Due to expected bad weather conditions in the mountains, with strong wind, heavy rain, and even snow forecast, the organizers decided to change the parcours of the stage shortening the stage from 173.7 kilometers to 107.6 kilometers. After the modifications, which included skipping three long climbs in the middle of the original stage, the race featured the category three Prévonloup and a category one mountain-top finish to Torgon. The final climb was 10.5 kilometers long, with an average gradient of 6.8 percent.
The shorter distance made racing more intense and after a fast start to the stage, an eight-man group managed to pull away and establish a two-minute lead. CCC Team’s riders were riding in the peloton, which picked up the pace with 20 kilometers to go, on the approach to the final climb. Before the bottom of the decisive ascent, CCC Team moved to the front of the bunch, fighting for position for Zoidl.
The last escapee was brought back with five kilometers to go and at that point, the peloton was reduced to around 35 riders. Zoidl and Joey Rosskopf were still in the mix, and in the end, it was the Austrian who was able to stay with the General Classification favorites the longest. Eventually, he finished in the second group in 22nd place, 26 seconds behind the winner, Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo-Visma).
Quotes from the Finish Line:
“I was very happy to have the full support of the team today, especially on the run-in to and at the beginning of the last ascent. My teammates helped me get a good position in the group and early in the climb, I felt quite comfortable. It was a pity that I couldn’t follow the attackers with 300 meters to go to the GPM. Had I managed to do so maybe I would have been able to stay with them until the finish. I’m satisfied with the legs I had today and will do my best in tomorrow’s time trial to finish the race on a high note and try to move up in the General Classification.”
“Today’s stage was shortened and modified and I think it was a good decision by the organizers. Even though there was no rain for most of the stage, we could see some really scary-looking clouds on the left-hand side, so we avoided very bad and dangerous weather. In the end, I think it was the right decision and in terms of the results it didn’t change anything.”
Stage Four: Lucens – Torgon, 107.6km
Top 3: 1. Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo-Visma) 2. Rui Costa (UAE – Team Emirates) 3. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS)
CCC Team Top 3: 22. Riccardo Zoidl 25. Joey Rosskopf 47. Łukasz Owsian