Thu, Jul 11, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Viviani fastest as stage four won by Team Quick-Step

AFP, NANCY, France

Italy’s Elia Viviani finishes stage four of the Tour de France, from Reims to Nancy, on Tuesday.

Photo: AFP

Italy’s Elia Viviani was too fast for any of the other top speedsters in a classic 70kph bunch sprint at the end of the fourth stage of the Tour de France in Nancy on Tuesday.

The rider of Team Deceuninck Quick-Step won the dash for the line after he was led out by teammate Julian Alaphilippe, the overall race leader. Viviani edged Alexander Kristoff and Caleb Ewan who were second and third.

The overnight sprint points leader, Slovak Peter Sagan, was well placed, but faded to fourth in a photo finish with rookie Ewan.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas had a quiet day as he, cocaptain Egan Bernal and their Ineos teammates all finished in the pack.

The Gothic cathedral in the Champagne city of Reims formed a breathtaking backdrop for the start of Tuesday’s stage four.

The towering 13th-century edifice where France’s kings were crowned stands as a symbol of hope for the future of another great French cathedral, Notre Dame in Paris.

Like Notre Dame, ravaged by fire in April, the cathedral in Reims also endured disaster, when it was heavily shelled in World War I.

The ensuing inferno shattered and blackened its massive stone pillars and exquisite sculptures and heavily damaged luminous stained-glass windows that, now restored, bathe its cool and cavernous interior in a rainbow of color.

The cathedral was the standout among numerous monuments that the Tour zipped past, as riders took it easy before cranking up the speed for the sprint finish, where Viviani hammered on his pedals for a career-first stage win.

Yesterday, roof-top stork’s nests and postcard Alsace villages were on the menu, when the Tour traversed eastern France’s Vosges mountains.

Additional reporting by AP

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