With the Tour officially on French soil, it started to feel like it usually does, and although it’s early days, the British countryside still hasn’t been surpassed in terms of sheer beauty.
Marcel Kittel started staged 4 off the back of a really strong start to the Tour, two wins out of three to be exact, and there was no-one doubting his ability to snatch a third in this stage. Kittel recently said ‘I’m not unbeatable’, but many are not taking his word for it; having only made his Tour de France debut in 2012, he’s soon settling in and stealing wins left, right and centre.
Froome to the floor
Then came Chris Froome’s painful looking smash. With worried Brits all over the country, it looked like we’d have two of our best riders out before stage 5. Froome’s shorts and jersey was ripped up and large patches of blood and dirt showed through his uniform, he looked like a shark attack victim as he boarded his bike to make head way for the rest of the stage.
With tensions still high, Froome pedalled alongside the Sky team car as they cleaned him up and wiped his wounds. After a few moments it became clear that he was staying in the race and still going strong; a huge relief for all.
Froome will however, have to face the cobbles of Roubaix with what looks like a splint wrist injury and some nasty aches all across his left side, the pain doesn’t bare thinking about, but he’s not, he’s just getting through today. We later learned, from Bernhard Eisel (Team Sky), that Froome has a cast on his hand, but the injury didn’t affect stage 4’s performance. From ITV4:
“He has a cast on his hand, but he feels OK and hopefully we just lost some skin. We didn’t lose time today. Let’s hope for the best.”
“Somebody made a mistake,” Eisel said. “This wave went through the whole bunch, from position 10 to the last position in the bunch.
“It’s just a big wave and Froomey was like the third rider and with the wave he had no chance. He just went down.
“Even when I stopped and waited for Froomey, he was back on his bike and you saw the last rider crashing near the end of the peloton.”
As Marcel Kittel battled it out up front, he managed to bag himself a third win out of the first four stages, such an impressive feat and a huge confidence booster for the young German. The stage results are:
|8||D. van Poppel||Trek||+0|
|10||D. Oss||BMC Racing||+0|
Leaving the General Classification standings at:
|4||G. Van Avermaet||BMC Racing||+2|
|5||A. Contador||Tinkoff – Saxo||+2|
|7||C. Froome||Team Sky||+2|
|8||J. Van den Broeck||Lotto||+2|
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