Tour de France stage four LIVE: Redon to Fougères

Updates and live reports from stage four of the Tour de France 2021

Afternoon cycling fans and welcome to our live updates from stage four of the Tour de France 2021.

Tour de France standings
Who's out after stage three?
Tour de France 2021 route
How to watch the Tour de France 2021
Tour de France 2021 start list


Good morning!

There's a slightly later start today due to the shorter distance and lack of classified climbing on the stage.

This is the profile for today... it isn't the most interesting one you'll see in this race.

The run to the line looks relatively uncomplicated today, save for the three roundabouts in the closing kilometres. Then it's a relatively straight run to the line in Fougères.

While we wait for the start of stage four, here's the news you may have missed last night

Sonny Colbrelli denied fault in Primoz Roglic's crash after Jumbo-Visma appeared to blame him for their race leader coming down.

There was also the news that Geraint Thomas escaped his crash without any broken bones. The Welshman will be reassessed this morning before the stage but could continue on today and hope to recover as much as possible before Wednesday's time trial.

Caleb Ewan was one of those riders unlucky enough to crash, but he unfortunately had to abandon the race with a broken collarbone. It looks like he's been back to the Lotto-Soudal bus this morning to cheer on his team-mates as the continue the Tour without him

Luke Rowe was among those who were fined by the race jury on yesterday's stage. He took to Twitter to clear up any confusion after he was sanctioned for 'assault, intimidation, insults, threats, improper conduct'.

Meanwhile, here's Primoz Roglic bandaged up before today's stage. Grim.

We're just over an hour away from the start of the stage, which should finish with a bunch gallop to the line.

It's surprising Cavendish is still considered such a hot favourite in the field, but the man himself spoke yesterday about just taking things as they come after not expecting to be at the Tour at all

The riders' union, the CPA has released a statement on behalf of the riders and their concerns about the safety of yesterday's stage. It seems like protests on the start line won't go ahead, instead the riders are asking for discussions over the 3km rule. This is what the statement says:

Cavendish seems to be in a confident mood this morning, posting his win on the same finish as today in Fougères from 2015. With dramatic music as well.

More injury news here: Steven Kruijswijk will go on despite a finger injury which caused a lot of blood loss yesterday:

Philippe Gilbert has confirmed on TV that the riders will stop at KM0 for one minute in protest of yesterdays finish.

After stopping for a minute at KM0 there'll then be a ride slow for 5-10km

Right, we're about five minutes from the start of stage four

The stage's neutral start has started with no riders stopping for a minute, they set off immediately at the flag drop with the jerseys of Mathieu van der Poel, Julian Alaphilippe, Tadej Pogačar and Ide Schelling all at the front including most combative rider from stage three, Michael Schär.

The pause will be at KM0 apparently. They will stop for a minute then ride slowly after that for about 10 to 15 kilometres. 7km to go until the first kilometre of official racing.

On a lighter note, it seems that Ineos Grenadiers are calling Richard Carapaz 'Billy', we'll keep an eye on this and see what on earth is going on with that one.

One thing that is almost certain, unless he crashes out, is that Ide Schelling will be keeping his polka dot jersey as there are no points on offer today at all. Only an intermediate sprint to have some interest in the middle of the day before the finish in Fougères.

Some more stuff about the crashes yesterday, Philippe Gilbert reveals UCI intervened in neutralisation plans for stage three.

So the flag has been waved, no-one has stopped as of yet but there have been no attacks. They're just riding slowly with 150km to go. 

André Greipel has come up and is not happy about the peloton now stopping. The German veteran has stopped the race to get the message of the protest. Alaphilippe was not keen to stop.

Alaphilippe set off again and now the peloton are back riding at a slow pace with the world champion leading the way. Roglič is currently out of the back but I think he just had a comfort break.

Roglič and Colbrelli looking to put events of yesterday behind them after the Italian national champion was blamed for causing Roglič's crash.

Alpecin-Fenix were setting the pace but now we finally have the first attack of the day after 12km with Lotto-Soudal sending Brent Van Moer up the road. He won the opening stage of this year's Critérium du Dauphiné. 

Van Moer has been joined by Cofidis' rider Pierre-Luc Perichon 

Even without the protest, this isn't exactly the sort of stage that was going to see a big break or anyone being too keen to get up the road as there are no mountain points.

Afternoon CW gang, Alex Ballinger here covering the middle section of today's stage on live blogging duties. 

So far today's stage has been nice and calm, the two-rider break has 2-48 over the bunch with 107km to race.

While things are quiet out on the course, we've twisted the arm of our roving reporter Jonny Long, who is on the ground in France covering the race for, into giving us a run-down of his day. 

Quick update on the race situation: 

Change of tactics for Alpecin-Fenix today, after they went back-to-back with wins on stages two and three (thanks to Mathieu van der Poel and Tim Merlier). 

Mechanical for Mark Cavendish. He's had a bike change but the pace isn't on so it's no drama for him. 

Broken saddle for Cavendish we're hearing, but he's swapped bikes and back on his way.  

Here's your breakaway on today's stage, Pierre-Luc Périchon and Brent Van Moer.

Cheers to Alex! Make sure to keep an eye out for all the reaction pieces and race reports from after the stage from Alex and the rest of the CW Web Team!

The break take 20 and 17 points but its about the riders behind. Van Moer does actually sprint for the points with Périchon in second.

Now that the intermediate sprint is out of the way, why not head over to our Twitter feed and vote and who you think will win today. Maybe that intermediate sprint has changed your view?

Very important signs pointed out by Israel Start-Up Nation

Don't try this at home, kids!

All the teams are now in colour order on this wide road called the D178, so we have a ten rider wide peloton at the moment with 22km to go. It then widens more to a 14 rider wide peloton.

Van Moer trying an attack to potentially take the red numbers for tomorrow but Périchon is holding on well. Road has narrowed for the peloton to just eight riders, this has pushed Groupama-FDJ further down the bunch almost causing a crash as Ineos Grenadiers forced their way through.

We now turn towards Fougères with Luke Rowe and Michał Kwiatkowski leading the Ineos Grenadiers train alongside Bora-Hansgrohe.

Van Moer and Périchon continue to attack each other and Van Moer has finally snapped the elastic to the Frenchman.

The pace has disappeared out of the peloton. Van Moer has 1-00 and suddenly the young Belgian is looking to strike again like he did in the Dauphiné. He has 11km to go as Mathieu van der Poel hits the front for Alpecin-Fenix.

7km to go ad Van Moer has 1-05 of an advantage on the peloton! The pace is not there behind with Ineos, Bora, TotalEnergies and Bahrain not putting in the chase.

DSM now join the chase as do Groupama-FDJ and Alpecin-Fenix. Périchon has been caught but Van Moer has 55 seconds with 6km to go.

Lotto-Soudal are blocking riders but Deceuninck - Quick-Step finally comes up with 5km to go as Van Moer now starts to rock all over the bike.

Its coming down by around 10 seconds per kilometres as its 30 seconds with 3km to go as Lotto-Soudal continue to try and block the chase as Van Moer hits a bit of a uphill drag. 

Mark Cavendish currently a long way down the bunch but it being brought up bu Mørkøv at about 20th position in the bunch.

500 metres and he is holding on with the sprinters kicking hard behind! He's caught with 200 metres to go

Mark Cavendish wins stage four of the Tour de France 2021!!

Philipsen kicked very early, with Cavendish almost getting caught out by Van Moer plummeting down the bunch.

See who's where after stage four of the Tour de France including a certain Manxman back in the green jersey...

Our race report on an amazing day that saw Mark Cavendish take his 31st Tour de France victory

Fortunately no riders have joined the list of riders out of the race as we have had a very calm day for the vast majority of the stage with, as far as we know, no-one coming down.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Mark Cavendish didn't think he would be riding the Tour de France. Now he's won stage four of the race in 2021.

Here are the talking points from the day with the 'Manx Missile' back firing!

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