Tour de France returns to Calais
Six classified climbs punctuated the 171.2km stage 4 that left from Dunkerque, which featured again on the race after 15 years, and Calais, the port city that played a vital role during the Middle Ages, when England and France fought over it.
Côte du Cap Blanc-Nez was the last of the day’s hurdles, averaging 7.5% over 900 meters, and it was there that the peloton was blown to pieces, after several riders upped the tempo on the hardest section knowing they would drop the sprinters, whose mission to come back was complicated by the fact they had only a couple of kilometers to make up ground.
Florian Sénéchal and Mattia Cattaneo tried hard to reduce the gap to the leader, halving it with two kilometers to go, but despite their best efforts, Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) took the win for a couple of seconds. Fabio Jakobsen arrived home together with the peloton and finished in the top 15, a result that keeps him in second place on the points classification.
“We were well-positioned going into the final climb, but the speed was too much and found myself among those chasing. I gave my best to hang in there, the guys rode hard at the front of the bunch, but in the end I felt in the legs the effort I put in on the hill, where I surprised myself, and couldn’t sprint for a better result. It wasn’t our day today, but we remain optimistic and motivated for the next stages”, an upbeat Fabio said.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images