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Dimension Data just miss the jump in TDF sprint

Dimension

Try as they might, Africa’s Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka were unable to make an impact at the Tour de France on Tuesday.

Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep-Floors) picked up his second stage win of the 105th edition of the Tour de France by sprinting to the victory.

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished second and Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) rounded out the stage podium.

The fourth stage took riders from La Baule to Sarzeau, covering a distance of 195km and it was always expected to be a stage for the sprinters and the prevailing headwind made sure life would be difficult for any breakaway attempts.

Nevertheless, four riders gave it a go and the peloton gave them as much as a seven-minute lead.

The team boasting the yellow jersey, BMC Racing, took control of the peloton in the early part of the stage before Quickstep-Floors added some riders into the mix.

Team Dimension Data sat back in the second row for the majority of the stage, leaving it up to the favourite sprint teams.

As the finish approached, the breakaway didn’t make life easy for the peloton, still hanging on to over a minute’s lead with 10km to go.

It was here that Jay Thomson then went forward to help reel back the escapees. Serge Pauwels and Julien Vermote then positioned their train for the final 2km, where Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Edvald Boasson Hagen took over, doing a great job to lead the race under the kilometre-to-go kite.

The headwind made the sprint tricky and timing was everything.

Mark Renshaw and Mark Cavendish had to fend off Trek-Segafredo coming up their left side, and eventually slotted in behind the surge Quickstep made in the final 450m.

Unfortunately, Cavendish was out of the running when the sprint opened up and finished outside the top 20.

Renshaw said after the stage: ‘The team rode really well in the final five kilometres with all the guys getting together in the last four and a half kilometres to put Cav in a good position.

‘We rode exactly how we wanted and how we had planned this morning. We knew the finish would be uphill so we kept him to the left side and out of trouble. We got inside the final kilometre and then he just missed the jump when the guys went, but we’re happy the team rode really well and got the positioning right.’


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