Last year’s Tour de France runner up Rigoberto Uran recovered from a potential race defining crash with five kilometres to go on stage four, to maintain his strong start in this year’s race.
Speaking to Cycling Weekly at the team bus at the finish line, EF Education First-Drapac sports director Charly Wegelius said that there was nothing his riders could do to avoid the late crash.
“Rigo [Uran] fell down, Taylor [Phinney] fell down that I know of, the kid from Lotto-Soudal basically just fell in front of them and they couldn’t do anything. Luckily they thought on their feet and got Rigo going quickly which was good news,” Wegelius said.
The chase back on resembled a mini team time trial following on from the American outfit’s impressive result in stage three TTT around Cholet.
Wegelius was pleased to see both Uran and the team reaping the rewards.
“I think its nice for everyone in the organisation to see the results of the work that has been done on the TTT,” he said. “If you look at the race compared to the other GC favourites yesterday it was good but we are also aware that it is one step along the way and we’ve ticked a box and had a little high five and moved on.”
This Tour de France is the first since a UCI rule change brought about eight man teams instead of the nine man squads in previous years. This was applied based on safety reasons, however Wegelius doesn’t believe it has made a huge difference with a number of crashes still taking place over the three mass start stages so far.
“I cant see how that has an impact, if a road is eight metres wide if you remove 20 riders from the last third of the peloton it doesn’t change the dynamics of the race.”