Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Fernando Gaviria takes second stage victory at Tour de France

The route around Cholet of the 2018 Tour de France stage 3 team time trial Tour de France 2018: Fernando Gaviria secures second win in thrilling stage-four finish
Cassandra Castillo | 13 July, 2018, 23:45

Green jersey-wearer Peter Sagan timed a late sprint well to take second behind, while Lotto Soudal rider Andre Greipel fell away late to finish the 195-kilometre trip from La Baule to Sarzeau in third.

Maximiliano Richeze delivered a ideal ride-along performance for Quick-Step comrade Gaviria, powering him past the Dimension Data team and into the forefront for a challenge on the stage victory. His Dimension Data lead-out train had played their part to perfection but when the sprint opened up into a headwind, their leader could neither launch himself into the mix, nor latch himself on to the right wheel.

Fellow Britons Froome and Thomas didn't fare any better but will have ended Stage 4 close to content with their results, nestled among a pack in which Van Avermaet was also happy to reside.

The 23-year-old Colombian had already bettered Sagan in a sprint to take the opening stage, amid rising expectations since his four stage victories at last year's Giro d'Italia. Then with 5km to go a big crash midway down the peloton threw another spanner in the works.

Porte is 14th overall at 51 seconds. Movistar teammates Alejandro Valverde and Mikel Landa were 15th and 16th (:53), narrowly ahead of Froome.

Behind them, the pack was led by Quick-Step Floors and BMC and the day was quite uneventful, even though there was a small crash at around 30 kilometres to go that affected riders like Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale) but didn't leave any consequences.

The Tour will spend three more days in northeastern Brittany.

More news: Morning Joe Rips Trump’s NATO Appearance: ‘We Should Be Frightened’

Van Avermaet, who excels at single-day classics, isn't a threat for the overall title but he could keep the lead through the cobblestoned Stage 9 ending in Roubaix.

Van Avermaet would normally be one of the favourites to clinch Wednesday's hilly run to Quimper, but will face a stiff challenge for the jersey.

BMC Racing kept the Franco-Belgian breakaway under control, however, and with the pace down there was little to report through much of the stage.

"It depends on who wants to defend and who wants to go for it".

"It's not an easy stage by any means but, I think stage six will be more of a test for me". There will be more time lost throughout the GC group before we hit the mountains.

Froome, who was cleared of doping allegations last week by the International Cycling Union, has been jeered by some skeptical fans since arriving in France.

The three-week Tour ends July 29 in Paris.

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