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Dauphiné (4) - Eiking and Martin in the attack

Dauphiné (4) - Eiking and Martin in the attack

The fourth stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné (2.WT, 03-10/06) started at a high pace. A breakaway of eight riders got away after about sixty kilometers. The average of the first hour was more than 52.3 km/h. Odd Eiking was present in the good group of the day, together with among others Cataldo, Clarke and Pöstlberger. The breakaway started with more than five minutes advantage at the foot of the most difficult climb of the day: Mont Noir (17.5 at 6.9%). Odd Eiking immediately accelerated.

The Norwegian climber was caught on the toughest slopes by Dario Cataldo, who then also took the lead. Eiking was taken back by his former companions and was seized by the reduced peloton at the foot of the final climb. A new battle for the stage victory started. Cataldo was finally caught in the last hectometers, under the impulse of Guillaume Martin who attacked just before the final kilometer. The stage victory eventually went to Alaphilippe after an effort in the last 300 meters. Martin finished 8th. In the general classification Martin moves up to 31st position, just before Meurisse as 32nd. On Friday, a 130 km long mountain stage with an arrival in Valmorel awaits the riders.

Odd Eiking :

"It took more than 60 kilometers before the breakaway was formed. I was in front at the right time, and I could close the gap with the front group. It was  hard to be present in the good group because it was going very fast. As Hilaire insisted on being represented in the breakaway, I attacked. "

"On the climb I accelerated because I felt that the pace was not high enough in the group. Cataldo took me back and I struggled to follow him. I did not miss a lot to hang on to his wheel on the steepest section, because the final was more rolling. I missed about ten watts. But my condition is improving. Maybe with accompanying Cataldo we could have gone to the end, but he was very strong. I will see how my legs evolve in the following days. "

Guillaume Martin :

"The start was very fast, but I was able to save some energy. I simply followed on the first climb, because the favorites stood out. It gave me a first indication of my feelings. Odd then was in front, which reinforced the position of the team. We then entered the real mountains with Mont Noir. I had good feelings, which reassured me for the final. "

"On the last climb everyone was looking at each other, probably because it was the first summit finish. I weighed the pros and cons, but my offensive temper prevailed. I should have waited because AG2R rode behind me. I probably had legs to follow the other top riders. But if AG2R does not react, everyone would tell me that I made the right choice. "

"The gaps are minimal at the finish, and despite a gap of almost four minutes after the time trials, I can still aim for a good general. I still want to be regular, especially to see what I can do on consecutive difficult stages with an eye on Le Tour. But I prefer a stage win to a 10th place overall. "

Stage 4 :
1. Julian Alaphilippe
2. Daniel Martin
3. Geraint Thomas
8. Guillaume Martin + 0:08
24. Xandro Meurisse + 0:27
34. Thomas Degand + 1:40
45. Odd Eiking + 4:48
73. Frederik Backaert + 14:38
74. Marco Minnaard
79. Dion Smith

GC :
1. Gianni Moscon
2. Michal Kwiatkowski + 0:06
3. Geraint Thomas 
31. Guillaume Martin + 3:53
32. Xandro Meurisse + 4:03
37. Thomas Degand + 5:23
45. Odd Eiking + 8:39
72. Dion Smith + 21:09
84. Marco Minnaard + 24:02
119. Frederik Backaert + 32:58