The riders tackled the first summit finish of the 2020 Tour de France earlier than normal but the fourth stage to Orcières-Merlette provided the first shake-up among the overall contenders.
Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and François Thomazeau convene at a restaurant in the mountain resort, which has a very distinct out of season feel. With few holidaymakers around, the open air disco felt a bit incongruous.
Nevertheless the Tour remains the Tour and after the first serious test of climbing there’s little doubt that Vuelta a España champion Primoz Roglic is the strongest rider and his team, Jumbo-Visma, are the strongest team – for now, at least.
It was a day for Slovenia to celebrate – a one-two at the finish with their young talent Tadej Pogacar also hinting that he will be a feature in the big mountains to come.
But what about Ineos Grenadiers, who appeared to be marching somewhat out of step at this early stage of the race, although defending champion Egan Bernal is right in the thick of things at the top of the overall standings.
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