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Bora-Hansgrohe’s young Lennard Kämna surprised his more experienced breakaway companions to take a solo stage win in the fourth stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Kamna attacked at the base of the final rise up to Megève and left far behind his more experienced fellow escapees, riders like David de la Cruz, Julian Alaphilippe, Jack Haig, Kenny Elissonde, and Michal Kwiatkowski. De la Cruz cross the line 40 seconds down, followed by Alaphilippe, shaking his head at an opportunity lost.
Behind, the GC battle remained relatively staid, despite a collection of massive alpine climbs peppering the route. Mikel Landa’s Bahrain-Merida team put in a dig on the penultimate climb, the HC Montée de Bisanne, but never put Roglic or his Jumbo team into any real difficulty.
Thibaut Pinot led the GC group across the line, just over 3 minutes back.
The day began inauspiciously, as news flitted through the start area that defending Tour de France champion Egan Bernal would not take the start. His teammate Geraint Thomas cited back pain for the young Colombian, but additional details remain scarce.
It may have been a good decision for Bernal, as many of his rivals may have soon wished that they, too, had avoided the stage entirely. It was a bad day for GC riders.
Crashes through the early valleys sent race leader Primoz Roglic to the ground, as well as his Jumbo-Visma teammate Steven Kruijkswijk, who was forced to pull out with a separated shoulder. Groupama-FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot crashed but continued. Emmanuel Buchmann, 4th at the Tour last year, hit the deck hard and was forced to abandon, along with his teammate Gregor Muhlbueger. Andre Greipel crashed and abandoned as well.
1 – KÄMNA Lennard (BORA – hansgrohe) in 4:27:56
2 – DE LA CRUZ David (UAE-Team Emirates) at 0:41
3 – ALAPHILIPPE Julian (Deceuninck – Quick Step) at 0:56
4 – HAIG Jack (Mitchelton-Scott) at 0:58
5 – ELISSONDE Kenny (Trek – Segafredo) at 1:02
6 – MASNADA Fausto (CCC) at 1:10
7 – KWIATKOWSKI Micha? (INEOS) at 1:19
8 – HIRSCHI Marc (Sunweb) at 1:43
9 – PINOT Thibaut (Groupama – FDJ) at 3:01
10 – ROGLI? Primož (Jumbo-Visma) at ST
11 – KUSS Sepp (Jumbo-Visma) at ST
12 – POGA?AR Tadej(UAE-Team Emirates) at ST