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TDF (4): Offredo: "Not planned to attack"

TDF (4): Offredo: "Not planned to attack"

A three man breakaway was formed from kilometer zero leaving Reims in the fourth stage of the Tour de France (2.WT, 6-28/07). Frederik Backaert and Yoann Offredo immediately attacked, accompanied by the Swiss man Michael Schär. The trio never counted more than a 4 minute advance, with the peloton preparing a bunch sprint on their way to Nancy. Offredo, already in the breakaway yesterday, was distanced from the breakaway with 27 kilometers to go. The two remaining escapees were finally caught in the final 20 kilometers, with Backaert the last Wanty-Gobert representative in the front. The victory was decided in a bunch sprint, won by Elia Viviani, with Andrea Pasqualon finishing 16th. This Tuesday, the fifth stage connects Saint-Dié-des-Vosges with Colmar via an accidented final.

Yoann Offredo :

« I didn't plan to go in the breakaway, but I wanted to help Frederik Backaert in the front. Finally, everybody let us go and we were three in the front. I hesitated to let go, but I prefered to continue helping my breakaway companions. It is a pity that the peloton never gives us more than a three minute time gap in this kind of sprint stages. Of course, this reduces our chances to get to the finish, but we will have other opportunities with guys like Meurisse, Eiking and Martin. Personally, I really enjoyed the encouragements of the public during the day. » 

Frederik Backaert :

« I was happy to be in the breakaway and to be in the front in this Tour de France. The wind promises a nervous day in the peloton. But also in the front it wasn't easy, because of the majorly head wind and we were only three. Apparently not many riders were motivated to enjoy a day in the breakaway today. I was happy that Offredo stayed with us. I'm feeling good, so I will recover several days before going into the attack again. »

Stage 4 :
1. Elia Viviani
2. Alexander Kristoff
3. Caleb Ewan
16. Andrea Pasqualon
20. Guillaume Martin
84. Xandro Meurisse
94. Aimé De Gendt
98. Odd Eiking
117. Kévin Van Melsen +0:46
174. Frederik Backaert +8:50
176. Yoann Offredo +8:56

Provisional general classification:
1. Julian Alaphilippe
2. Wout Van Aert +0:20
3. Steven Kruiswijk +0:25
53. Xandro Meurisse +2:18
55. Guillaume Martin +2:23
75. Andrea Pasqualon +5:43
99. Odd Eiking +11:18
138. Aimé De Gendt +16:31
147. Kévin Van Melsen +16:56
175. Yoan Offredo +24:49
176. Frederik Backaert +24:49