Elia Viviani realised a boyhood dream by winning in the Tour de France on stage four in Nancy, adding it to his Olympic gold and stage wins in the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España.
Italian Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) returned to the Tour de France for the first time in five years and with the firepower of Deceuninck-Quick Step – after having raced with Team Sky in years past.
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“I couldn’t imagine this as a boy,” Viviani said after the victory
“First I thought about a Giro win, then I had a Vuelta win and now the Tour de France.“
Viviani topped Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) at the end of stage four of the Tour de France 2019.
Viviani, the 2016 Olympic Omnium Champion, has won five stages of the Giro d’Italia and three in the Vuelta a España. He left Team Sky to have his chance to race more Grand Tours, with Deceuninck-Quick Step showing the faith that resulted in these stage wins.
“It was the only win I was missing. I had a Giro win and in the Vuelta, so this was the big goal of the season. I’m really happy, I’m emotional. All the work you do always pays off with one win like that one. I feel at the top now,” he continued.
“I hope so [there are more wins to come], but at the moment we are just thinking about defending the yellow jersey with Julian Alaphilippe. He worked so much for me and now I want to help him keep it. Stage six will be hard to get over, but seven is a chance for me. But these two days are amazing for the team.”
Alaphilippe won the stage solo yesterday and took the yellow jersey, then pulling for Viviani on stage four.
“I have a strong team around me who believes so much in me and they delivered a perfect lead-out. 90 per cent was in merit of the team, also you saw the yellow jersey go when Michael Mørkøv called him into position. That was important and for me so special to see the yellow jersey do it. And the work of Yves Lampaert was good,” Viviani continued.
“I hope this is only the start. I saw my error on the first stage, I lost the wheel of Max Richeze and lost the chance to get in the yellow jersey, but you learn. I wasn’t aggressive enough, and it was a hard finish, and that all served me for today.”