Tour de France 2022 Stage 4, as it happened - Indomitable Van Aert soloes to glory in Calais

Tour de France
Stage 4 | Flat | men | 05.07.2022
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Felix Lowe
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Felix Lowe
Updated 05/07/2022 at 16:16 GMT

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17:00
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HERE'S HOW WOUT VAN AERT TOOK THE WIN
After three successive second place finishes, the Belgian really ended his 'losing' run in some style, eh? Or, in the words of teammate Primoz Roglic: "He’s crazy, huh? Like half-human, half-motor! We cannot wish for more – it’s really unbelievable and I’m proud to be a part of it. The team was there, the situation was there – and the guy is just super strong. When he goes, no one can follow.”

‘Deadly demonstration’ – Van Aert conquers Stage 4 after Jumbo-Visma blow race apart

16:54
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VAN AERT STRENGTHENS GRIP ON YELLOW AND GREEN
Thanks to the 10 bonus seconds and eight-second gap, Wout van Aert is now 25 seconds clear of compatriot Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) at the top of the standings, with Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) still third but at 32 seconds. His victory sees his green jersey points tally rise to 170pts with Stage 2 winner Fabio Jakobsen of Quick-Step his nearest rival on 109pts. What a commanding performance from the Belgian superstar today.
16:50
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VAN AERT: 'IT WAS 10KM OF ALL-OUT SUFFERING'
Asked whether all that was to avoid a bunch sprint, Wout van Aert replied: "Exactly. I didn’t want to take the risk anymore. I think it was quite obvious that we were trying something with the team. We were in a perfect position thanks to Nathan and Stevie, then Tiesj took over on the climb. The goal was to go full to the top and see what happened. But I came over the top alone. I was in doubt whether I should wait for Jonas and Yates behind. By going full, I put Jonas and the others in a good position because they didn’t have to ride. So I decided to go on alone. Then it was 10km of all-out suffering."
16:45
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STAGE 4 TOP FIVE
1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)
2. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) +8
3. Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) +8
4. Alexander Kristoff (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +8
5. Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) +8
The likes of Michael Matthews, Alberto Dainese, Mads Pedersen and Fabio Jakobsen were all there in the chase group but didn't have enough left to compete for a high finish.
16:32
VAN AERT SOLOES TO GLORY AFTER ENDING 'LOSING' RUN
16:35
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VICTORY FOR WOUT VAN AERT! FACEPALM FOR PHILIPSEN!
Wout van Aert celebrates by spreading his wings - or arms - and then punching the air! After those three second places he's finally gone one better after using his whole team to devastating affect on the final climb.
But, oh no! Just seconds later, Jasper Philipsen leads the peloton home and celebrates his second place as if he just won Stage 4. Which I think he thinks he has just done... You have to feel for the Belgian from Alpecin-Deceuninck, who learns the truth from Van Aert's Jumbo-Visma teammate Christophe Laporte, who took third ahead of Kristoff.
16:31
FINAL KILOMETRE: MERCKXIAN PERFORMANCE FROM VAN AERT
The man in yellow goes under the flamme rouge to the delight of the fans lining the road - and there's no way he's not going to win this now. What a move on the final climb!
16:28
3KM TO GO: GROENEWEGEN DISTANCED, VAN AERT ON BRINK
The Stage 3 winner is in a second group behind the main peloton, which is being driven by Lotto, Trek, Quick-Step and Alpecin now. But it's all in vain because Van Aert's lead is still 25 seconds and it looks like he's going to pick up a memorable stage win in yellow after his three consecutive second places.
16:24
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7KM TO GO: 20 SECONDS FOR VAN AERT
If you can't win in a sprint or a time trial then perhaps it's best to just solo clear to glory? That's clearly Wout van Aert's plan here as he opens up a commanding lead following that explosive attack, the seeds of which was laid by Tiesj Benoot. Jasper Stuyven has been leading the chase for Trek but it's very disorganised because there aren't that many bodies in the chasing pack and Jumbo won't lend a hand.
16:22
VAN AERT SOLOES CLEAR AFTER JUMBO MASS-ATTACK ON FINAL CLIMB
16:20
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11KM TO GO: VAN AERT AND JUMBO BLOW PACK APART ON FINAL CLIMB
Wow! This is Paris-Nice all over again! Wout van Aert and his teammates have lit the torch paper and blown this race apart. Initially the man in yellow went with several Jumbo teammates and three Ineos riders - but by the time he crested the summit of the Cote du Cap Blanc-Nez, Van Aert was on his own, with only teammate Jonas Vingegaard and Adam Yates of Ineos anywhere near him. Sensational stuff from the Belgian and his Jumbo-Visma team.

‘Caught everybody off guard’ – Jumbo-Visma decimate pack with surprise attack

16:19
13KM TO GO: INEOS COME TO THE FRONT
Just 12 seconds for Perez now as Ineos Grenadiers send a few riders to the front to look after Geraint Thomas. Tom Pidcock is one of these riders - and a split has occured as Jumbo-Visma join the party with Ineos and up the tempo.
16:10
18KM TO GO: PEREZ DIGS DEEP BEFORE THE INEVITABLE
You can't help but think how things may have panned out differently today had more riders joined Magnus Cort and Anthony Perez in the break. With just two men, they never stood much of a chance of staying out all the way. Cort has already thrown in the towel after almost doubling his polka dot points tally but Perez, who rides for local team Cofidis, is still doing his best to defy the pack. His gap is still 30 seconds but there's that final climb coming up before the finish. Unless the pack explodes on that pack, we could well be in for another bunch sprint finale.
16:00
25KM TO GO: TENSION MOUNTS AS PELOTON CLOSE IN ON PEREZ
The teams of the sprinters and GC favourites alike have flocked towards the front ahead of the coastal section just in case the wind gets up and lights the torch paper. They have Anthony Perez on a 35-second leash now as we approach the business end of this stage.
15:45
37KM TO GO: MEINTJES HELD UP AS ROAD NARROWS
There's a bottleneck in the road thanks to some traffic-calming furniture and it's caught out a number of riders, including little Louis Meintjes. The South African doesn't hit the deck but he's forced to unclip and come to a complete standstill before going on his way. Crisis averted. Perez's lead is still around 1'20" as the pace ramps up with the race approaching the coastal road again. The wind is apparently not as bad as expected and so there many not be the anticipated splits.
15:39
PEREZ SOLOES CLEAR AFTER CORT CALLS IT A DAY
15:36
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45KM TO GO: PEREZ KICKS CLEAR, CORT SITS UP
The Frenchman has played second fiddle most of this stage but he's now zipped clear in pursuit of the red bib number that currently adorns the back of Cort's jersey as most combative rider from the previous stage. With his KOM run unlikely to continue over the final climb, Cort seems happy to let Perez enjoy his moment in the spotlight. He sits up and will now look forward to another visit to the podium tonight to pick up his polka dot jersey.
15:32
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48KM TO GO: CORT EXTENDS HIS POLKA DOT LEAD
That's another point for the kitty for Magnus Cort, who crests the summit of the Cat.4 Col de Ventus to make it five from five today - and eleven from eleven since the start of the Tour. The gap for the moustachioed Dane and Anthony Perez is down to 1'20".
15:11
60KM TO GO: JUST TWO MINUTES NOW FOR LEADERS
The Trek-Segafredo and Alpecin-Deceuninck teams of Mads Pedersen and Mathieu van der Poel - two riders whom today's final suits to a tee - are doing all the work on the front now as the peloton strings out and comes within just over two minutes of Cort and Perez up the road. Around an hour and 20 minutes to go now of this slow-building stage...
15:02
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68KM TO GO: ANOTHER KOM POINT FOR CORT
Magnus Cort leads Anthony Perez over the Cote de Harlettes to move onto 10pts in the KOM standings. Four climbs down, two more to go. But will this leading duo be able to stay out for the next two? Their lead is down to 2'30" now as the fight for the stage spoils ramps up ahead of the finale.