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After three consecutive runner-up spots, Van Aert finally wins as Tour returns to France

Yellow jersey extends his lead

After three consecutive 2022 Tour de France runner-up spots, Van Aert finally won as the Tour returned to France from Denmark on Tuesday. It was his seventh career Tour stage triumph. Van Aert padded his yellow jersey lead with a dominant performance on France’s north coast. Once again, Hugo Houle was the top Canadian in 24th; he moved up on GC to 26th.

You can watch the 2022 Tour de France at FloBikes.

The Course

The race’s return to France started in Dunkirk, scene of the famous evacuation of British and French armies in 1940, before describing a clockwise circuit that ended at Calais overlooking the White Cliffs of Dover. Six Cat. 4 climbs were scattered over the 171.5 km, with the last, a short, steep affair, cresting 11 km from the finish line.

Magnus Cort went out in a breakaway for the third consecutive stage to augment his points lead in the King of the Mountain competition. He took along Anthony Perez this time.

After the first Cat. 4, things got a little hectic, as Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl pushed into the crosswinds, splitting the peloton. Mathieu van der Poel, Guillaume Martin and Thibaut Pinot were among those caught in the back, but the peloton reformed before the day’s intermediate sprint. At the intermediate sprint Fabio Jakobsen was first over, Van Aert second.

Cort kept securing the single points atop the Cat. 4s as Lotto-Soudal, Alpecin-Deceuninck and Trek-Segafredo led the chase.

Perez took his leave from Cort with 45 km remaining and carried on in the lead.

Côte du Cap Blanc-Nez

The last Cat. 4 was a kilometre of 7.2 percent. Positioning going into the Côte du Cap Blanc-Nez was crucial. Three Ineos and four Jumbo-Visma riders created a little group, scooping up Perez at its bottom.

Wout Van Aert, Dani Martinez and Jonas Vingegaard split from the others and then Van Aert went clear. Could the yellow jersey solo 10 km to the victory? He had 23 seconds with 7 km to race.

Van Aert goes solo on the Côte du Cap Blanc-Nez.

Van Aert stayed clear as the peloton re-formed behind and chased. Strangely, runner-up Jasper Philipsen thought he won the stage.

All the GC men will be wary of Wednesday’s cobbled stage from Lille to Wallers-Arenberg.

2022 Tour de France, Stage 4
1) Wout Van Aert (Belgium/Jumbo-Visma) 4:01:36
2) Jasper Philipsen (Belgium/Alpecin-Deceuninck) +0:08
3) Christophe Laporte (France/Jumbo-Visma) s.t.
24) Hugo Houle (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) s.t.

2022 Tour de France GC
1) Wout Van Aert (Belgium/Jumbo-Visma) 13:02:43
2) Yves Lampaert (Belgium/Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl) +0:25
3) Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia/UAE-Emirates) +0:32
26) Hugo Houle (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +1:51