Three days after crashing inside the final two kilometres of the opening stage final, pre-race sprint favourite Dylan Groenewegen continues to struggle to reach the podium with a fifth-place result on Stage 4.
Despite Jumbo-Visma taking control to chase down the three-rider break and keep the gap under four minutes, the sprint train was derailed on the streets of Nancy forcing the 26-year-old Dutchman to fend for himself from outside the top 10 with team-mate and Stage 1 winner Mike Teunissen taking sixth from the opposite side of the road.
"I couldn't make it clear what I wanted [in the final]," said Groenewegen after the stage. "We should have kept to one side of the road, but I had to communicate that. We lost each other.
"I'm not happy with my result but I'm happy with my team's performance. But I'd say mostly in the final was where I went wrong so it's my fault."
Stage 4 of the 2019 Tour de France, it's an Italian story in Nancy.
Team rider Wout van Aert, who sits second on general classification clad in the best young rider jersey, took responsibility for the sprint train breakdown.
“It was difficult to find each other in the hectic final," explained the 24-year-old Belgian. “It was my job to keep the lead-out train in front on the narrow section in the last kilometres. Amund [Grøndahl Jansen] and Dylan lost us along the way. That’s a shame, because we have a strong lead-out. We have complete confidence in Dylan. He has proven several times that when he has the space in the peloton, he can finish it off. We’ll keep trying.”
Groenwegen is admittedly still smarting from hitting the deck on Stage 1, but eager to "become my old self again" soon.
"I am not at 100 per cent today, and it's clearly not what I want in a final," he said. "I hope that I have some good nights – if I can sleep really good and maybe then I'll [be] back. We'll see."