In the end, it was Lennard Kämna (BORA – hansgrohe) who took the day’s spoils on the runway after attacking from a select group of seven riders, which included Masnada, on the final 2.9-kilometer climb to the line.
Despite this late attack, Masnada continued to push hard before eventually crossing the line in sixth place after spending the majority of the day out at the front, tackling the six categorized climbs that littered the 153.5-kilometer stage.
Earlier in the day, the battle to make the breakaway began as soon as the flag dropped and, after the success of the escapees yesterday, there was a lot of interest in making it into the successful move with 15 riders finally snapping the elastic on the opening climb, the Col de Plan Blois.
The group’s advantage remained stable at around the four-minute mark over the next three climbs but, by the time Masnada and his breakaway companions reached the hors catégorie Montée de Bisanne, they were five minutes ahead of a heavily reduced yellow jersey group.
On the slopes of the 12.7-kilometer long climb, the front group started to split but CCC Team’s Italian rider was able to hold his own against a strong group of riders and despite losing contact on a couple of occasions after intense bursts of speed, Masnada was able to show his strength, riding back into the group in time for the ascent towards Megève.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“Today was a very hard stage but after missing out on a couple of the opening stages due to late punctures, I wanted to try to be active and really contribute to the action of this race. I was very focused at the start of the stage and really wanted to find the right breakaway and after a hard climb, I managed to make it into the group. It was a big group with a lot of strong riders and on the longest climb, I reached the summit with the best riders and we worked well together to maintain our advantage going into the final 10 kilometers. I tried to do my best all day and I wanted to make a good result. I’m happy with what I did even if the win would have been a dream at a renowned race like this with the best riders in the world. Tomorrow will be another hard stage and I will do my best to try to race for a victory again for my team after all the hard work they have done.”
Critérium du Dauphiné
Stage 4: Ugine > Megève (153.5km)
Top 3: 1. Lennard Kämna (BORA – hansgrohe) 2. David de la Cruz (UAE-Team Emirates) 3. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step)
CCC Team Top 3: 6. Fausto Masnada 31. Víctor de la Parte 48. Will Barta