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Road Racing

Dauphiné stage 4: Wout van Aert takes first WorldTour win, Yates in yellow

Belgian cross star dominates time trial; Adam Yates claims yellow and Chris Froome crashes out in practice

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Having clocked a third and second place in the race already, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) added a win to his collection when he won the stage 4 time trial of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

The 24-year-old cyclo-cross star put in an emphatic performance for his first road win of the season, beating Tejay van Garderen (EF Education First) by 31-seconds.

Former world TT champ Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) took third place at 47-seconds, while Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) in sixth spot on the stage took over the yellow jersey from Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida).

“It’s a big one for me,” said Van Aert. “A first WorldTour stage win.”

It was a dramatic day on the French race with news emerging before the stage that Chris Froome had crashed while doing a recon of the course. Having hit a wall on a descent and reportedly broken a femur, his team have already ruled him out of the Tour de France.

Had he still been in the race, the 26.1km leg Wednesday might have to been to Froome’s suiting.

Starting indoors in Le Scarabée stadium, the route followed flat roads west from Roanne, climbed through the first check point, and then, after descending, took wide, straight roads back to town.

Alex Dowsett (Katusha) followed by Remi Cavanga (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) and Dumoulin set the fastest times earlier in the stage. But when Van Aert, sitting 20th on GC after stage 3, blasted Dumoulin’s time, it looked like the stage winner had already been found with most of the big GC favorites still to come.

Riding in the green skinsuit of points  leader after two placings in group sprints, Van Aert showed an ability against the clock that, in 2016, saw him beat Tony Martin in a Tour of Belgium prologue.

“It was  beautiful TT course,” he noted. “Obviously it was a good course for me.

“We’ve worked on my TT skills the last few weeks but I didn’t know it was possible to win at this level.”

Starting last, his compatriot Dylan Teuns had hoped to hold onto to his yellow jersey. But contenders Yates, Van Garderen and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) all produced better rides than the stage 2 winner, with Yates doing enough to edge ahead of him overall by 4-seconds. Van Garderen sits third at 6-seconds.

Thursday’s stage 5 is a flattish run to Voiron, positioned on the edge of the Alps. Three days in the foothills and mountains follow.

Results will be available once stage has completed.

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.