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Van Aert takes first World Tour win on stage 4 of the Criterium du Dauphine

Van Aert takes first World Tour win on stage 4 of the Criterium du Dauphine

12/06/2019 at 16:00Updated 12/06/2019 at 16:25

Wout van Aert swept to a surprise time trial victory during the fourth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine on Wednesday.

Van Aert, who collected his first win of the season and his first as Team Jumbo-Visma rider, becomes the first Belgian to win a long time trial of the Dauphine since Eddy Merckx in 1971.

Having impressed during the sprint on Tuesday, Van Aert beat EF Education First's Tejay van Garderen by 40 seconds, with the Dutchman Tom Dumoulin six seconds further back in third place.

Van Aert told reporters: "Actually, yesterday was a surprise - today as well - but we worked hard on the last training camp, and I was really motivated for today.

" I hope to stay in the lead, but if not, it will definitely still be a good result. I didn't know the gap was that much [46 seconds on Dumoulin], so it was beyond expectations."

"Tomorrow is still a good stage for me, but then I'm finished! I feel pretty good after altitude camp, so it's a big surprise."

Criterium du Dauphine - Stage 4 results

Criterium du Dauphine - Stage 4 resultsGetty Images

The fourth stage of the Dauphine was overshadowed by an injury to Chris Froome during a recon ride that rules him out of the Tour de France.

Britain's four-times Tour de France winner Froome will not start next month's race after sustaining a "bad fracture" following a heavy crash, Team Ineos manager Dave Brailsford said.

Froome, 34, was taken to a local hospital after hitting a wall at high speed during a course reconnaissance of the 26.1 km individual time trial around Roanne in central France, with Brailsford suspecting he might have broken his thigh bone.

Chris Froome was rushed to a local hospital after hitting a wall

Chris Froome was rushed to a local hospital after hitting a wallGetty Images

"It's a very serious accident. Clearly, he won't be at the start of the Tour de France. It'll take quite a long time before he races again," Brailsford told French television.

" He's badly injured... it sounds like a fracture of the femur. We're trying to manage that and make sure he gets the best care. The next hour, hour and a half is crucial."

"He crashed in the downhill section of the course at high speed. He hit a wall. The ambulance came quickly, he's been taken care of and is waiting for a helicopter to be transferred to Lyon or Saint-Etienne."

Froome's wife Michelle later tweeted from her husband's account that he was on his way to hospital and his injuries were yet to be confirmed.

"I am awaiting information and transport to get to where he is and as soon as we have any information we will update you."

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