Tour de France 2019: Stage winner Elia Viviani - Out of the shadows
Premiere: Only for the second time in his career (after 2014) Elia Viviani, at least 30 years old, has been nominated for the Tour de France this year. Team Sky (now Ineos), for whom Viviani drove from 2015 to 2017, had no room for him in the overall goal. His current team Deceuninck-Quick-Step relied last year on the tour rather on the Colombian Fernando Gaviria. He could not show his abilities on the biggest stage of cycling. In the fourth leg of the 106th Tour de France Viviani now took his first win of the day in France.
Triple: The season did not go as planned for Viviani. The Giro d'Italia left after three second places frustrated after the eleventh stage. "I'm not in the best shape and lack the belief in myself," he said in May. Two months later that has changed. "I'm very happy, I missed that victory," said Viviani at the finish. "I've won at the Giro and the Vuelta - and now at the Tour de France too - that means a lot to me." Viviani is now one of 18 active riders who have each won at least one stage in the three major circuits.
The result: Viviani won the mass sprint ahead of Norway's Alexander Kristoff (UAE) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal). Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) and Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) finished only fourth and fifth. Here is the summary of the race.
The stage: Day four at the Tour de France - and for the first time there was one classical Sprintetappe with a really flat finish on the program. This also changed a short climb 15 kilometers from the finish nothing. Accordingly, many teams were interested in a mass sprint. The three-man escape group of the day had no chance on the 213.5-kilometer stretch from Reims to Nancy.
Indestructible: The fact that Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck Quick-Step) was to be seen at this stage was a joyful surprise. After all, he had crashed into a road sign on a traffic island the day before in a careless moment just before the finish line. The force of the impact was so great that his bike broke apart. Asgreen, however, was only slightly injured and came after a short stay in the hospital on the fourth leg on the pedals. The peloton is still complete.
One team, two sprinters: While Viviani could rely on a perfectly executed sprint train, the team Jumbo-Visma seemed to be out of tune with the communication between Groenewegen and his rider Mike Teunissen (who had won the first leg). So in the end, both drove their own sprint on opposite sides of the road - and ended up in fifth and sixth place. For co-favorite Groenewegen, this is another disappointing result after his fall at the first stage.
View in the future: Viviani's contract with Deceuninck Quick-Step ends after this season. As reported by the French newspaper L'Equipe, he could switch to the French team Cofidis. Because at his current team Viviani is only the number two. The star is the man in the yellow jersey, Julian Alaphilippe. "Nothing is decided yet, but the tour is likely to be the decisive factor for where I will go next year," said Viviani to the portal "Cyclingnews". His market value he has increased again with the victory.
And now? Are the good times for the Sprinter already over? On Wednesday, there are opportunities for a breakaway group. On Thursday it could then come to the first showdown of the favorites - and the sprinters fight for the first time with the waiting period. It is not a pleasant first tour week for the fast men of the peloton. Except one is called Elia Viviani.