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Tadej Pogačar descends the Col du Galibier. He's leaning his bike hard left in a corner, trailed by a FranceTV camera moto. Behind, a rocky, snow-covered slope looms, shrouded in mist.

TdF stage 4 report: Pogačar strikes

The Slovenian rode a tactically perfect stage to take a solo win and stake his first significant lead in the race.

Joe Lindsey
by Joe Lindsey 02.07.2024 Photography by
Gruber Images & Cor Vos
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Tadej Pogačar’s first big salvo in his fight to dethrone two-time Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard was neutralized on stage 2, but on stage 4’s early foray into the high mountains, the UAE Team Emirates captain succeeded in forging a crack to his rival. Pogačar attacked near the summit of the Col du Galibier to open a small gap on the Visma-Lease a Bike rider and pried it out further with some zesty descending to take a solo victory in Valloire.

Isolated in the chase, Vingegaard slowly lost time and was re-caught by the select group of favorites behind, as Soudal-Quick Step’s Remco Evenepoel led the chase across 35 seconds behind. Thanks to the time gaps and time bonuses at the Galibier summit and finish, Pogačar also separated himself from a four-way tie on overall time and now leads the race by 45 seconds to Evenepoel, with Vingegaard third, five seconds further back.

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How it happened

I wanted to hit hard today. And I know this stage really well. I’ve been training here a lot of weeks already in [the] past. And yeah, it felt like a home stage.

Pogačar, speaking to his comfort on the climb and descent

Brief analysis

Up next

It’s out of the high mountains in a transitional stage that will likely end in a bunch sprint. The 177.4 km ride from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Saint Vulbas has several climbs, but no difficult ascents and the final summit is more than 30 km from the finish line.

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