Elia Viviani won Stage 4 of the 2019 Tour de France, completing a prized cycling triumvirate: wins in all three Grand Tours. (He’d previously won three stages of the Vuelta a España and five at his home tour, the Giro d’Italia.)
With only two minor categorized climbs on the route, the day was expected to end in a sprint, and after catching the day’s breakaway (which featured Michael Schär, Yoann Offredo, and Frederik Backaert, the teams of the sprinters swarmed the broad, flat run-in to Nancy, in eastern France, dropping their leaders off on the straight final kilometer along the Meurthe River. The finish was so free of hazards, crashes, or other variables that might have otherwise filtered the lucky from the lost that it became a clinical test of one sprinter’s fitness against another’s. On the line, it was nearly a photo finish between Viviani, Alexander Kristoff, Caleb Ewan, and Peter Sagan.
The only team that seemed to have faltered was Jumbo-Visma. Their sprinter, Dylan Groenewegen, finished fifth, but only a hair in front of his own lead-out man, erstwhile yellow jersey wearer Mike Teunissen, suggesting that they’d gotten their timing or organization wrong.
By winning the stage – and stealing a few points in the stage’s intermediate sprint – Viviani leapfrogged into second place in the overall points classification, but he remains 23 points behind Sagan, who will wear the green jersey for another day as the peloton heads to the Alsatian town of Colmar.
|2||Wout Van Aert||+00:00:20|
|6||Egan Arley Bernal Gomez||+00:00:40|
|9||Greg Van Avermaet||+00:00:51|