Easy for Degenkolb as Wiggins retains Dauphine race lead

Critérium du Dauphiné 2011, stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson>>

John Degenkolb took his second stage of this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné in Macon this afternoon, as race leader Bradley Wiggins enjoyed a trouble-free day in the saddle.

Degenkolb (HTC-Highroad) used his explosive sprint to take Tuesday’s stage into Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse, and once again he showed an impressive turn of pace to come from a long way back to beat Wiggins’ Sky team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen.

Wiggins’ 1-11 second advantage over Cadel Evans remained intact; last year’s Dauphiné winner Janez Brajkovic is a further ten seconds adrift in third with three stages remaining.

Comfortable day for Wiggins
Jérémy Roy instigated the stage’s sole breakaway, attacking just 4km outside of the day’s start town of La Motte-Servolex.

The FDJ rider was soon joined by Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD), and the duo were allowed a comfortable gap, but one that never swelled over the five minute mark.

The peloton timed their chase to perfection, catching them just 2km from the finish.

Bradley Wiggins, race leader, Criterium du Dauphine 2011, stage four

Wiggins in the maillot jaune

Sky seek stage success
Wiggins looked comfortable throughout, with the only drama coming in the form of a mid-stage puncture.

He took a backseat as his colleagues began working hard for Boasson Hagen, but Garmin-Cervélo looked impressive as they looked to set Tyler Farrar up for his first victory since March.

Boasson Hagen initially looked like he was going to take the victory, but Degenkolb left everyone in his wake as he used his fast, but unsightly, acceleration to cross the line first.

Third went to Juan José Haedo (Saxo Bank Sungard); Farrar was also beaten by Astana’s Tomas Vaitkus  FDJ’s William Bonnet as he limped home in a lowly seventh place.

Tougher challenges ahead
After today’s uncomplicated stage, tomorrow’s finish on the second category Les Gets climb will give us a further indication of the Brit’s form.


Critérium du Dauphiné 2011, stage four: La Motte Servolex-Macon, 173.5km
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) HTC-Highroad

2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky
3. Juan José Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank Sungard
4. Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Astana
5. William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ
6. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Cervelo
7. Marco Bandiera (Ita) Quick Step
8. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis
9. Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
10. Kenny De Haes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto

Overall classification after stage four

1. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky
 in 12-57-18

2. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 1-11

3. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) RadioShack at 1-21

4. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana at 1-56

5. Rui Da Costa (Por) Movistar at 2-12

6. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky at 2-25

7. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 2-28

8. Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 2-45

9. Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack at 2-46

10. Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun 2-52

John Degenkolb wins, Criterium du Dauphine 2011, stage four

John Degenkolb out-paces Edvald Boasson Hagen (left) for the win

Bradley Wiggins continues in race lead, Criterium du Dauphine 2011, stage four

Bradley Wiggins on the podium

Critérium du Dauphiné 2011: Related links

Critérium du Dauphiné 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Critérium du Dauphiné 2011: Stage reports

Stage three: Bradley Wiggins moves into overall race lead

Stage two: Degenkolb wins as Wiggins moves up

Stage one: Van Den Broeck wins stage as Vinokourov takes lead

Prologue: Boom wins as Wiggins comes third

Critérium du Dauphiné 2011: Photo galleries
Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage three ITT photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson
Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson