Tiesj Benoot (Team Sunweb) dodged a bullet after tumbling over the guardrail on the descent from La Vilette during Stage 4 of the Tour de France.
By
SBS Cycling Central

2 Sep 2020 - 4:12 AM 

Benoot crashed with 26 kilometres to go in the race after making the early breakaway of the 191 kilometre stage to Orcieres-Merlette. He appeared to carry too much speed into the corner and then couldn't quite arrest his momentum before hitting the barrier and falling over the barrier.

Thankfully, a grassy verge was the landing spot for the Belgian rather than a ravine and he appeared to be in reasonable condition as he picked himself up and remounted to finish the stage.

Team Sunweb physician Camiel Aldershof gave an update on the condition of Benoot.

"Tiesj crashed during the stage after misjudging a descent, said Aldershof. "He has some abrasions across his body and an injury to his hand that required an x-ray at the finish. The results show no fractures, but a contusion. He can continue with the race and we will keep monitoring his progress in the upcoming days.”

It was a difficult day for Team Sunweb, with Benoot's fall taking him out of any consideration for the stage win and Marc Hirschi toppling out of the white jersey as he finished 38 seconds behind stage winner Primož Roglič.

First strike of the bumblebee: Roglič romps home atop Orcières-Merlette
Primož Roglič reigned supreme in the sprint for the line on the first mountain top finish of this year's Tour de France, striking a first psychological blow for Jumbo-Visma over their rivals.

“We tried to cover both bases today," said Team Sunweb coach Matt Winston, "with Tiesj in the breakaway to go for the stage victory and look to defend Marc’s lead in the white jersey. Tiesj did a good job in the break but unfortunately crashed on one of the final descents and was then reeled in by the peloton.

We brought Marc into a really good position I think. When we look to the goals of Marc and how we want to develop – it’s all about GC development – and I think we gave him a really good experience bringing him into the front on a hill top finish. He didn’t quite have the legs today so lost the white jersey.

"But I think when we evaluate it and look to everything we’ve learnt over the past few days while we’ve retained that jersey, then it stands us in good stead for the rest of the race and for the future.”

The Tour de France continues with Stage 5 from Gap to Privas, with a slight uphill sprint to the line at the finish. The race action starts on the SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker from 9.00pm AEST, with coverage beginning on SBS HD and SBS On Demand from 9.30pm.