Tour Alsace: Arthur Kluckers wins stage 4!
He has done it again. After winning the closing stage at the Flèche du Sud and the U23 Luxembourgish Time Trial Championships just a few weeks back, Arthur Kluckers now adds the win of stage four at the Tour Alsace to his tally.
Today's stage at the Tour Alsace took the riders from Kembs to Altkirch over a distance of 169.5 kilometers. This longest stage of the entire race had not a single meter of flat road in it, but ten riders did not care for it. The group formed at a tricky section of the race, thirty kilometers in. The advantage grew ever so slighty and went finally above one minute after the first GPM of the day.
The riders in front collected many kilometers and conquered climbs such as the Ferrette and Le Blochmont, and in this part of the race counter attacks from the peloton took place. However it was nothing more than a small sideline story as the riders in the front - only nine were left - had still a very solid lead of a minute to the counter attackers and almost three minutes to the bunch.
With 10 kilometers to go, the counter attackers did not make it and were reeled back in. The group with Kluckers continued to work together well and had still over two minutes advantage. It was clear that the winner was going to be one of the nine in front. As our 22-year-old remembered the final in Altkirch from last year's edition, he knew to be patient and go all out in the difficult final at 200 to 150 meters from the line. And so he did: he powered to the victory!
One minute later, Kluckers' teammate Elias Maris crossed the line in tenth, winning two seconds in the GC battle. The Belgian is now eleventh in the overall ranking, whilst Arthur Kluckers finds himself in position five with one more stage to go.
GC Tour Alsace after four stages (UCI 2.2)
1. Finlay Pickering (GBR) – Groupama-FDJ U23
5. Arthur Kluckers (LUX) + 2'02"
11. Elias Maris (BEL) + 2'19"
41. Mats Wenzel (LUX) + 12'00"
71. Louis Coqueret (FRA) + 20'45"
97. Johannes Hodapp (GER) + 29'18"
103. Cedric Pries (LUX) + 31'03"
One stage to go
31.07 | Stage 5 | Mulhouse - Berrwiller | 158.2 km
Stage winner Arthur Kluckers
"The goal for today was to be in the breakaway. I managed to be there, but we created only a small gap, so I didn't really believe in it. However, we kept the motivation and pushed the pedals all day and managed to grow our lead step by step. There was a good cooperation and I knew what I had to do in the final kilometer. I gave everything to the line and it is an amazing feeling to be able to take the win. Winning here in the Tour Alsace is a very big one and it gives me even more motivation for the upcoming goals."