Chris Juul-Jensen (Mitchelton-Scott) won stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse, just surviving to finish in Gstaad after a stage long breakaway. Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) won the sprint from the main group for 2nd with Yves Lampaert (Quickstep-Floors) placing 3rd.
It was a rainy day in Switzerland for stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse. It was also the longest stage of the race at 189km, making for a tough day out on the bike. The early racing saw 6 riders go clear in the opening undulating kilometers and they rode clear to over a 6-minute lead.
It took some time before the stage favourite teams started to chase and so our African Team got in on the act, with Nic Dougall heading to the front of the peloton. Bora-Hansgrohe and Quickstep had also put a rider forward each in the final 60km, when the gap to the leaders was sitting at 4’30”.
Thanks to some good work by Nic and the 2 other chasers, the gap came down to 1’10” when the final climb of the stage started with 15km to go. Unfortunately the likes of Sunweb and Bahrain left it all too late and Juul-Jensen and Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale) went over the top of the climb with a small lead.
On the wet descent it was always going to be tricky to make any time back on the lead riders, and Juul-Jensen showed his strength to stay away. Our African Team had worked hard to put Tom-Jelte Slagter in with a chance for the stage, but it wasn’t to be, despite our positive intent. Scott Davies and Merhawi Kudus both finished safely in the reduced peloton along with Tom.
Tom-Jelte Slagter – Rider
Today was a pretty hard stage, almost 200km and most of the day the weather was really bad. Only in the middle part of the stage was it dry for maybe an hour. In the final it was raining full again and I think that was to the advantage of the breakaway. In the final 25km we couldn’t really pull back that much time to them. The legs were okay today but unfortunately the winner was up the road already when we were in the chasing group so a result was not possible.