Team Sunweb’s tough outing at the Dauphine continued today, but the team continued to put in an effort to maximise on the race despite the difficult circumstances.
Stage four of the Dauphine took riders from Chazey-sur-Ain to Lans-en-Vercors with a 181 kilometre route featuring three categorised climbs, and the first of four summit finishes that make up the closing stages of the race. The stage opened with a frantic effort to get into the breakaway, with countless attackers trying their luck with no prevail. 80 kilometres had been covered before a group could finally snap the elastic, with the eight riders going onto open up a five minute advantage over the peloton whilst Team Sunweb remained in the main field.
The winner of the stage looked like it would come from the breakaway as one rider lead the race solo up the final climb to the line. A relentless chase from the reduced bunch behind saw them pass the lone leader with just 300 metres to go and a select group contest the victory. Team Sunweb finished the day safely with just three stages remaining.
Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek said: “We tried long and hard to get into the break today but it was a real fight. It’s a tough race for us here at the Dauphine but we’re determined to get through this spell of bad luck. Today was the first of four summit finishes and we will try to hold on as much as we can as the race really gets difficult. Despite the circumstances we are keeping our spirits high and are still motivated to turn the tables here.”