Moscon rides into the Dauphine lead

07 Jun 2018

Moscon rides into the Dauphine lead

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Gianni Moscon rode into the leader’s jersey at the Criterium du Dauphine after another impressive team performance on stage four.

Geraint Thomas rode strongly to claim third on the first mountainous stage of the race, behind winner Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), while Moscon dug in to cross the line ninth, eight seconds back.

That moves the young Italian into the overall lead, six seconds ahead of teammates Michal Kwiatkowski and Thomas, who sit second and third respectively after an excellent first five days of the race.

With three categorised climbs to contend with the team rode strongly all day across the 181 kilometre stage, taking up the pace making on the hors categorie Col du Mont Noir just past the midway point.

Tao Geoghegan Hart came to the fore, pushing the tempo on the day’s toughest climb, before leading the way through the valley in pursuit of lone leader Dario Cataldo (Astana).

He and Jonathan Castroviejo dovetailed perfectly on the flat section ahead of the final climb, where Geoghegan Hart produced a brilliant turn on the front of the bunch to reduce Cataldo’s gap to all but nothing.

Then the attacks came and Thomas was able to follow Dan Martin (UAE) as he pushed clear under the flamme rouge. The Welshman played it cool in the final as Alaphilippe sprinted to the victory ahead of Martin, Thomas content with a comfortable third ahead of the bigger days to come.

Speaking after the podium ceremony, a delighted Moscon said he will enjoy the honour of racing in yellow tomorrow.

He said: “I didn’t expect to lead the race! I will enjoy wearing this jersey tomorrow but G and Kwiato are our two guys who can win the Dauphine.

“My role will not change despite having the jersey. My role here is to try and help Kwiato and G [Geraint Thomas]. Alaphilippe was the strongest for winning the stage in this relatively short finale but I think Geraint is the strongest for winning the overall.”

Stage 4 result:

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) 4:26:58
2. Dan Martin (UAE) s.t.
Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) s.t.
4. Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) s.t.
5. Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) +5"

Overall standings:

1. Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) 13:55:30
2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) +6"
3. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) +6"

4. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) +48"
5. Damiano Caruso (BMC Racing) +49"

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