBRETAGNE GUERLDAN FRANCE JUNE 27 Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team Deceuninck QuickStep yellow leader jersey Peter Sagan of Slovakia and Team BORA Hansgrohe during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 2 a 1835km stage from PerrosGuirec to MrdeBretagne Guerldan 293m LeTour TDF2021 on June 27 2021 in MrdeBretagne Guerldan France Photo by Chris GraythenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Sagan was a faller in the finishing straight yesterday when he was brought down by Caleb Ewan. "Could be better, could be worse," he said when asked about his injuries. "My knee is done and also the side of my leg is pretty done but I try to recover as soon as possible."

Yellow jersey Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) leads the peloton away from the start in Redon. The bunch is currently negotiating the neutralised zone, but they will stop for a minute on reaching kilometre zero. 

There are plenty of clouds overhead, but the roads are mercifully dry as the peloton makes its way through the neutralised zone. 

Primoz Roglic is covered in bandages after his crash yesterday but he could at least poke gentle fun at his travails. "The situation is far from good," Roglič wrote on social media. "But I had to smile, reading all the good wishes and positive thoughts you had sent me. The mummy will be on the start today and we will see how it goes." Read more here.

Tour de France 2021 108th Edition 3rd stage Lorient Pontivy 1829 km 28062021 Injury Primoz Roglic SLO Jumbo Visma photo POOL Etienne GarnierBettiniPhoto2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The only non-starter to report today, incidentally, is Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), who broke his collarbone in that crash in the finishing straight yesterday.

-150km

The planned stoppage at kilometre zero has not taken place. The peloton has rolled through kilometre zero, but now André Greipel rolls to the front and he appears to be requesting for the field to wheel to a halt. 

The peloton eventually rolls to a stop with Greipel in the first line, but it is striking that the jersey wearers are not at the head of the field. After the minute's stop, Julian Alaphilippe leads the bunch away again.

-149km

The peloton is moving again, though - as per the cited plans - there are no early attacks in these opening kilometres. 

Greipel and Thomas De Gendt sit at the head of the peloton, which is ambling gently through the opening kilometres of the stage. Towards the rear of the field, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) and Primoz Roglic are in what appears to be quite amiable conversation after their clash in the finale yesterday.

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-145km

The go-slow continues in these opening kilometres, with the peloton remaining intact for the time being. 

-143km

Mathieu van der Poel avails of the early lull to drop back to his Alpecin-Fenix team car. Yesterday's stage winner Tim Merlier has indicated that the team will today ride to tee up Jasper Philipsen in today's finale. 

Tour de France 2021 108th Edition 3rd stage Lorient Pontivy 1829 km 28062021 Tim Merlier BEL AlpecinFenix Jasper Philipsen BEL AlpecinFenix photo POOL Stephane MaheBettiniPhoto2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

-141km

The race is about 10 minutes down on its slowest planned schedule after the early stoppage and the go-slow. Alpecin-Fenix have now come to the front and they have begun to up the pace slightly. 

-138km

Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) is the first rider to attack, jumping away from the peloton alone, but there is an immediate response.

Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis) joins Van Moer off the front, and they have opened a small gap over the peloton.

-136km

There wasn't a whole amount of resistance to Van Moer and Périchon's attack, and this duo has established a lead of a minute over the peloton. 

-132km

Break:

Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis)

Peloton at 2:30

-127km

Groupama-FDJ and Deceuninck-QuickStep have joined Alpecin-Fenix at the head of the peloton to help keep Van Moer and Perichon's lead under control. For the time being, it has stabilised at 2:35.

Geraint Thomas (Ineos) dislocated his shoulder in his crash yesterday, but the 2018 Tour winner remains in the race today. "The shoulder is a bit sore but hopefully once I get going it will loosen up a bit," Thomas said before the start. "The shoulder for sure is just going to be painful for a few days but I’ll get on with it. It came out yesterday and luckily the race doctor put it back in when I was on the floor. Then it was just instant relief. It felt so much better then. I got back on the bike and managed to finish the stage. I’ll just take it day by day and then we’ll see. We’ll deal with the rest after."

MRDEBRETAGNE GUERLDAN FRANCE JUNE 27 Geraint Thomas of The United Kingdom and Team INEOS Grenadiers at arrival during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 2 a 1835km stage from PerrosGuirec to MrdeBretagne Guerldan 293m LeTour TDF2021 on June 27 2021 in MrdeBretagne Guerldan France Photo by Michael SteeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

-123km

Break:

Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis)

Peloton at 2:30

-119km

Van Moer and Périchon have stretched their lead out to 3 minutes over the peloton, where Tim Declercq (Deceuninck-QuickStep) sets the pace with Alpecin-Fenix lined up en masse on his wheel.

-115km

Groupama-FDJ, Deceuninck-QuickStep and Alpecin-Fenix are holding the break's lead at 3 minutes. After yesterday's fraught stage, there is a pervading atmosphere of calm in the peloton for the time being, but there will inevitably be tension on the run-in to the finish in Fougères. 

Peter Sagan chats in the peloton with Vincenzo Nibali, who was yesterday confirmed as part of the Italian squad for the Tokyo Olympics. There were doubts about Nibali's place after a trying Giro d'Italia, but he has started this Tour well and he has been picked alongside Damiano Caruso, Gianni Moscon, Alberto Bettiol and Giulio Ciccone. "My role could anything, so talking tactics now is pointless," Nibali told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "At the Olympics, the medal is what count. The good of the blue jersey comes ahead of everything else. It's not a case of someone going better than something else, it's about altruism."

As for his GC aspirations here, Nibali said: "Compared to the Giro, I'll feeling very good, in my head too. I'm confident, let's see [...] I think we'll take stock of the situation after the time trial on Wednesday. Right now, I'm not thinking about 'abandoning' the GC."

VALLE SPLUGA ALPE MOTTA ITALY MAY 29 Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and Team Trek Segafredo passing through Valle Spluga Alpe Motta 1727m mountain during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 20 a 164km stage from Verbania to Valle Spluga Alpe Motta 1727m Fans Public UCIworldtour girodiitalia Giro on May 29 2021 in Valle Spluga Alpe Motta Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

-108km

The yellow jersey Mathieu van der Poel is back among the team cars, perhaps doing to a mechanical issue, but the Dutchman looks utterly untroubled as he chases back on. 

-107km

Break:

Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis)

Peloton at 2:45

-102km

Van Moer and Périchon reach Saulnières, slightly down on the day's slowest projected schedule but 2:25 ahead of the peloton.

Van Moer is making his Tour de France debut and he lined up for the race with victory on the opening day of the Critérium du Dauphiné.  That triumph was all the sweeter given that Van Moer had thrown away what looked like a certain victory in Tongeren at the Baloise Belgium Tour the previous week.

ISSOIRE FRANCE MAY 30 Brent Van Moer of Belgium and Team Lotto Soudal stage winner celebrates at arrival during the 73rd Critrium du Dauphin 2021 Stage 1 a 1818km stage from Issoire to Issoire UCIworldtour Dauphin on May 30 2021 in Issoire France Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

-98km

The 34-year-old Périchon is riding the Tour for the sixth time. He has always been an aggressive presence on his previous appearances and we can expect more of the same this time out. He warmed up for the race with seocnd place at Paris-Camembert behind Dorian Godon (AG2R Citroën).

Neither Van Moer nor Perichon is a threat on GC. The Belgian began the day 11:43 off Van der Poel's yellow jersey, while Perichon is over 24 minutes down.

-94km

Break:

Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis)

Peloton at 1:55

-88km

Groupama-FDJ set the tempo in the peloton alongside Alpecin-Fenix. Arnaud Démare is, of course, a contender today, alongside the Alpecin-Fenix fastmen, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Nacer Bouhanni (Arkea-Samsic) and, injuries allowing, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe). 

-79km

Mark Cavendish won in Fougères in 2015 and he is a contender today. "As I keep saying, I've got the best team in the world, the best lead-out and the best equipment," Cavendish said. "The time we were in Fougères I won. it was my last Tour de France stage win with QuickStep and hopefully it can be my first here."

Mark Cavendish at the 2021 Tour de France

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

-76km

The peloton has kept a tight rein on Van Moer and Périchon, whose advantage has dropped to 1:32.

Julian Alaphilippe lies second overall, 8 seconds behind Mathieu van der Poel. The Frenchman wears the green jersey but he might well swap it back for a yellow one after Wednesday's time trial. "It's doable, but I'll need to do a big TT. I'm motivated and I hope the legs are there too," Alaphilippe told Eurosport, whose Deceuninck-QuickStep team is devoted to Cavendish this afternoon. "I hope today will be a less nervous day than yesterday. The objective will be to avoid crashes. It's a good finish for Mark Cavendish and we'll work for him." 

PONTIVY FRANCE JUNE 28 Julian Alaphilippe of France Green Points Jersey Mark Cavendish of The United Kingdom and Team Deceuninck QuickStep during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 3 a 1829km stage from Lorient to Pontivy LeTour TDF2021 on June 28 2021 in Pontivy France Photo by Michael SteeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

-65km

Break:

Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis)

Peloton at 1:45

The race is through the feed zone at Bâton Roulant, where the two leaders have 1:54 in hand on the peloton, though the pace will only begin to ratchet upwards from here. The intermediate sprint today comes at Vitré with 36km remaining. 

-59km

Périchon and Van Moer are still collaborating smoothly and their gap stands just shy of two minutes, but their chances of fending off the peloton are slim to non-existent on a day like this. 

Tim Declercq, as ever on a day like this, has put in a mammoth shift at the head of the peloton on behalf of Deceuninck-QuickStep. Alpecin-Fenix are gathered in numbers behind him and they are chasing a third successive stage win with a third different rider this afternoon. Ariostea managed that feat 30 years ago through Bruno Cenghialta, Moreno Argentin and Marco Lietti. 

-55km

Through La Bouëxière for the escapees. As ever in this corner of the world, the crowds are out en masse for the Tour but mercifully at a safe distance. 1:37 the gap between the break and the bunch.

A mechanical issue for Mark Cavendish, but he is under no particular duress as he chases back up to the peloton, and he links up with a group containing Alaphilippe and Van der Poel, who may have stopped for a natural break around the same time. 

-51km

Per Eurosport, Cavendish's issue was reportedly a broken saddle, but he won't have any difficulty in rejoining the peloton. 

-48km

Cavendish, Van der Poel and Alaphilippe have all rejoined the peloton, which is 1:25 down on the escapees Van Moer and Périchon.

-44km

Alpecin-Fenix are starting to wind up the pace and a number of teams are beginning to move up in numbers on the approach to the day's intermediate sprint, which is 9km away.

-43km

Break:

Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis)

Peloton at 1:19

-40km

The battle for positions is gradually intensifying in the peloton on the approach to this intermediate sprint, with delegations from EF-Nippo, UAE Team Emirates and Israel Start-Up Nation all moving towards the front alongside Alpecin-Fenix.

-36km

Brent Van Moer outsprints Perichon to win the intermediate sprint in Vitré, but the pace is winding up for the sprint for third place behind.

Mark Cavendish wins the sprint for third ahead of Nacer Bouhanni, after being expertly piloted by Michael Mørkøv. Michael Matthews is next, ahead of Peter Sagan. 

-33km

Break:

Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis)

Peloton at 1:08

The result at the intermediate sprint was as follows:

1 Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal 20

2 Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fra) Cofidis 17

3 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 15

4 Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep 13

5 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkea-Samsic 11

6 Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange 10

7 André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation 9

8 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 8

9 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious 7

10 Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels 6

11 Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 5

12 Connor Swift (GBr) Arkea-Samsic 4

13 Luka Mezgec (Slo) BikeExchange 3

14 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 2

15 Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ      1

-28km

Périchon and Van Moer continue with a lead of 1:17 over the peloton, where teams are moving up in masse, but no one squad has yet injected the pace necessary to claw back the two leaders.

-24km

EF-Nippo, Intermarché-Wanty and Arkéa-Samsic are among the squad's at the head of the bunch, 1:14 down on the two leaders.

Bora-Hansgrohe are also present in numbers on behalf of Peter Sagan and Wilco Kelderman, while Ineos are marshalling Richard Carapaz and Geraint Thomas into position. There is no sign of Jumbo-Visma towards the front of the bunch at this juncture. 

-22km

Van Moer and Perichon's lead drops to a minute, as the intensity creeps upwards in the peloton.

-20km

Van Moer accelerates out of the saddle and Perichon matches him pedal stroke for pedal stroke. The two leaders have 55 seconds in hand and they know they won't last a whole lot longer off the front as the peloton draws neare.

-17km

Alpecin-Fenix are winding up the pace in the peloton. They already have the yellow jersey and two stage wins, but they are eager to pick up a third in succession through Jasper Philipsen today.

-16km

Ineos have taken over at the head of the bunch as the race reaches a slightly more technical section. Michal Kwiatkowski and Dylan van Baarle lead the way for Carapaz and Thomas.

-15km

Break:

Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis)

Peloton at 0:33

-14km

Van Moer attacks and he opens a gap over Perichon. The Belgian is alone at the head of the race and he has extended his advantage over the bunch out to 45 seconds again.

-12km

There is a note of hesitation in the peloton, where the sprinters' teams are continuing to allow Ineos to lead the way. Van Moer is making hay in the meantime, and his lead is out to 56 seconds. He couldn't, could he?

-11km

Van Moer has eeked out a little more of a gap. 1:03 the advantage...

-10km

Van Moer enters the final 10km with 1:04 in hand on a peloton where nobody seems prepared to take up the reins in pursuit.

-9km

Break:

Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal)

Chaser at 0:26:

Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis)

Peloton at 1:06

-8km

The sprinters' teams' game of bluff and counter-bluff is playing into the hands of Van Moer, who is surely beginning to believe he might be about to pull off the impossible. The sprint teams are fast running out of road...

-7.5km

The gap reamins locked at 1:04. Unless somebody commits behind soon, Van Moer is going to claim a surprise stage victory...

-7km

Team TotalEnergies lead in the peloton, but there is still no sign of Deceuninck-QuickStep or Groupama-FDJ taking up the chase in earnest.

-6km

DSM and Groupama-FDJ begin to wind things up in the bunch, but have they left it too late? 57 seconds the gap.

Perichon has been caught by the bunch, but Van Moer is still 54 seconds clear of a bunch where Alpecin-Fenix are now piling on the pressure...

-5km

Deceuninck-QuickStep have now joined the chase. 50 seconds the gap...

-4.5km

Van Moer's lead is suddenly beginning to crumble under Deceuninck-QuickStep's forcing... 30 seconds the gap.

-4km

The GPS information on the on-screen graphic is back out to 40 seconds, which leads one to question its accuracy... Deceuninck-QuickStep and Alpecin-Fenix force the pace behind Van Moer...

-3km

There are Lotto Soudal riders doing their level best to disrupt the pace-making behind, and Van Moer enters the final 3km with 34 seconds in hand on the bunch. He is beginning to flag, and his gap appears to be dwindling more rapidly now...

-2.5km

Trek-Segafredo take it up now. 25 seconds the gap to Van Moer.

-2km

DSM take over as the race enters more technical terrain on the final approach to Fougères. 20 seconds to Van Moer.

Van der Poel is prominent on behalf of Alpecin-Fenix, who have numbers and look poised to take things up in the final kilometre. 16 seconds the gap to Van Moer.

-1km

Van Moer passes beneath the flamme rouge with 12 seconds in hand on a peloton being led by Julian Alaphilippe and Deceuninck-QuickStep...

Van Moer climbs from the saddle ahead of the final kick towards the line... He glances over his shoulder... This is going to be very, very close...

Alpecin-Fenix lead out the sprint behin d Van Moer...

Van Moer is caught with 200m to go, as Jasper Philipsen and Mark Cavendish kick for the line...

Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) wins stage 4 of the Tour de France.

Cavendish sits in the road in tears as he realises the magnitude of winning his 31st Tour de France stage and his first in five years. 

Result

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 3:20:17
2 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:0:00
3 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 0:0:00
4 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:0:00
5 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:0:00
6 Cees Bol (Ned) Team DSM 0:0:00
7 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis 0:0:00
8 Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo 0:0:00
9 Boy van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:0:00
10 André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation 0:0:00

Cavendish manoeuvred himself onto Philipsen's wheel and then came past him inside the final 50m to claim a fairly resounding victory. Bouhanni came past the flagging Philipsen for second place at the very last. 

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) retains the yellow jersey, 8 seconds clear of Julian Alaphilippe.

FOUGERES FRANCE JUNE 29 Mark Cavendish of The United Kingdom and Team Deceuninck QuickStep stage winner celebrates at arrival during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 4 a 1504km stage from Redon to Fougres LeTour TDF2021 on June 29 2021 in Fougeres France Photo by Guillaume Horcajuelo PoolGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Mark Cavendish on his victory: :I don’t know what to say, man. Like, just being here is special enough, you know. I didn’t think I’d ever get to comeback to this race.

"Just fire, man, just fire from the whole team. We didn’t know if we were going to get them. We lost Ballero, same thing as happened to me, he lost spokes of his wheel. But you see what a team this is, you’ve got the green jersey, the world champion, Julian Alaphilippe… He just comes to give the final pull to catch the breakaway, putting everything in. So many people didn’t believe in me, but these guys did, and they do.

"I thought I was never coming back to this race, honestly. When you come to Deceuninck-QuickStep, you’ve got the best riders in the world so there wasn’t even a thought to come here, you know. But the stars aligned, somehow. I never ever want bad things to happen to good people, but after the last year, it’s just nice to have good luck for myself, fuck…"

 

General classification

1          Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix     16:19:10

2          Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep         0:00:08

3          Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers        0:00:31

4          Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma   

5          Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe      0:00:38

6          Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates       0:00:39

7          Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team        0:00:40

8          Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic     

9          Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies        0:00:45

10        David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ    0:00:52

Julian Alaphilippe on Cavendish's victory: "He’s just amazing. I’m so happy for him, so happy for the team. We really believed in him for today’s stage. We knew the final. This is such an emotional victory for him but also for everyone.He was so motivated. Like a neo-pro. He showed his grinta and his team spirit. He’s still one of the best sprinters in the world and he showed it again today.

"Michael [Mørkøv]  for me is the best leadout rider in the world. I don’t say that because we’re on the same team but you can see if every sprint that he’s doing he always perfect, calm, relaxed. He does his effort at good moment and I think today for Mark, Michael was really important."

FOUGERES FRANCE JUNE 29 Mark Cavendish of The United Kingdom stage winner celebrates at arrival Kasper Asgreen of Denmark Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Green Points Jersey during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 4 a 1504km stage from Redon to Fougres LeTour TDF2021 on June 29 2021 in Fougeres France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Michael Mørkøv: "We got a bit far back on the last 2km, so I had to bring up Mark and luckily, we had a class rider like Julian there to bring us up in the last part.
Mark is a legend and I'm really proud to ride with him and bring him back on this level. Before today he had 30 wins in this race and to help him be back winning on a high level is a really proud moment as well.

"He wasn't even in the dressing room when the team was selected. He made it in at the last moment and showed today that he's a true pro bike rider who was prepared even though he wasn't supposed to do the race. He took his chance and it paid off."

FOUGERES FRANCE JUNE 29 Mark Cavendish of The United Kingdom and Team Deceuninck QuickStep stage winner celebrates at arrival during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 4 a 1504km stage from Redon to Fougres LeTour TDF2021 on June 29 2021 in Fougeres France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

FOUGERES FRANCE JUNE 29 Mark Cavendish of The United Kingdom stage winner celebrates at arrival Mattia Cattaneo of Italy and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Green Points Jersey during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 4 a 1504km stage from Redon to Fougres LeTour TDF2021 on June 29 2021 in Fougeres France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The full results from today's stage are available here.

Read Mark Cavendish's first reaction to his victory here. Stephen Farrand and Alasdair Fotheringham will have further coverage from his post-stage press conference shortly.

Tour de France 2021 108th Edition 4th stage Redon Fougeres 1504 km 29062021 Mark Cavendish GBR Deceuninck QuickStep photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Brent Van Moer's remarkable solo effort will be overshadowed by Cavendish's victory, but the Belgian came within 175m of pulling off a remarkable heist. He was, of course, elected the combatif du jour, but he deserved more for his afternoon's work.

Tour de France 2021 108th Edition 4th stage Redon Fougeres 1504 km 29062021 Brent Van Moer BEL Lotto Soudal photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

FOUGERES FRANCE JUNE 29 Mark Cavendish of The United Kingdom and Team Deceuninck QuickStep stage winner Green Points Jersey Patrick Lefevere of Belgium CEO Team manager of Deceuninck QuickStep celebrate at arrival during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 4 a 1504km stage from Redon to Fougres LeTour TDF2021 on June 29 2021 in Fougeres France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Deceuninck-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere has described Cavendish's win as the most emotional his team has enjoyed in a three-week race. "We have more than 100 wins in a Grand Tour, but I never saw the whole staff crying," Lefevere said. "I think the whole staff was crying because everybody went on his emotions." Read more here.

A full report, photos and results from today's stage are available here.

Tour de France 2021 108th Edition 4th stage Redon Fougeres 1504 km 29062021 Mark Cavendish GBR Deceuninck QuickStep photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

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FOUGERES FRANCE JUNE 29 Thomas De Gendt of Belgium and Team Lotto Soudal Andr Greipel of Germany and Team Israel StartUp Nation The peloton protest due to lack of safety and multiple crashes during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 4 a 1504km stage from Redon to Fougres LeTour TDF2021 on June 29 2021 in Fougeres France Photo by Michael SteeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

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