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Wout van Aert wins the 4th stage of the Tour de France 2022 solo and consolidates his yellow jersey

At the edge of the North Sea, the albatross Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) hovered over the 4th stage of the Tour de France, even allowing himself to wave his arms in this way by crossing the line alone in Calais. Thwarting the most daring predictions, the Belgian achieved an anthology number by attacking 11 terminals from the finish, on the coast of Cap Blanc-Nez, where his training masterfully placed him in orbit.

Alone at the top of this 4th category climb, he was never seen again by the peloton, settled 8 seconds later by a Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin) who raised his arms by mistake. Second on each of the first 3 stages, he signed his first victory during this 109th Grande Boucle. Undoubtedly one of the most significant of his career.

Tour de France

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Contrary to one of the possible scenarios which predicted a good battle for the breakaway thanks to a downwind start, only two men went on the offensive at the start of the day. The indestructible Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education-EasyPost) was still in the game, as during the two Danish stages in line, taking the wheel of Frenchman Anthony Perez (Cofidis).

Cort Nielsen better than Bahamontes

At the top of the Remilly-Wirquin hill, at km 72, Cort Nielsen took the lead for the 8th time in a row. A record. The Dane then erased the mark forged in the Pyrenean passes by the legendary Spanish climber Federico Bahamontes in 1958. The Dane did not stop there, taking advantage of three new climbs to raise his total to 11. His polka dot jersey is thus very firmly anchored on his shoulders. He should keep it as far as the Vosges. At least.

After taking advantage of a lead of 7’40”, a gap recorded 90 km from the finish, the duo quickly saw their mattress melt, reduced to one minute as they entered the last hour of the race. Perez did not want to surrender so quickly and embarked on a final stand, alone this time, distancing Cort Nielsen 45 km from the goal. The Toulousain, a specialist in solitary effort and a good puncher, offered a good resistance by only being seen again 11 km from the finish, at the foot of the last climb of the day, at Cap Blanc-Nez (4th category ).

The coup de force of the Jumbo-Visma

The peloton was complete. But only for a few seconds. Jumbo-Visma then took out the flamethrower to roast all the sprinters as well as the overall leaders. After a final stint from Tiesj Benoot, Van Aert took matters into his own hands to disgust the last two survivors in his wheel, Adam Yates (INEOS) and Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), who a few meters away could have tipped over on the descent with his teammate and do an excellent operation with him overall, Tadej Pogacar not having been able (not able?) to invite himself to the party.

The Jumbo screwed, Van Aert blew everything up: the huge coup de force of Cap Blanc-nez

7th victory on the Tour for Van Aert

Yellow jersey on the back, Van Aert quickly widened the gap, the effect of the favorable wind and the disorganization of a peloton stunned by this uppercut which he had not seen coming. The Belgian counted up to 27 seconds in advance and kept 8 on the line, where he signed his 7th career victory on the Tour. Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck), probably too far to see the take-off of the WVA rocket, thought he had won and delivered the other strong image of this Tuesday by raising his arms for a 2nd place. Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) completed the podium of the day, just to complete the magnificent picture of his formation, ahead of Alexander Kristoff and Peter Sagan.

Philipsen believes he has won… But Van Aert has already crossed the line

No favorite trapped in the general: the positions remain unchanged. But Van Aert now has an interesting 25-second mattress on Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates). What to see coming for the next few days, which will not displease him either. Starting with the cobblestones of Wednesday on the road to Arenberg.

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