Pello Bilbao took stage four of the Tour of the Alps 2021 after an astonishing descending display to bridge to the leaders to lead the group to the line in a three-up sprint with Simon Yates extending his overall lead of the race with one stage to go.
Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) was distanced on the final climb by Yates (BikeExchange) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) but managed to use his superior skills on the downhill to get back to the duo up front in the final 2km to then attack around them into the last kilometre to sprint to the win.
The pace was very high throughout the day with Team BikeExchange working hard for Yates to try and extend his overall lead and potentially take the stage.
It took a long time for the breakaway to get away with a group of nine riders getting up there including Chris Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation) who is starting to look better and better after coming back from his crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2019.
Yates managed to extend his lead in the overall standings as Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) had a very poor day on the bike with the rider who was second dropping down to 5th. Yates now leads by 58 seconds ahead of Bilbao going into the final stage.
Bilbao was very keen to take the win on this stage as April 22 marks the anniversary of the death of Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi who died on a training ride four years ago today.
Tour of the Alps 2021 stage four, Naturno to Pieve di Bono (168.6km)
1. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain Victorious, in 4-39-42
2. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
3. Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange, all at same time
General classification after stage four
1. Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange, in 15-31-48
2. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain Victorious, at 58 seconds
3. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech, at 1-06