Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Gaviria claims 2nd Tour win on Stage 4, Froome safe in pack

Gaviria claims 2nd Tour win on Stage 4, Froome safe in pack

The big names managed to stay out of the incident, but it was riders Tiesj Benoot and Axel Domont who both suffered badly as a result of the incident - Benoot covered in blood and Domont breaking his shoulder.

Last year, Cavendish's Tour ended early with a crash as he chased another victory in a bunch sprint at the end of the fourth stage.

And Tour newcomer Gaviria is winning so far.

Gaviria will continue to turn heads if he can win a third stage in France this summer, with the rookie again proving his mettle on Tuesday as Quick-Step's challenge on the Tour title took a turn for the better.

Britain's defending champion had lost 51 seconds to some of his main rivals after a crash in the opening stage but his team's efforts against the clock around Cholet put him back in contention.

Seven years ago, Cadel Evans won stage four at Mur de Bretagne on the way to becoming the first Australian Tour de France champion.

"I was blocked by my own lead-out man effectively, but it was my own fault - I shouldn't have been there", said Cavendish as he held six-week-old son Casper outside the team bus. "The team had to work really hard to catch the escape, nobody else was helping".

The frenetic finish was so close, the riders all watched the replay on a giant screen to see how the shares had been spoiled.

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"A bit disappointed not to win but it was a technical race because of the wind, changes of direction, up and down as well", he said. "He's faster than me and that's okay".

The bunch finish meant Greg Van Avermaet retained the yellow jersey, level on time with his BMC team-mate Tejay Van Garderen and three seconds ahead of Team Sky's Geraint Thomas.

Tomorrow, the riders face an interesting stage of 181 kilometers from Lorient to Quimper, with five categorized climbs in the final part of the race. "Every stage is different, every sprint is different".

They were joined by Jerome Cousin (Direct Energie), in the break for the second time, and Guillaume van Keirsbulck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and all four were allowed to build a big lead.

The quartet almost made it home after the fall held the peloton up.

French hope Romain Bardet lost a key lieutenant when Ag2r teammate Axel Domont fractured his collarbone in a crash inside the last 5km.

UCI president David Lappartient, meanwhile, hit back at Sir Dave Brailsford in what is about round 11 of their verbal sparring match (incredibly, they've never actually met each other, having done all of their communications via the medium of the press).

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