TdF Daily | Stage 4 | Richard Carapaz enjoys a day in the yellow jersey at the Tour de France

Olympic champ puts up a valiant fight on the Galibier

July 2, 2024

Our whole team relished Richard Carapaz’s day in the Tour de France’s maillot jaune.

After taking over bike racing’s most cherished leader’s jersey with a brave sprint into Torino on stage three, Richie and his teammates faced a formidable task to hold on to it today: above all on the Col du Galibier.

The fourth stage of this year’s Tour took the peloton from Pinerolo to Valloire, crossing over the Alpine border from Italy into France. Just 139.6 kilometers long, it was a brutal mountain test, including 3904 meters of vertical ascent across three cols, the second-category climb to Sestriere, second-category Col de Montgenevre, and then the mythical, beyond-category Col du Galibier.

The Galibier has been the arena for many of the most famous feats in cycling history. The dream was to get over the Galibier with the GC favorites, riding down the descent into Valloire, and sprinting back into yellow for another day. This was, however, the kind of dream that sport director Charly Wegelius would give a one percent chance of success: worth a shot, even if the odds were long.

On the mountain, Richie’s hampered preparation for this Tour caught up to him. Protected by his EF Education-EasyPost teammates from the start of the stage, Richie used all of his talent and grit to put up a great fight to stay with the best on the Galibier’s early slopes and honor the yellow jersey, but had to relent on its steepest pitches, as the mountain pass soared well above 2000 meters. Ben Healy dropped back to pace Richie over the summit, passing the memorial to Tour de France founder Henri Desgrange at 2682 meters, and the two rode together to the finish, racing down the descent to the finish line, where they saluted all of the fans who had cheered us on during our day in the Tour de France’s maillot jaune. It was a historic day for our team, for Ecuador, and for the Tour de France.

Richie, Ben, and our whole team had given their all. They did themselves and the yellow jersey proud and will now focus on winning stages. There is a lot left to race for in this Tour de France.

Hear from Richie, Ben, and sport director Andreas Klier about their day in the maillot jaune.

Richard Carapaz

The truth is that it was a very, very hard day, an incredibly hard rhythm was set and once we got to the last climb it got too hard for me. I tried to keep with them until the end but my legs could not keep up with them. I was then with Ben in the downhill, and we were going pretty fast. I enjoyed the day which is the most important thing and it was a historic day for the team.

Ben Healy

On the first climb it was full gas. There was a bonus sprint pretty close to the start, so all the sprinters were going for that. And then after the bonus sprint, it was a bit more controlled and a good breakaway for us went, and then UAE took up the pace and kept real close.It was just a war of attrition today. We hit the proper start of the Galibier and Richard didn't have the best legs, so we all stayed with him and supported him. That’s just what it was. We tried to limit our losses. We win together and we lose together.

Andreas Klier, sport director

It wasn’t a surprise that the winner won, right? Also, the group chasing him wasn’t a surprise. That is the crème de la crème. I enjoyed having yellow today. If it’s just one day, it’s one day, and still I enjoyed it. Nobody made a mistake. It just came down to legs. Full stop.

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