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Criterium du Dauphine 2018: Alaphilippe wins Stage 4; Team Sky retain overall lead

A high pedigree quartet fought out the stage win, but Julian Alaphilippe was the sharpest and took the stage

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) won Stage 4 of the 2018 Criterium du Dauphine by outsprinting an elite group of rivals on the summit finish.

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) looked to have done enough to move into the overall lead as his teammate and previous race leader, Michal Kwiatkowski, dropped away in the final kilometre, but it was another Team Sky rider who took over yellow jersey duties.

Thomas would have likely been leader now if he hadn't crashed during the opening Prologue.

Stage 4 of the 2018 Criterium Dauphine: The first of four summit finishes

Heavy rain early in the stage saw some understandably cautious descending in the main peloton, while Dario Cataldo (Astana) - the lone leader - was able to choose his own lines and set his own pace.

The rain soon cleared and the last kilometres of the stage took place on dry roads.

With Team Sky pushing the pace, the peloton got smaller and smaller yet Cataldo was able to stay clear and keep his hopes of a stage win alive much deeper into the stage than would have seemed likely.

One notable casualty of the increase in speed was Warren Barguil (Fortuneo–Samsic) who was way off the pace on the final incline of the stage.

With Cataldo still out front on his own with 1km to go, and with a gap of 22 seconds, the attacks were pinging off the tiny peloton and he was in sight of his rivals.

Each upping of the pace saw the solo rider's lead decrease but on he pushed in the hope of glory.

Dan Martin (UAE-Team Emirates) made the attack that ended Cataldo's hopes once and for all with 300 metres to go, as he dragged Thomas, Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and Alaphilippe with him.

It was those four riders who came to into the finish funnel to contest the stage win.