1. Nicolas Vogondy (Bbox)
2. Romain Sicard (Euskaltel)
3. Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack)
4. Alberto Contador (Astana)
5. Rein Taarämae (Cofidis)
Janez Brajkovic retains the yellow and blue jersey.
The former French champion wins.
Vogondy stays in the lead, Contador accelerates, Menchov counters.
Sicard jumps away from the Contador-Brajkovic group. Vogondy is still alone away.
Vogondy goes clear. The group behind him is composed of: Contador, Menchov, Ovechkin, Vandenbroeck, Pujol, Brajkovic, Taaramae, Pauriol, Sicard, Rolland and Capecchi.
Contador attacks with 2.2km to go. Brajkovic follows him. Millar gets dropped.
Denifl gets caught with 2.5 km to go as the yellow jersey group comes accross to the Menchov group.
Denifl has 20 seconds lead over Menchov, Ovechkin, Pujol and Lefèvre. The bunch led by Astana is at 30 seconds.
Menchov attacks with 4km to go. Three Astana riders move up, including Alberto Contador.
With 4km to go, Denifl maintains 38 seconds lead over Lefèvre and Ovechkin, 52 seconds over Velasco (Eukaltel) and 1.15 over the bunch.
Ovechkin rejoins Lefèvre. They are less than one minute behind Denifl. Calzati (Sky) attacks from the bunch.
Denifl has 1.05 over Lefèvre, 1.10 over Ovechkin (Katusha) and 1.30 over the yellow jersey group.
Race leader Janez Brajkovic is in the main bunch 1.46 behind Denifl with 6km to go.
Race leader Janez Brajkovic is in the main bunch 1.46 behind Denifl with 6km to go.
Egoi Martinez jumps away from the bunch and overtakes Le Mével. Horner continues to regulate the pace of the main group. Lefèvre stays between Denifl and Martinez, 1.27 behind the sole leader.
Denifl is 1.35 in front of Lefèvre. Pate and Le Mével are at 1.45.
Le Mével attacks from the bunch and gets a nice gap quickly.
Former winner of the Dauphiné Christophe Moreau is dropped off by the main peloton.
With 9km to go, Denifl is 1 minute ahead of Pate, 1.45 ahead of Lefèvre and Santaromita, 2 minutes ahead of the bunch.
Laurent Lefèvre (Bbox) attacks from the bunch. Santaromita (Liquigas) joins him. Samoilau (Quick Step) also jumps away from the bunch now led by Chris Horner (RadioShack).
With 11.5km to go, Denifl drops off Pate and continues alone in the lead.
At the bottom of the climb, Boasson Hagen and Thomas take the command of the bunch for Team Sky.
One of the three climbers of Française des Jeux Thibault Pinot has a flat tyre four kilometres away from the bottom of the hill.
Denifl and Pate are three kilometres away from the start of the final climb up to Risoul. With 15km to go to the finishing line, their advantage is 3.56.
4.30 is the time gap with 20km to go.
Instead of two, Rabobank has now three of their riders leading the bunch. With 22km to go, the gap is 4.35.
The bunch is led by two riders from Rabobank. They have a 4.46 deficit over the two escapees, which is less than what Cervélo’s directeur sportif Philippe Mauduit predicted as a very minimum for Denifl or Pate to win in Risoul: 5 minutes.
One of the big revelations of this year, Tejay Van Garderen, is third on GC before the mountains and he’s known as a climber. He told Daniel Benson from cyclingnews.com: "I came in here thinking I was going to fight like hell to get a top ten, but now it’s looking like it’s possible, depending on my climbing legs I can do even better. I’m sitting third but I’ve got to see if I’m still a climber."
With 30km to go, the gap is 5.20.
The Garmin-Transitions team is very concerned about the Dauphiné. They have Danny Pate in the lead now. It gives them a good reason for not chasing but their man for this race is David Millar. "We’ll try to do something on GC", said directeur sportif Bingen Fernandez to Francetelevision. "David is second for now. He’s motivated for winning. Brajkovic showed yesterday that he’s super strong. We’ll do the best we can for winning."
With 40 kilometres to go, the deficit of the bunch is 6.15.
The bunch is cruising near the lake of Serre-Ponçon. What a great view they have!
At km 161, the advantage of the breakaway riders keep decreasing: 6.50.
The rhythm of the peloton has increased significantly. It makes the gap decrease to 7.15 at km 158.
At the second intermediate sprint of the day, Liquigas-Doimo’s sprinter Jacopo Guarnieri was the first man of the bunch taking one point behind the escapees Denifl and Pate. The time gap was 7.50 at that point, 54km away from the finish in Risoul.
Guillaume Bonnafond of Ag2r-La Mondiale went solo to reconnoitre two stages of the Dauphiné before the race. It completed the whole course of today’s stage from Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux and tomorrow’s stage from Serre-Chevalier to Grenoble.
The Rabobank team has moved up to the first positions of the peloton in support of the six RadioShack riders who escort Brajkovic. The gap at km 153 is 8.15.
Today’s uphill finish in Risoul is something new to most of the pro cyclists. Never before has a race finished here but two French teams have come to reconnoitre the climb: Cofidis had a training camp in Risoul in the second half of May while Ag2r-La Mondiale rode to Risoul from their training base in Orcières-Merlette. Cofidis’ Rémi Pauriol described the ascent to Le Dauphiné newspaper: "This climb is wearing. Out of Guillestre, there are two difficult kilometres, then it’s a more regular climb. It goes harder as the race continues in the climb. I reckon there will be significant differences at the top."
The escapees have reached a new maximum gap in Gap: 9.10 (km 138).
Two riders of the peloton of the Dauphiné have found memories of Gap where they are cruising now: Denis Menchov won a stage at Paris-Nice in 2004 and Pierrick Fedrigo claimed his first Tour de France stage victory in 2006 ahead of Salvatore Commesso in a two men sprint finish.
Time gap at km 132: 8.10.
In the third hour, the riders have covered 36.2 kilometres. The average speed so far is 36.7km/h.
The time gap at the exit of Veynes at km 115 is 8.35.
On his way to Risoul, breakaway rider Danny Pate will remember that he had one of the best days of his pro career in this region of the Alps when he broke away in stage 14 of the 2008 Tour de France from Embrun to Prato Nevoso. In the Italian ski resort, he took the third place behind Simon Gerrans and Egoi Martinez.
At the exit of the feed zone at km 100, the disadvantage of the peloton is 8.25.
The new time gap indicates 8 minutes at km 91.
Philippe Mauduit from Cervélo told letour.fr about his rider Stephan Denifl in the breakaway: "He’s not really a climber even though he comes from Austria, a hilly country. 5 or 6 minutes will be needed at the bottom of the final climb to hope for a stage win. It’s good to try anyway."
New time gap: 7.25 at km 78.
At the intermediate sprint of Rosans (km 75.5), Denifl got 3 points, Pate 2 points and Tomas Vaitkus 1 point. The Lithuanian from RadioShack crossed the line 7 minutes behind the two escapees.
New time gap: 5.50 at km 68. The bunch is still led by RadioShack.
Six RadioShack riders lead the bunch 4.50 behind the two breakaway riders at km 52. The peloton is cruising in a valley. The wind is moderated.
The RadioShack team of race leader Janez Brajkovic sets the pace at the head of the peloton. They are timed 4.20 adrift the two escapees Denifl and Pate.
41.7 kilometres have been covered by the breakaway riders in the first hour of racing.
Joaquin Novoa (Cervélo) who was the lanterne rouge of the Dauphiné has pulled out of the race.
Denifl and Pate have 3.20 lead at km 40.
Today’s Le Dauphiné wonders “how far can Van Garderen go?”. The local newspaper recalls the American did well last year in their region as he finished 2nd overall in the hilly Tour des Pays de Savoie last year. “He was known for his climbing abilities during his two seasons with Rabobank Continental”, mentions the newspaper.
3 minutes is the latest gap between Pate and Denifl and the pack.
Stephan Denifl (Cervélo) and Danny Pate (Garmin-Transitions) have gone clear off the bunch at km 30 at the initiative of the American rider. Many riders in the peloton have answered the call of the nature. It explains why the gap has increased quickly: 1.20 at km 32.
Bert Grabsch (HTC-Columbia) who was 11th yesterday in the time trial has pulled out of the race after 20km of racing.
Last night, the new race leader Jani Brajkovic thanked everyone who believed in him on twitter. This morning, he added: "Also big thanks to our mechanics. They saved the TT building a spare bike a night before the race." His bike change at the top of the climb after 15.5km of racing has been instrumental in the first big win of his pro career.
Johan Van Summeren has been brought back by the bunch at km 16. 13 riders have tried to go clear but RadioShack reacted.
The little rain that accompanied the riders at the exit of Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux has ceased. It’s dry now. The outside temperature is 27.5°C. It’s sunny at the finish in the charming ski resort of Risoul.
At km 12, Johan Van Summeren (Garmin-Transitions) goes clear and quickly gets an advantage of 22 seconds.
The distinctive jerseys are on the shoulders of Janez Brajkovic (yellow and blue), Geraint Thomas (green) and Bram Tankink (polka dot).
Brajkovic (RadioShack) took the lead yesterday after his stunning performance against the clock. He leads the overall classification of the Dauphiné by 36 seconds over David Millar (Garmin-Transitions), 50 seconds over American sensation Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Columbia) while superstar Alberto Contador (Astana) lays in fourth position at 1.41.
Thomas (Sky) has made the top 10 of all first four stages and collected 64 points. Runner up Grega Bole (Lampre) has 52 points and Brajkovic follows with 45 points.
Tankink (Rabobank) retains the lead in the king of the mountains classification since he scored 23 points during stage 2. The Dutchman precedes Guillaume Bonnafond (Ag2r-La Mondiale) who has 22 points and Cyril Gautier (Bbox) who has 20 points. The only KOM price of today’s stage is the uphill finish to Risoul. It’s a category 1 climb allocating 15, 13, 11, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 points to the first eight riders respectively.
HTC-Columbia leads the teams classification.
The peloton is all together after 4km of racing despite skirmishes. The riders can see Mont Ventoux.
The start proper has been given at 10.44 in Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux.
The riders are in the neutral zone. There are 166 starters. One non-starter: Jean-Christophe Péraud, who badly crashed on two occasions in stage 1 and stage 2.
Welcome to the live coverage of stage 4 of the 62nd Criterium du Dauphiné from Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Risoul. This is the longest stage: 210.5km. The finish is uphill!