Elia Viviani took his first victory since stage 3 of Tirreno-Adriatico when he won the gallop for stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse. The Italian national champion won for Deceuninck-Quick Step ahead of Michael Matthews of Team Sunweb and Peter Sagan of BORA-Hansgrohe; with the latter keeping his overall lead.
Murten to Arlesheim took the field on a 163.9km trek that featured an interesting second half that could potentially entice a breakaway move in the right circumstances. Although just two categorised climbs featured in the final 80km, the second half’s rolling nature could prove unpredictable.
The day was most notable, however, for yet more misfortune for Team Ineos in their run up to the Tour de France. Geraint Thomas hit the deck with some 30km to go and was taken to hospital for treatment, meaning that he is out of the Tour de Suisse and uncertain for the Tour de France. The Brit was able to move his arms and shoulders comfortably, but the team opted to er on the side of caution; meaning he will now miss crucial mountain stages of the race that would have been great indicators ahead of next month.
Today’s break established after 15km but were not given much room for manoeuvre. Taco van Der Hoorn of Jumbo-Visma, Gian Friesecke of the Swiss National Team, Robin Carpenter of Rally UHC and Simon Geschke of CCC Team made the break of the day but weren’t given anything over around 2.30mins by a peloton led by BORA-Hansgrohe.
The climb of the Eichenberg that topped out with 19km to go saw Friesecke and Geschke go on the attack before the former dropped Geschke and lasted until just before the descent where Team Sunweb seized control of the peloton.
Attacks weren’t done yet, with multiple attacks going up the road; though none could ultimately succeed as BORA-Hansgrohe again marshalled themselves at the front with Trek-Segafredo and Deceuninck-QuickStep all in amongst the action. Heading through to 1km to go Deceuninck-QuickStep seized control of the front of the race and provided the perfect lead out for Viviani courtesy of Yves Lampaert and Michael Mørkøv.
Viviani had an armchair ride to the line and when he launched it looked like it was just Peter Sagan who was in with a shot at challenging the Italian. Briefly it looked like the Slovakian might overpower Viviani but the Italian succeeded in holding on and an uncharacteristically miss-timed bike throw from Sagan saw Michael Matthews edge him for second place.
Patrick Bevin of CCC Team was the best placed of the Kiwis, finishing 25th after supporting Greg van Avermaet. Robert Stannard of Mitchelton-SCOTT crossed the line in a small group containing Valerio Agnoli, while Sam Bewley and EF Education First’s Tom Scully finished in a large group containing Luke Rowe, Jurgen Roelandts and Omar Fraile.
|Rank||First Name||Last Name||Country||Team||Result|
|1||Elia||VIVIANI||ITA||DECEUNINCK – QUICK – STEP||3:46:02|
|3||Peter||SAGAN||SVK||BORA – HANSGROHE||+00|
|4||Matteo||TRENTIN||ITA||MITCHELTON – SCOTT||+00|
|5||Jasper||STUYVEN||BEL||TREK – SEGAFREDO||+00|
|6||Sep||VANMARCKE||BEL||EF EDUCATION FIRST||+00|
|7||Reinardt||JANSE VAN RENSBURG||RSA||TEAM DIMENSION DATA||+00|
|8||Ivan||GARCIA CORTINA||ESP||BAHRAIN – MERIDA||+00|
|96||Robert||STANNARD||AUS||MITCHELTON – SCOTT||+01:48|
|116||Sam||BEWLEY||NZL||MITCHELTON – SCOTT||+11:32|
|134||Tom||SCULLY||NZL||EF EDUCATION FIRST||+11:32|