Stage 4 | Saumur to Limoges | Tour de France 2016
For the second day in a row, the winning margin at the Tour de France was a matter of centimetres – if not millimetres.
After three stages without a victory, pressure was building on the Belgian Etixx-Quick Step team and their German sprinter Marcel Kittel. It didn’t help much that two of the stages were won by Mark Cavendish, who Etixx-Quick Step allowed to leave for Dimension Data at the end of last season.
But everything worked out perfectly for Kittel in Limoges after the 237.5-kilometre fourth stage from Saumur – the longest of the race. The sun even came out.
It was close for Kittel as he was pushed all the way by Frenchman Bryan Coquard of Direct Energie.
In this episode of The Telegraph Cycling Podcast, Richard Moore and Lionel Birnie analyse Kittel’s return to winning ways at the Tour after missing last year’s race with illness and injury. We hear from Etixx-Quick Step owner Patrick Lefevere and sports director Brian Holm about the victory.
Richard and Lionel are joined by Dutch journalist Daan Hakkenberg of Algemeen Dagblad to discuss the stage and also the amazing sprint by Dutch champion Dylan Groenewegen, who came from so far back to finish fourth and was, arguably, the fastest over the final few hundred metres.
There’s also a guest appearance from La Gazzetta dello Sport’s Ciro Scognamiglio, who is bracing himself for Astana’s two Italian riders – the Sicilian Vincenzo Nibali and Sardinian Fabio Aru – deciding among themselves who is fastest and should be team leader.
We have the return of The Friebos File from roving reporter Daniel Friebe and hear from Ireland’s Sam Bennett, who crashed hard during the opening stage and has been struggling on despite his injuries.
Plus there’s a chat with Britain’s Dan McLay, the sprinter with the French Fortuneo-VItal Concept team, who has finished in the top ten three times in four days.
The Telegraph Cycling Podcast is supported by Rapha and Eurosport.