Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) lives to wear the maillot jaune for another day, while Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) reigned supreme in the Tour de France Stage 5 individual time trial. Having waited until the last possible moment in 2020 to claim the yellow jersey by beating Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) in the final ITT in the opening salvo of the Pog/Rog rivalry, it appears Pog is taking no prisoners in his bid to stand atop the Paris podium for the second year running. A relatively flat course *should* have made for an unexciting time trial, however, it would seem the word “boring” is not in this year’s Tour de France vocabulary. By the finish, it was only MvdP who ended the day in the same position as he started it – the rest of the GC Top 10 moved up, moved down, moved all around.
Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck- Quick Step) screamed across the line in Fougeres, arms aloft, to claim victory on Stage 4 of the Tour de France from Arkea Samsic’s Nacer Bouhanni and Jasper Philippsen (Alpecin Fenix). Not only does that bland statement fail to capture the whole Cav experience (oh yes, there will be tears!!!), it also does no justice whatsoever to the edge-of-the-seat excitement of the finale (oh yes, there will be screaming!!!) Let’s get into it.
Trying to work through the thousands of great tweets from the first three stages of this year’s Tour de France has been like trying to sort bikes and bodies after the whole peloton goes down. I’ve done my best, picking up bits here and there to make a snapshot of the weekend, but they’re definitely not in chronological order. So just think of it as you’re the mechanic trying to make sense of the parts you have in front of you! Let’s get going!