NANCY, FRANCE (AFP) — Italy’s Elia Viviani was too fast for any of the other top speedsters in a classic 70kph (44mph) bunch sprint at the end of the fourth stage of the Tour de France in Nancy on Tuesday.
The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider won the dash for the line after he was led out by teammate Julian Alaphilippe, the overall race leader. Viviani edged Alexander Kristoff and Caleb Ewan who were second and third.
The overnight sprint points leader, Slovak Peter Sagan, was well placed but faded to fourth in a photo finish with rookie Australian Ewan.
Defending champion Geraint Thomas had a quiet day as he, co-captain Egan Bernal and their Ineos teammates all finished in the pack.
Alaphilippe was the toast of the Tour on Tuesday as fans all along the route shouted ‘Juju’, his nickname, as he rode by in the yellow jersey he won the day before with a swashbuckling 15km attack in stage three. He is the first French Tour leader in five years.
Roof-top stork’s nests and postcard Alsace villages are on the menu Wednesday, when the Tour traverses eastern France’s Vosges mountains with two third category and two second category climbs from Saint-Die-des-Vosges to Colmar.
© Agence France-Presse