Caleb Ewan speaks: Asked about today’s finish, the Australian Lotto-Soudal rider told ITV he was praying for a headwind. He said he expects the conclusion of today’s stage to be chaotic, with everyone trying to be at the front of the bunch as they negotiate lots of roundabouts, small hills and narrow little streets.
Interestingly, the sprinters contesting today’s finish will not actually see the line until the final 100 metres. Ewan will hope to surf the wheels of other riders after getting a lead-out from his team-mate Jasper De Buyst.
Today’s intermediate sprint: We’ll see some action at the 48-kilometre mark, at L’Epine.
This could be a long and uneventful afternoon: Nobody is showing the slightest inclination to break away from the peloton, which is rolling along at a very gentle pace.
Racing is under way in stage five …
Well, up to point. After a fairly brutal start to this year’s Tour, certainly compared to other years, today’s stage should be a nice easy one for the riders. After about 15 kilometres, the peloton is still rolling along at a fairly sedate pace with no breakaway group having made a run for it yet.
Deceuninck-Quick Step’s Kasper Asgreen tried to bolt after four kilometres but was reeled in by Thomas De Gendt, who is peloton pacemaker. His team-mate Caleb Ewan will be hoping to win his second stage of this year’s Tour today.
at 8.05am EDT
Race director Christian Prudhomme on today’s stage: “The journey through Provence will take the riders on the lands of olive trees as they go past Nyons and then to the kingdom of ‘nougat’ in the city of Montélimar,” he said. “But once in the Rhone Valley, the cycling speciality really is the bunched sprint. At the end of an uphill false-flat road on several kilometres, the one in Privas will concern the finest of specialists.”
Stage Four recap
Julian Alaphilippe remains in yellow while Team Ineos leader Egan Bernal is struggling, but a month after the collision that ended his participation in the Critérium du Dauphiné, Jumbo-Visma rider and race favourite Primoz Roglic was first over the line at Orcières-Merlette in the Hautes-Alpes. Jeremy Whittle was there for the Guardian …
Stage five: Gap to Privas (183km)
From William Fotheringham’s stage-by-stage guide: “Largely downhill, this is another one earmarked for the sprinters,” he writes. “But the finish merits a closer look, climbing gradually in the final eight kilometres. Might favour a “punchy” finisher such as the Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet or Milan-San Remo winner Wout van Aert.”