Trofimov Takes Stage 4 of Dauphine Libere
Yuri Trofimov (Katusha) has won Stage 4 of the Dauphine Libere. The Russian soloed home to take the rolling, 167.5-km ride from Montelimar to Gap. Gustav Larsson (IAM Cycling) finished second at 0:23, and Pim Ligthart (Lotto-Belisol) finished third at 0:25. Chris Froome (Sky) remains the maillot jaune.
After a number of abortive sallies, 13 riders jumped clear at 21 km. They were Andriy Grivko (Astana), Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Romain Sicard (Europcar), Ligthart, Larsson, Damiano Caruso (Cannondale), Bob Jungels (Trek), Peter Velits (BMC), Trofimov, Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), and Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Belkin). Because Bouet was only 2:43 behind Froome on GC, Sky had to keep the move on a short leash. In addition, eight teams missed the break. It all added up to more chasing that the British squad wanted to do with mountain stages coming up this weekend. The break’s lead maxed out at 4:50 at 60 km.
The gap between bunch and break remained steady until the closing km. At the base of the Col de la Manse, Caruso attacked, but his companions reeled him in. Two km from the summit, Trofimov tried his hand. The Katusha man plummeted down the descent and held on for the win. The race organizers had warned the riders that the descent was fast and technical, but Erviti and Jungels did not get the memo. Both riders crashed, although they remounted. Behind, Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp), Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) attacked from the peloton, and the Sky-led bunch let the trio go. They finished about two minutes behind Trofimov.
Froome leads Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo Bank) by 0:12 and Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) by 0:21. Stage 5 will be another chance for stage hunters to seize glory. The 189.5-km ride from Sisteron to La Mure will feature six categorized climbs, including three Category 2s. The last of these will be 20 km from the finish. It all adds up to another breakaway stealing the spotlight. Who will be in it? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!