Belgian Wout van Aert made a late solo break to win stage four of the Tour de France and extend his overall lead on Tuesday.
After coming second on each of the first three stages in Denmark, the Jumbo-Visma man crossed the finish line in Calais eight seconds ahead of the fast-closing peloton.
Van Aert’s feat was a rare act of brilliance that will live long in the memory, and makes up for the disappointment of his three narrow misses.
After 160km dominated by two escapees, Van Aert’s Jumbo team and Adam Yates’ Ineos launched a blistering attack on a short, steep climb.
Van Aert crossed the summit first and then powered over the final 8km at over 55km/h, waving his arms in mock flight at the finish line.
Behind him, Alpecin rider Jasper Philipsen won a bunch sprint for second and celebrated apparently believing he had won the stage.
Dane Magnus Cort Nielsen showed his ability on the first day in France after he emerged as the hero of the Danish Grand Depart taking the climb points jersey.
He again won most of the climbing points and stays top of the King of the Mountains standings.
Wednesday’s stage is a bone-shaking 157km run from Lille to Arenberg taking in 20km of cobbled mining roads and will also suit the all-rounder Van Aert.
The stage could be crucial for the overall standings between the GC contenders.
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