Bjerg Wins Stage 4 Time Trial of Criterium du Dauphine
Wednesday’s stage 4 of Criterium du Dauphine 2023 offered the riders a 31.1-kilometer individual time trial challenge on a route from Cours to Belmont-de-la-Loire. The terrain was hilly, and it was an important test for favorites for the 2023 Tour de France general classification.
Defending Tour de France Champion Jonas Vingegaard was at the start for Team Jumbo-Visma. Other favorites included Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates), Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost), Enric Mas (Movistar Team), Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious), and Daniel Martinez (Ineos-Grenadiers). France’s Tour de France hope David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) was looking to improve his time trial skills before the Tour start.
Ineos-Grenadiers fast man Jonathan Castroviejo set an early fastest time of 38:33 minutes and entered the hotseat. There were, however, many riders who had yet to start their individual time trials.
Nelson Oliveira (Movistar Team) later replaced Castroviejo in the hotseat for a short while, until Soudal-QuickStep’s Remi Cavagna crossed the finish line and set a faster time of 37:55 minutes.
Vingegaard set the fastest intermediate time at T1, shaving 12 seconds off Cavagna’s intermediate time.
Denmark’s Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) set the same fastest time as Cavagna at intermediate time point 2 and looked strong. With bigger stars from his team absent from the Criterium du Dauphine this was his chance of aiming for a memorable stage win.
Bjerg crossed the finish line more than 37 seconds faster than time trial specialist Cavagna. It was goodbye for Cavagna and Bjerg entered the hotseat. Would his finish time be sufficient to win the stage – or would his fellow countryman Vingegaard rob him of a big opportunity of his professional cycling career?
Vingegaard delivered an impressive finish time of 37:40 minutes, but it was not sufficient to beat Bjerg.
Bahrain-Victorious’ Fred Wright was eight seconds slower than Bjerg at intermediate timing point 2. Would he be faster than Bjerg at the finish? Wright was slower than Bjerg in the final part of the stage and finished the stage 34 seconds slower than Bjerg.
No other rider was able to beat Bjerg in today’s stage. Bjerg won stage 4 in 37:28 minutes ahead of Vingegaard and Cavagna. Wright finished fourth and AG2R-Citroen’s Ben O’Connor finished fifth.
In the general classification Bjerg leads Criterium du Dauphine following today’s stage 4. Vingegaard is second, 12 seconds behind Bjerg. Wright is third.
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