Saturday, 20 July, 2019


Tour de France: Viviani storms bunch sprint to win Stage 4

Bahrain-Merida on the start ramp ahead of their stage effort Bahrain Merida on the start ramp ahead of their stage effort
Noah Ferguson | 11 July, 2019, 17:50

"I heard people say my name every 10 seconds, it's a day I will never forget", world number one Alaphilippe, who previous year won the mountains classification and claimed two stage wins, told reporters.

Viviani, frustrated to leave the Giro d'Italia empty-handed in May, took the first pure sprint opportunity of this year's Tour while teammate Julian Alaphilippe - the first Frenchman to wear the yellow jersey in five years after his solo victory in Stage three - kept the overall lead, with no change at the top of the overall general classification standings.

At this early stage of a very mountainous Tour that may be won by minutes, a handful of seconds lost may signify little but Thomas's inattentiveness has been interpreted by some as a sign of uncertain form. "I can't believe it. I was focused on my lead out, it was flawless team work".

"At last! At last I have done what I set out to do", the 30-year-old Viviani said after his first ever Tour de France stage win.

'It was a nice day until the last 50km, when it went a bit insane, manic and stressful, ' the Welshman said, 'so I'm happy to get it out of the way'.

Viviani dedicated his first Tour de France victory to his partner and fellow pro rider Elena Cecchini and his parents who were in Nancy to see their son win.

"My lead-out men Michael Morkov and Max Richeze did a flawless job". "This was my big goal for the race and we missed the first chance to win and put the Yellow on but I think after yesterday, after Julian did a phenomenal ride, it was the moment of the switch on of the team and today we did a ideal job". He's got the experience, speed and powering in the legs. 'I knew this stage suited me. "That's a big responsibility but he's a great lead-out".

Both men hugged warmly after their team produced a second straight stage win. The green jersey could become a goal if Peter Sagan struggles and Viviani wins two or three stages and scores a haul of points. "I wasn't aggressive enough, and it was a hard finish, and that was all-important me for this win", Viviani said. "If I am off the podium by four I might be more disappointed". "I think in general as a group they actually bond really well". There's nothing wrong with thinking big.

Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team Deceuninck retained the yellow jersey.

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