Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 4: Alaphilippe, Martin Play Protagonists, Alaphilippe 6th
Etixx - Quick-Step rider Julian Alaphilippe finished 6th in the bunch sprint of Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 4 on Wednesday, from Anneyron to Sisteron, and did so despite taking his chances in a late race chase of a breakaway rider that was eventually caught.
Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) launched very late to win the stage, with Jonas Vangenechten (IAM Cycling) finishing 2nd, and Luka Mezgec (Giant-Alpecin) placing 3rd.
Alaphilippe initially went off the front by following an acceleration by Daniel Oss (BMC Racing Team) behind Martin Keizer (LottoNL - Jumbo) solo, and a four-rider chase group. Keizer left his original break mate Tosh Van Der Sande (Lotto Soudal) behind when the peloton began collaborating and cut the gap to less than a minute with 13.3km to go in the stage. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) eventually bridged alone to Keizer.
Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL- Jumbo) also attacked out of the peloton, and with 7.4km to go in the stage it was just Wellens and Keizer ahead of Kelderman and Alaphilippe.
But Wellens left Keizer behind, and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) bridged to Alaphilippe and Kelderman before those three were caught with 4.8km remaining. Wellens was also brought in with a little more than 2km left to race.
Tony Martin and Oss tried a late race attack soon after, with Bram Tankink (LottoNL - Jumbo) following. However, the peloton also shut this down in hopes of a group arrival.
Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) tried his own chances with a late race acceleration, but even that was caught before the line. Alaphilippe remained near the front despite using some energy to attack earlier, and finished in the top 10. Maxime Bouet was also 13th.
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to Stage 5 on Thursday. Stage 5 is a 161km high mountain stage and will be one for the GC contenders. There is Category 1 Col d'Allos (14km, 5% average gradient), and a summit finish at Pra-Loup (6.2km, 6.5% average gradient).