Tour de France stage 4 LIVE: Result as Wout van Aert makes solo charge to win in Calais

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Wout van Aert celebrates winning stage four in Calais (Reuters)
Wout van Aert celebrates winning stage four in Calais (Reuters)

Wout van Aert extended his overall lead in the Tour de France when he finished off some sterling team work to win the fourth stage on Tuesday.

The Jumbo Visma rider left all his rivals gasping for air on the final hill of the 171.5-km ride from Dunkirk after his Jumbo Visma team’s brutal acceleration blew apart the peloton.

The Belgian jumped away from a skimmed pack with less than 12km left in the short ascent of the Cote du Cap Blanc Nez and never looked back to clinch his seventh individual stage win on the Tour.

Belgian Jasper Philipsen took second place with France’s Christophe Laporte finishing third, eight seconds behind according to provisional timings.

Follow all the latest updates from stage 4 of the Tour de France below.

Tour de France stage 4

  • Peloton in northern France for 171.5km route from Dunkirk

  • Wout van Aert surges away to solo victory in Calais

Tour de France 2022 stage-by-stage guide, route maps and profiles

17:31 , Michael Jones

The 2022 Tour de France begins in Copenhagen on Friday 1 July and finishes in Paris on Sunday 24 July, where Slovenian superstar Tadej Pogacar hopes to be wearing yellow and be crowned champion for the third year in a row.

Standing in his way is the sheer strength and depth of Dutch team Jumbo-Visma, who carry multiple threats including Pogacar’s national teammate Primoz Roglic and last year’s Tour runner-up, Jonas Vingegaard. Ineos Grenadiers are without their leading light Egan Bernal, the 2019 champion who is still recovering from injury, but they do have the in-form Geraint Thomas fresh from winning the Tour de Suisse, as well as potential stage winners Adam Yates and Tom Pidcock.

Here is a stage-by-stage look at this year’s route:

Tour de France 2022 stage-by-stage guide

Tour de France 2022: Current standings after Stage 4

17:20 , Michael Jones

  1. Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 13hrs 2’43’’

  2. Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) +25 secs

  3. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +32 secs

  4. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) +36 secs

  5. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) +38 secs

  6. Jonas Vinegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +40 secs

  7. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +41 secs

  8. Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) +48 secs

  9. Stefan Kung (Groupama – FDJ) +48 secs

  10. Thomas Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) +49 secs

Tour de France 2022 Stage 5 preview: Route map and profile as cobbles provide treacherous test

17:10 , Michael Jones

Stage five of the Tour de France presents one of the hardest tests of the entire 2022 race as the peloton takes on 11 sectors of cobblestones on a hilly 157km route from Lille to La Porte du Hainaut.

The cobbles – or pavé – provide an often brutal challenge on the Paris-Roubaix monument race, where crashes are frequent and injuries commonplace, and the riders will need all their bike-handling skills in order to stay upright and avoid an incident which could lose them time or even force them to abandon the race.

The stage begins with an early intermediate sprint after 37km, which could bring out some of the sprinters to the front of the pack looking to pick up the green jersey points on offer.

At the halfway point the cobbles begin. Most of the pavé sectors are around 1.3km long and take professional riders around two and a half minutes to complete, but there are some longer stretches of 2.5km which will take more than four minutes to get through.

Cobbles provide treacherous test on stage 5 of Tour de France

Reaction from Van Aert

17:06 , Michael Jones

Wout van Aert says that the final 10km were ‘all-out suffering’ after he decided to make a play for the finish line from the peak of the final climb.

It proved to be the correct decision as he flew to the stage victory 15 seconds in front of the nearest rival. He said:

I didn’t want to take the risk. It was quite obvious that we were trying something with the team.

“I felt it was super hard on the climb and we heard on the radio that were was some damage. So I went for it. I decided to go alone and then it was 10km of all-out suffering.”

Tour de France 2022: Jasper Philipsen mistakenly celebrates stage 4 victory

16:59 , Michael Jones

Tour de France sprinter Jasper Philipsen celebrated crossing the finish line to win stage four of the race on Tuesday, only to discover he had finished second.

The Tour returned to France after an opening three days in Denmark for a hilly 172km route from Dunkirk to Calais on the north coast of the country.

Unbeknownst to Philipsen, the man in the yellow jersey Wout van Aert decided to make a solo surge up the final climb of the day and on to the finish, staying out in front to win in impressive style.

As Philipsen approached the finish he sprinted away from those around him and beat them to the line, perhaps a little easier than he might have imagined. None the wiser, the Belgian punched the air and roared thinking he had clinched the first Tour de France stage win of his career.

In fact, Van Aert had extended his overall lead in the Tour de France after he left all his rivals gasping for air on the final hill.

Tour de France rider mistakenly celebrates after thinking he won stage

Wout van Aert wins Stage 4 of the Tour de France!

16:53 , Michael Jones

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (EPA)
(EPA)

Wout van Aert wins Stage 4 of the Tour de France!

16:46 , Michael Jones

After a powerful attack on Cote du Cap Blanc-Nez, Wout van Aert averaged 62.0km/h in the final 10km to storm home for his seventh stage win at the Tour de France and first in 2022.

Insane.

When asked if he was done with sprint finishes after the race he joked: ‘Yes, of course. Why leave it to chance.’

Wout van Aert wins Stage 4 of the Tour de France!

16:39 , Michael Jones

Wout van Aert came home, 15 seconds ahead of the rest of the peloton. He spoke after the race and says that the move up the climb was a pre-planned move from Jumbo-Visma.

They executed it perfectly.

Wout van Aert wins Stage 4 of the Tour de France!

16:37 , Michael Jones

It’s a seventh Tour de France win for Wout van Aert. Jasper Philipsen takes second with a decent sprint to the line but he’s quite a way behind the Tour leader.

Here’s the top five rider from Stage 4:

1. Wout van Aert

2. Jasper Philipsen

3. Christophe Laporte

4. Alexander Kristoff

5. Peter Sagan

Wout van Aert wins Stage 4 of the Tour de France!

16:32 , Michael Jones

They can’t catch him. What a ride from the Yellow Jersey holder!

Wout van Aert comes home in first place to take the stage. Three runners-up places and now a stage win for the Belgian.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Tour de France stage 4

16:31 , Michael Jones

Caleb Ewan, Fabio Jakobsen and Dylan Groenewegen are all in the chasing pack and they’re eking away at Van Aert’s lead. It’s down to 20 seconds with 1.5km to go.

The Jumbo-Visma team are doing their best to disrupt the rest of the riders. They want Wout van Aert to get home.

Tour de France stage 4

16:28 , Michael Jones

4km to go with Wout van Aert out in front with a 26 second lead. He’s had three second place finishes in the opening three stages but he looks like he may go one better today.

The gap remains steady, I don’t think he’s going to be caught.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Tour de France stage 4

16:24 , Michael Jones

Wout van Aert is going for it on his own. His teammates have helped him out and the yellow jersey leader is slowing opening up a lead.

He’s 20 seconds in front of the nearest rivals. 7km to go.

Tour de France stage 4

16:22 , Michael Jones

Anthony Perez hits the base of the final climb the Cote du Cap Blanc-Nez with an 11 second lead.

Jumbo-Visma make their move as a team and reign in the breakaway leader before Wout van Aert takes the lead. He crosses the peak in first position.

There’s 10km to go and the peloton has started to split. What a moved from Jumbo-Visma.

Tour de France stage 4

16:10 , Michael Jones

20km left in Stage 4, 10km away from the final climb. Anthony Perez has a 34 second lead and he’s giving it his all as the sole member of the breakaway left.

There’s going to be a big fight in the build-up to the final climb, then another after the peak in order to find the perfect positions for the sprint.

Jumbo-Visma are set up well, they’re at the front of the peloton on the left-hand side. Yellow jersey wearer Wout van Aert is right in the mix with them.

The race is set up nicely for a bombastic finish.

Tour de France stage 4

16:01 , Michael Jones

Anthony Perez is doing a fine job of staying out in front of the peloton but his lead is only just above one minute with a long 27km to go.

The road continues to dip and rise which will take some sting out the riders as they approach the final sections of Stage 4.

Tour de France stage 4

15:53 , Michael Jones

Tension is starting to build in the peloton as the riders push on to the front of the field trying to get the best position on the road ahead of the final climb.

There’s 31km to go.

Tour de France stage 4

15:47 , Michael Jones

An incredible run from the two breakaway riders. It lasted until 40km from the end before Magnus Cort drops back to join his EF Education-Easy Post team-mates, who hand him a few gels and drinks and praise him for a job well done.

36km to go. Perez’s lead is still hovering around the one minute 20 second mark.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Tour de France stage 4

15:41 , Michael Jones

Anthony Perez is going to give it a go. There’s 40km to go which is about a hour’s worth of riding, if not slightly more. He’s keeping his pace up on the snaking road to Calais.

Tour de France stage 4

15:37 , Michael Jones

With 44km left in the stage, Magnus Cort calls it a day in the breakaway pairing. He’s taken the points from all five category climbs so far but slows off his pace and allows himself to drop back to the peloton.

This is an energy saving tactic from the Dane who may have one eye on challenging tomorrow.

Anthony Perez stays out in front. He’s got a gap of one minute 20 seconds with 43km to go.

Tour de France stage 4

15:34 , Michael Jones

There’s more undulation as the peloton lurches up and down the climbs and descents in between the category-four climbs.

Magnus Cort crested the côte du Ventus in first position for a maximum total of 11 KOM points and remains unbeaten in the climbs for in the 109th Tour de France.

Tour de France stage 4

15:27 , Michael Jones

The Eurosport commentary team is expecting the peloton to split close to the base of the final climb the Cote du Cap Blanc-Nez which is a view shared but regional rider Adrien Petit.

“The approach to the final climb is very rapid, near the edge of the cliffs”, the Intermarché rider said this morning. “We won’t need much wind there to make a difference.

“The climb itself isn’t easy, we’ll be pretty much at a standstill at the foot of it. It’s barely even a kilometre, but it’s at 9 per cent and it’s quite exposed up at the top. There could be splits, we’ll see how it goes.”

Tour de France stage 4

15:22 , Michael Jones

The peloton is racing into a headwind now which causes the riders to bunch up and utilise the slipstreams for an easier ride. Alpecin and Lotto-Soudal riders are leading the charge at the front, setting the pace.

This is a relatively flat part of the stage with the riders making their way north back towards the coast.

One minute 40 seconds to catch the leaders. 52km to go.

Tour de France stage 4

15:16 , Michael Jones

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AP)
(AP)

Tour de France stage 4

15:10 , Michael Jones

There’s just under 15km to go until the next climb and if the peloton maintains this pace they could catch Cort and Perez before they reach it.

60km to go and the gap is down to just over two minutes.

Tour de France stage 4

15:02 , Michael Jones

With 68km left in Stage 4 the riders have covered 500km in the 2022 version of the Tour de France. Just the 2,800km left to go.

The gap between the peloton and the breakaway is now just two minutes 23 seconds. The leading pair will eventually be reigned in, it’s only a matter of when now.

Tour de France stage 4

15:00 , Michael Jones

Cort and Perez reach the peak of Cote de Harlettes with Magnus taking the win once again. 10 KOM points from 10 climbs from him now.

There seems to be an accord between the two riders. They’re not racing for the finish lines anymore with Perez seemingly happy for Cort to keep picking up these points.

Tour de France stage 4

14:51 , Michael Jones

Meanwhile, the peloton has reached the base of the climb and have sliced the time gap on the leaders to just four minutes and 16 seconds.

Lotto-Soudal are setting the pace for the rest of the bunch.

73km to go.

Tour de France stage 4

14:49 , Michael Jones

500m to go in the climb and Magnus Cort leads Anthony Perez. He keeps glancing back at his rival, to give himself an idea of when to make a run for the line.

300m left and Cort has slipped back. Both riders keep leapfrogging each other.

100m to go. There’s no battle between the riders as Cort squeezes back in front and takes the victory.

He’s won all nine climbs so far in the Tour de France.

Tour de France stage 4

14:45 , Michael Jones

Bradley Wiggins believes the peloton is starting to panic as the wind picks up. He says that the teams will begins to manoeuvre for position near the front of the field.

Cort and Perez are approaching the first to two back-to-back climbs. This one is the Cote de Nielles-Les-Blequin and is 1.2km with a gradient of 7.7%.

That in itself isn’t too tasking but the sharp run in to the second climb at Cote de Harlettes makes it more difficult for the riders.

Tour de France stage 4

14:39 , Michael Jones

Belgian team Lotto-Soudal ups the tempo at front of the peloton with Alpecin-Deceuninck helping out. They’ve cut the gap on the breakaway pair to six minutes.

Magnus Cort and Anthony Perez are travelling well and the commentary team on Eurosport are starting to talk about them potentially winning the stage.

There’s such a long way to go though, 80km and their lead is continuously slipping away as the peloton ups the ante.

Tour de France stage 4

14:34 , Michael Jones

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (AP)
(AP)

Tour de France stage 4

14:25 , Michael Jones

88km to go with Perez and Cort having reached the southern-most tip of the stage. They’re now heading west into a light cross-wind before turning north into a headwind towards the coast and Calais.

The gap between them and the peloton is seven minutes 10 seconds.

Tour de France stage 4

14:21 , Michael Jones

Magnus Cort Nielsen is the first rider to win the first eight consecutive KOM points in the Tour de France. One more and his tally will be out of reach until stage 7.

There are still four climbs to compete today.

 (EPA)
(EPA)

Tour de France stage 4: Intermediate sprint results

14:15 , Michael Jones

1. Anthony Perez, 20 pts

2. Magnus Cort, 17 pts

3. Fabio Jakobsen, 15 pts

4. Wout van Aert, 13 pts

5. Michael Morkov, 11 pts

6. Peter Sagan, 10 pts

7. Christophe Laporte, 9 pts

8. Caleb Ewan, 8 pts

9. Brent Van Moer, 7 pts

10. Florian Vermeersch, 6 pts

11. Daniel Oss, 5 pts

12. Tim Wellens, 4 pts

13. Nils Politt, 3 pts

14. Maciej Bodnar, 2 pts

15. Tadej Pogacar, 1 pt

Tour de France stage 4

14:14 , Michael Jones

Fabio Jakobsen’s earlier third place in the sprint means he’s chipped away at Wout van Aert’s lead in the green jersey competition. Jakobsen is of course wearing the green jersey today due to Van Aert also leading the GC and being donned out in the yellow jersey.

Van Aert now leads the sprint contest by just 15 points.

Tour de France stage 4

14:11 , Michael Jones

Eight points and counting for Magnus Cort Nielsen! He positions himself on the wheel of Anthony Perez before moving ahead of the Frenchman with just under 200m to go.

He crosses the line first and takes his eighth KOM victory in a row.

Tour de France stage 4

14:09 , Michael Jones

6 minutes 49 seconds ahead, Magnus Cort and Anthony Perez have reached the second climb. It’s 1.2km with a 6.9% gradient.

Tour de France stage 4

14:06 , Michael Jones

Wout Van Aert and Fabio Jakobsen are the main two to get involved in the intermediate sprint. Peter Sagan can’t slot in behind the green jersey holder who puts on the burners and takes the win in this mini battle with Van Aert close behind him.

It’s wasn’t the most thrilling of sprints but Jakobsen will be pleased with his effort.

Tour de France stage 4

13:58 , Michael Jones

The leading duo reach the intermediate sprint stage at 108km to go and Anthony Perez crosses the line ahead of Magnus Cort to take the full 20 points. Cort collects 17.

The peloton is almost seven minutes behind the breakaway so there’s a few minutes wait until the sprinters fight for the remaining points.

There’s no jostling for position at the front of the pack just yet though.

Tour de France stage 4

13:54 , Michael Jones

Philippe Gilbert turns 40 today and he spoke to TV reporters before the start of the race saying that he would never have believed he would be racing in the Tour de France this year.

“No! It’s very nice. If you’d told me 10 years ago, I would never have believed it, but I’m here today and it’s very nice.” he said, “Today it’s a tough stage. There’s quite a bit of wind here at the start line. I don’t think it will be as strong towards the finish, but the wind could play a big role today.”

Tour de France stage 4

13:49 , Michael Jones

Magnus Cort and Anthony Perez have once again opened up a lead of over six minutes to the peloton. The earlier split in the peloton after Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s attack has been rectified and the pack is back together.

114km to go and about 5km until the intermediate sprint. Cort and Perez will take the first two places but there are still points on offer for the peloton sprinters who fancy it.

Tour de France stage 4

13:43 , Michael Jones

 (EPA)
(EPA)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Tour de France stage 4

13:37 , Michael Jones

“I think it will be hectic in the bunch, probably similar to the days in Denmark.” said Magnus Cort before the start of Stage 4, “That’s what I expect, stressful in the bunch. But maybe a bit boring to watch. And then a hard final.

“My main ambition is to get a few points, therefore I’ll try to go in the break again.”

I think he may have nailed this prediction.

Tour de France stage 4

13:33 , Michael Jones

A little earlier in the race, Magnus Cort takes his seventh KOM point of the Tour.

Tour de France stage 4

13:30 , Michael Jones

Quick-Step’s acceleration has actually split the peloton. There are 20 seconds between the main group and a group of stragglers including Mathieu van der Poel, Guillaume Martin and Thibaut Pinot.

They should catch the main pack as the pace has settled down again.

126km to go.

Tour de France stage 4

13:24 , Michael Jones

The riders seem relatively nervous today in the face of the first cross-winds of the Tour, the first cobbles after a changeover day from Denmark and most of the the contenders will be trying to safely negotiate the hazards whilst leaving the finish to the sprinters.

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl have properly stretched the peloton with their blistering pace. It’s not quite enough to cause a split and the pack bunches back together.

The gap on the two leaders is reduced to three minutes 39 seconds.

Tour de France stage 4

13:19 , Michael Jones

The peloton passes over the cobbled climb with Andrea Bagioli and Mattia Cattaneo of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl leading the way at the front.

The pair have helped reduced the gap on the breakaway to 4 minutes 40 seconds.

There’s around 30km to go until the next challenge, an intermediate sprint.

Tour de France stage 4

13:17 , Michael Jones

Magnus Cort has a seven point lead in the KOM contest and there are five climbs left in Stage 4. That means he’s mathematically assured to keep hold of the polka-dot jersey for tomorrow.

 (EPA)
(EPA)

Tour de France stage 4

13:15 , Michael Jones

What a contest! Magnus Cort and Anthony Perez give each other a fright as they set off for the line with around 300m to go. Perez starts to print for the line but Cort edges in front of Frenchman and opens up a bit of a lead.

He glances back and accelerates to stay in front. The KOM leader crosses the Cote de Cassel barrier in first place and takes another point to add to his tally.

That was a testing sprint early on here. Very entertaining.

Tour de France stage 4

13:11 , Michael Jones

The Cote de Cassel is a 1.3km climb with a 4.2% gradient. It’s a cobbled road which makes for slightly more uncomfortable riding. It would have been a lot trickier if this terrain was at the back half of the stage.

There are more cobbles tomorrow so the riders will get a taste of what’s in store.

Tour de France stage 4

13:08 , Michael Jones

Quick-step Alpha Vinyl have moved to the front of the peloton and have chipped away at the gap on the breakaway riders, it’s a little over six minutes now.

Anthony Perez and Magnus Cort are respectively 161st and 171st on the General Classification (out of 176) but they’re leading the way in Stage 4 and are approaching the first category-four climb.

About 2.5km to go until they reach it.

Tour de France stage 4

13:03 , Michael Jones

The isn’t a great deal of movement from the peloton to cut that gap to the leading dup of Magnus Cort and Anthony Perez. None of the teams want to set the pace at the front of the peloton.

147km to go, the gap is six minutes 30 seconds.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Tour de France stage 4

12:56 , Michael Jones

The first of the six climbs today is called the Cote de Cassel.

The last time the Tour de France passed the cobbled climb of Cassel was eight years ago which will also be the location of the French national championship in June next year.

The leaders are around 10km away from the start of the climb with the peloton already more than six minutes behind them.

Tour de France stage 4

12:47 , Michael Jones

The breakaway from Magnus Cort and Anthony Perez is up to 4 minutes 30 seconds ahead of the peloton. There are six category-four climbs during this ride from Dunkerque to Calais and Cort will be looking to add to his six KOM wins in Denmark.

160km to go.

Tour de France stage 3 recap

12:46 , Lawrence Ostlere

After Fabio Jakobsen claimed an emotional stage victory on Saturday to complete his comeback from the life-threatening injuries he suffered at the Tour of Poland in 2020, Sunday was the turn of the rider he collided with two years ago.

Groenewegen did not face the physical recovery Jakobsen did from that incident, but had spoken of the mental scars after he faced death threats and abuse in its wake - with the Dutchman also handed a nine-month ban by world governing body the UCI.

“It was a long way (back),” Groenewegen said. “I want to say thank you to my team and my family and friends for getting me back to the Tour in good shape. It’s beautiful.

“Not physically but mentally it’s been a hard time of course after all that happened. This is for my wife and my son, it means a lot.”

Groenewegen said he had been held up in a late crash that split the peloton a little over 10km from the line, though he was in the right place when it mattered.

“Yesterday I was a little bit angry with myself but today, though I was a long time boxed in and involved in a crash with nine kilometres to go, my team brought me back into position and I stayed calm to the end,” he added.

Dylan Groenewegen edges photo finish to win stage 3 after late crash

Tour de France stage 4

12:40 , Lawrence Ostlere

170km to go: Stage 4 is officially under way, and the attacks begin! The man in the polka dots, Magnus Cort (EF Education), charges off looking to sweep up more King of the Mountains points over the category four climbs that pepper this stage, and he’s joined by France’s Anthony Perez (Cofidis).

General classification before stage 4

12:39 , Lawrence Ostlere

Wout van Aert, who finished second in all three stages over the weekend, is in yellow today.

Here’s the top 10 after three stages:

  1. Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 9hr 1min 17sec

  2. Lampaert (QuickStep) +7 sec

  3. Pogacar (UAE Emirates) +14

  4. Pedersen (Trek-Seg) +18

  5. Van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) +20

  6. Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +22

  7. Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +23

  8. Yates (Ineos) +30

  9. Kung (FDJ) +30

  10. Pidcock (Ineos) +31

Tour de France stage 4

12:33 , Lawrence Ostlere

A hilarious moment on Eurosport’s coverage a moment ago as motorbike-based analyst Bradley Wiggins greets Wout van Aert riding past him wearing the yellow jersey.

“This is the race leader looking resplendent in his yellow jersey, what a class act here he is,” Wiggins tells the camera, before turning to Van Aert. “Morning Wout, how are you? You looking f*****g... oh I nearly swore then, I’m live. You look class. Sorry about that. It’s hard to say what I feel about Wout without swearing but I managed to just pull the reins back on that one.”

No, no you didn’t.

Tour de France stage 4

12:24 , Lawrence Ostlere

The riders are on their bikes as they ride towards the official start of stage 4 in Dunkirk.

Tour de France stage 4

12:19 , Lawrence Ostlere

A minute’s silence at the start of the day following the horrific shooting in Copenhagen which left at least three people dead on Sunday.

Tour organisers ASO issued a statement expressing “sympathy and compassion” for the victims.

“The Tour is extremely shocked and saddened to hear of what has happened in Copenhagen,” the statement added.

“The people of Copenhagen had given the peloton one of the greatest welcomes in the sport’s history, forging deep bonds with all its followers. The entire caravan of the Tour de France sends its sincerest condolences to the victims and their families.”

Tour de France stage 4

12:03 , Lawrence Ostlere

Having finished second in all three of the Danish stages which opened this Tour de France, might Wout van Aert win wearing yellow today?

Tadej Pogacar interview: ‘There will be a moment when I will have a s**t year ... I need to be prepared'

11:56 , Lawrence Ostlere

An interview with the man going for Tour de France No3:

In Monaco, Tadej Pogacar blends into the city. He walks invisibly through the streets and potters freely around his local supermarket. Even in his favourite bike shop, the best cyclist in the world queues among the muggles without being disturbed. “I like to go inside and see what’s new, and of course I don’t mind if there’s customers in front of me, it’s normal,” he says.

By all measures a double Tour de France champion should be one of the most recognisable athletes on the planet, a bonafide global superstar unable to walk through a hotel lobby without dark glasses and an entourage, but somehow Pogacar has not yet transcended the sport. One suspects if he was from cycling’s European heartlands or the US with a name that rolled off the tongue, his profile might be a little different. His “TP” brand with an eagle motif and a “never give up” tagline is yet to take off quite like Roger Federer or Tiger Woods.

But understated and low-key is how Pogacar approaches life and cycling, just riding for the joy of it, an ethos which has brought rich rewards so far. After winning back-to-back Tours de France, an historic third next month would set him firmly on course to becoming one of cycling’s all-time greats, and what makes it all possible is just how little he is driven by his own sporting legacy. “For me that’s not something that I would enjoy after [my career] too much and brag about it. I work hard to win a lot of races, but for me the priority is just to be a good friend to my friends and have good relations with the people I want in my life.”

Tadej Pogacar: The invisible champion out to win historic third Tour de France

Route map and profile as sprinters eye chance after rest day

11:50 , Lawrence Ostlere

Today’s stage preview, as the Tour de France resumes following its jaunt to Denmark with a 171.5km ride finishing along the northern coastline:

Sprinters eye chance on stage 4 as Tour de France returns from rest day

Tour de France stage 4

11:39 , Lawrence Ostlere

The cobbles of stage five loom large on the agenda after the Tour de France returned home from a spectacular Grand Depart in Denmark.

Riders enjoyed an unusually early rest day on Monday – included to allow for the transfer back to northern France – with riders flying into Lille following Sunday’s stage to Sonderborg.

Though a hilly race between Dunkerque and Calais is next up on Tuesday, it is Wednesday’s stage between Lille and Arenberg which is already on the minds of several riders.

Full story:

Tour de France leader Wout van Aert ready for ‘really demanding’ stages

11:31 , Lawrence Ostlere

Denmark treated the Tour to spectacular scenery and huge crowds over the weekend, but riders landed in northern France to learn of the horrific shooting in Copenhagen which left at least three people dead on Sunday.

Tour organisers ASO issued a statement expressing “sympathy and compassion” for the victims.

“The Tour is extremely shocked and saddened to hear of what has happened in Copenhagen,” the statement added.

“The people of Copenhagen had given the peloton one of the greatest welcomes in the sport’s history, forging deep bonds with all its followers. The entire caravan of the Tour de France sends its sincerest condolences to the victims and their families.”

Tour de France stage 4

11:25 , Lawrence Ostlere

Van Aert is on double duty in this year’s Tour, targeting the green jersey in the points classification while working to help Jumbo-Visma team-mate Roglic unseat UAE Team Emirates’ two-time defending champion Pogacar in the fight for yellow.

The fact Van Aert dons yellow after three days, while also leading the points classification, is down to him finishing second in all three stages so far – something he said was “not funny anymore”.

“I have to be really happy with this position,” he added. “I dreamed for a long time to wear the yellow jersey and we are doing good things for green as well which has been a big goal all season. Everything is good but I like to win races so if I come close like I did in the last couple of days sometimes it is with mixed feelings.”

Van Aert must watch his step in the coming days after he was fined for littering on Sunday. A second offence would carry a one-minute penalty.

Wout van Aert has the yellow jersey after three stages of the Tour de France (Thibault Camus/AP) (AP)
Wout van Aert has the yellow jersey after three stages of the Tour de France (Thibault Camus/AP) (AP)

Tour de France stage 4

11:18 , Lawrence Ostlere

Wednesday’s stage will take riders into territory more usually associated with Paris-Roubaix and the brutal cobbles which make the ‘Hell of the North’ one of the most feared races on the calendar.

The Tour will steer clear of the most famous sectors from that race and seek out new territory, finishing in Arenberg but bypassing its eponymous trench, but that only adds an element of the unknown.

For the likes of Thomas, Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic – those with ambitions of wearing yellow in Paris in three weeks’ time – it is a day to endure and survive, where no winning moves can be made but the Tour could certainly be lost to injury or incident.

But for the man currently in yellow, Wout van Aert, it is a day when he could well take stage honours, considered one of the main favourites for the day along with Mathieu Van der Poel.

“I think what’s coming will be really demanding after the rest day,” the Belgian said. “Every stage has tricky parts, something special like the cobbles. I’m looking forward to it.”

Tour de France stage 4

11:12 , Lawrence Ostlere

The cobbles of stage five loom large on the agenda after the Tour de France returned home from a spectacular Grand Depart in Denmark.

Riders enjoyed an unusually early rest day on Monday – included to allow for the transfer back to northern France – with riders flying into Lille following Sunday’s stage to Sonderborg. Though a hilly race between Dunkerque and Calais is next up on Tuesday, it is Wednesday’s stage between Lille and Arenberg which is already on the minds of several riders.

“Wednesday will be a big day on the cobbles,” said the Ineos Grenadiers’ Geraint Thomas. “We’ve got to rest up, enjoy the rest day and then get back into it. You kind of get into the rhythm of (the race), you want to keep going so you don’t want to have to travel and have this rest day.”

Geraint Thomas during stage 1 time trial, accidentally wearing a gilet (AFP via Getty Images)
Geraint Thomas during stage 1 time trial, accidentally wearing a gilet (AFP via Getty Images)

Tour de France stage 4 profile

11:11 , Lawrence Ostlere

And today’s stage profile, which contains several category 4 climbs – enough for a breakaway to attack but not enough to deter the sprinters from getting involved at the finish, you would think:

Stage 4 profile (letour)
Stage 4 profile (letour)

Tour de France stage 4 map

11:08 , Lawrence Ostlere

A look at the route map today as the riders travel south from Dunkirk and across to Calais:

Stage 4 map (letour)
Stage 4 map (letour)

Tour de France jerseys explained

11:04 , Lawrence Ostlere

The 2022 Tour de France sees 176 riders compete for the famous yellow jersey or maillot jaune which rewards the overall winner of the race.

While the yellow jersey, won in 2020 and 2021 by Slovenian prodigy Tadej Pogacar, is the most famous and prestigious of them all, there are three other colours to look out for in the peloton taking on this year’s Tour de France route.

The meaning behind each Tour de France coloured jersey

Tour de France 2022 stage-by-stage guide

10:55 , Lawrence Ostlere

The 2022 Tour de France begins in Copenhagen on Friday 1 July and finishes in Paris on Sunday 24 July, where Slovenian superstar Tadej Pogacar hopes to be wearing yellow and be crowned champion for the third year in a row.

Standing in his way is the sheer strength and depth of Dutch team Jumbo-Visma, who carry multiple threats including Pogacar’s national teammate Primoz Roglic and last year’s Tour runner-up, Jonas Vingegaard. Ineos Grenadiers are without their leading light Egan Bernal, the 2019 champion who is still recovering from injury, but they do have the in-form Geraint Thomas fresh from winning the Tour de Suisse, as well as potential stage winners Adam Yates and Tom Pidcock.

Here is a stage-by-stage look at this year’s route.

Tour de France 2022 stage-by-stage guide

How to watch stage 4 on TV and online

10:39 , Lawrence Ostlere

The stage is scheduled to begin at around 12:15pm BST and should finish around 4:15pm BST.

Tour de France coverage can be found this year on ITV4, Eurosport, Discovery+ and GCN+ (Global Cycling Network).

Live racing each day will be shown on ITV4 before highlights typically at 7pm each day. ITV’s website lists timings here.

Eurosport and GCN+ will show every minute of every stage. More on Eurosport’s coverage here and the GCN+ coverage here.

It is also being shown on Eurosport’s Discovery+ streaming service, with broadcast info here.

Tour de France stage 4

10:32 , Lawrence Ostlere

The rest day will allow the sprinters to regather their strength and if they can keep up with the breakaway and deal with any strong winds that could become a factor late in the afternoon.

The first climb on Cote de Cassel will feature cobbles while the Cote de Cap Blanc-Nez poses the final question with around 10km to go, with another big sprint expected on the opening French stage of this year’s race.

Sprinters eye chance on stage 4 as Tour de France returns from rest day

Stage 3 report

10:22 , Lawrence Ostlere

Dylan Groenewegen won an eventful stage three as the Danish Grand Depart came to an end in Sonderborg. Groenewegen narrowly beat yellow jersey wearer Wout van Aert, Jasper Philipsen and Peter Sagan on the 182km stage from Vejle and it could be a similar story as the Tour returns to its home country on stage four.

Dylan Groenewegen edges photo finish to win stage 3 after late crash

Tour de France stage 4

10:10 , Lawrence Ostlere

The Tour de France returns following a rest day and its trip to Denmark with a 171.5km ride between Dunkirk and Calais in the northern part of the country. While stage four will start and finish on the coast, the route heads inland and will feature five category four climbs to offer opportunities for those competing for the polka dot jersey.

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