The breakaway of the day was established shortly after the flag dropped when four riders went clear and opened up a five-minute lead. The peloton with CCC Team’s riders was never too concerned about the gap, especially considering the length of the stage, and kept everything under control.
At the feed zone, when the leaders’ advantage was down to four minutes, Jonas Koch stopped racing after struggling with illness over the last few days. Despite not feeling well, the German rider was still able to perform well on a demanding stage three and four but this effort took its toll on him and forced him to abandon.
The bunch started closing in on the breakaway inside the final 50 kilometers, when the race entered more hilly terrain, and the last man standing was brought back at the bottom of the final, category one climb, with 36 kilometers to go.
That ascent saw some attacks from the General Classification contenders, which caused the bunch to split but, it all came back together inside the final ten kilometers.
The stage was decided in a bunch sprint which was won by Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates), while Josef Cerny was the first CCC Team rider across the line.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Sports Director, Jackson Stewart
“Jonas has not felt well for a couple of days now and today it got even worse. Unfortunately, some things are out of our control and his cold didn’t allow him to continue.”
“Today we tried to rally behind Jakub Mareczko for the finish but the pace was very high on the climb and it was difficult for him to stay in the group. Later, he was unable to come back when the race regrouped after the climb. It was not our best day but, tomorrow should be better for us. We also hope that Koch recovers quickly so he can start his off-season downtime well.”