João Almeida takes back-to-back wins with uphill sprint on stage four of Tour of Poland 2021

Having taken his first WorldTour win on stage three, Almeida was at it again in Poland

João Almeida on stage four of the Tour of Poland 2021
(Image credit: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

João Almeida capitalised on the confidence after his first WorldTour win, making it back-to-back victories with stage four of the Tour of Poland 2021.

The Portuguese rider held position in a reduced peloton on the brutally steep uphill finish, launching his attack 400m from the line and passing his team-mate Mikkel Honoré.

Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) tried to counter and threatened to overtake Almeida, but it was the Deceuninck - Quick-Step rider who secured the victory in the sprint for the line and held onto his race lead for another day.

How it happened

Stage four of the 2021 Tour of Poland, raced over 159.9km from Tarnów to Bukovina Resort, looked to be a good opportunity for the general classification contenders to make their move.

The stage featured seven uncategorised ramps spread throughout the course, but finished with the 4km-long, 5.3 per cent average gradient Lapszanka climb, followed by the 1.9km, 7.3 per cent ramp to the finish.

Early in the stage a number of riders attacked with four men able to get a gap on the peloton in the opening 20km.

Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Marco Canola (Gazprom-RusVelo), Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) and Larry Warbasse (Ag2r-Citroën) made up the day’s break and they pulled out around a four-minute gap in the opening 80km.

With 36km to race, Alexis Renard (Israel Start-Up Nation) hit out from the peloton and tried to bridge across to the break on the Lapszanka climb, but after 15km out front he was reeled back in by the bunch, as the breakaway’s gap tumbled to around a minute.

As the only categorised climb of the day continued, the break began to fall apart until only Attila Valter was left at the head of affairs, his companions quickly swept up by the bunch.

With 10km to race Valter had just 23 seconds to the bunch, but his heart was swiftly broken as he was caught 7km from the line, as the bunch hit the descent towards the sharp final climb.

Ineos Grenadiers took up the pace-setting at the front of the bunch on the descent, stringing out the race with 6km to go.

As the road ramped up into the final climb it was Deceunicnk - Quick-Step who hit out first with Mikkel Honoré finding space with a big attack, as UAE Team Emirates pursued to keep their man Diego Ulissi in with a shot at the GC.

With 2km to race Honoré had around 18 seconds on the bunch.

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It was race leader Almeida who attacked 400m from the finish and he powered past his team-mate Honoré, pursued by Matej Mohorič who then hit the front 200m from the line.

But Almeida waited in the wheels and started to come past 100m from the finish, sprinting to his second consecutive victory and maintaining his race lead.

Almeida now has an eight-second lead to Mohorič on general classification with three stages remaining.

Tour of Poland 2021, stage four: Tarnów to Bukovina Resort (159.9km) 

1. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, in 3-51-32
2. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
3. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Ag2r-Citroën
4. Michał Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers
5. Dion Smith (Nzl) Team BikeExchange
6. Jai Hindley (Aus) Team DSM
7. Ben Tulett (GBr) Alpecin-Fenix
8. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates)
9. Antonio Tiberi (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
10. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux

General classification after stage four 

1. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, in 9-42-47
2. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious, at 8s
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, at 14s
4. Michał Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers, at 21s
5. Jai Hindley (Aus) Team DSM, at 32s
6. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
7. Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert-Matériaux,
8. Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe, all at same time
9. Einer Augusto Rubio (Col) Movistar, at 36s
10. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, at same time

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