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Gaviria makes it debut double in thrilling stage-four sprint

13 July, 2018, 23:44 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • The route around Cholet of the 2018 Tour de France stage 3 team time trial

Thought to be the purest sprint specialist in the game, Cavendish has had to watch Marcel Kittel and Peter Sagan steal the early limelight on the 2018 Tour.

The 23-year-old Gaviria had already won Stage 1 - when he also edged Sagan - on his Tour debut for his Quick-Step team.

Gaviria won Stage 4 after edging world champion Peter Sagan in a sprint finish to the flat 195-kilometer (121-mile) leg from La Baule to Sarzeau that started and finished on the Atlantic coast.

Yet Gaviria was able to kick on again and had just enough to cross the line first, as Sagan claimed second off the wheel of Greipel.

BMC Racing's Greg van Avermaet retains the race leader's yellow jersey.

"Everyone in Colombia is watching the Tour de France and I feel like my nation's representative", said Gaviria.

He now heads team-mate Tejay van Garderen in the general classification, with Team Sky's Geraint Thomas three seconds back in third and defending champion Chris Froome a further 52 seconds behind in 17th. And maybe we will see the next days on the climbs.

Last year's runner-up Rigoberto Uran was caught in the same pile-up, but the Education First-Drapac team made sure their Colombian star did not lose any time.

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There were no changes among the other title hopefuls.

Froome was left 55 seconds behind in the overall standings with another week of nervy rolling stages before hitting the Alps. The 2014 champion Vincenzo Nibali was 19th (1:06), Romain Bardet 20th (1:15) and Nairo Quintana was 48th (2:08).

Behind them, the pack was led by Quick-Step Floors and BMC and the day was quite uneventful, even though there was a small crash at around 30 kilometres to go that affected riders like Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale) but didn't leave any consequences.

"We are happy to have kept the yellow", said Belgian Van Avermaet.

"It's not an easy stage by any means but, I think stage six will be more of a test for me".

Van Avermaet would normally be one of the favourites to clinch Wednesday's hilly run to Quimper, but will face a stiff challenge for the jersey. "(Depending) on how it goes there will be differences between the riders". There will be more time lost throughout the GC group before we hit the mountains.

Froome, who was cleared of doping allegations last week by the International Cycling Union, has been jeered by some sceptical fans since arriving in France.

Froome is aiming to join Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain as the only riders to win the Tour five times.

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