Primoz Roglic shows he’s ready to challenge for overall victory at Tour de France
After just four stages at the Tour de France, the balance of power is already becoming clear: Primoz Roglic and his Jumbo-Visma team are looking like the ones to beat.
Roglic, the Spanish Vuelta champion, used the race’s first summit finish Tuesday in the ski resort of Orcieres-Merlette to erase any lingering doubts surrounding his form.
Following an impressive collective performance from his teammates, the former ski jumper from Slovenia won a sprint to secure his third career stage win at the three-week race. Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe managed to follow the late accelerations and kept the race leader’s yellow jersey after crossing the line in fifth place.
“It was quite a fast day, it was hard but the guys again did a really good job,” Roglic said, thanking his teammates for their support in the final climb. “I was always in a good position and so could do a nice sprint, so I’m very happy.“
Roglic completed the 100-mile ride in 4 hours, 7 minutes, 47 seconds.
Highlights from Stage 4 of the Tour de France on Tuesday.
With a strategy used in previous years by defending champion Egan Bernal’s Ineos squad, Roglic’s teammates Wout van Aert and Sepp Kuss set a very fast tempo on the final four-mile climb, preventing any attack from the likes of Alaphilippe, Thibaut Pinot, Nairo Quintana or Bernal.
“The Jumbo-Visma train was really hard to follow,” Alaphilippe said.
Roglic couldn’t drop any of his rivals but used his power to prevail in the sprint launched by Frenchman Guillaume Martin with less than 500 yards left. Roglic, who moved to third overall thanks to the bonus time awarded to the stage winner, reached a speed of 32 mph as he raised both arms to cross the line.
Tadej Pogacar secured a Slovenian one-two and Martin completed the podium.
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Overall, Alaphilippe kept a four-second lead over Adam Yates of Britain, with Roglic three seconds further back.
Roglic’ participation at cycling’s marquee race was in doubt only weeks ago after his withdrawal from the Criterium du Dauphine because of injuries he sustained in a crash.
“I’m coming back,” Roglic said. “We can see that I can race, and every day I feel a little better. It’s nice to be able to ride again. I already got proof that I was ready for the start. Now we need to continue.”
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