Tadej Pogacar, the two-time former champion from UAE Team Emirates, secured a solo victory in stage four of the Tour de France in the Alps on Tuesday, reclaiming the overall leader's yellow jersey during the first significant mountain challenge. The roadsides were thronged with enthusiastic cycling fans, many of whom had camped overnight, cheering the riders as they ascended the formidable Col du Galibier mountain. Pogacar's victory was supported by his UAE Team during the ascent, with three teammates remaining by his side as his rivals lost their support.

"I aimed to push hard today. I've been training here for several weeks, and everything unfolded as planned," Pogacar stated, noting his team's endurance against the notorious Galibier headwind. Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark, the two-time defending champion, finished fifth, 37 seconds behind, after maintaining pace on the ascent but losing time on the descent. Remco Evenepoel, a 24-year-old Belgian Quick Step rider competing in his first Tour de France, finished second, 35 seconds adrift, and retained second overall at 45 seconds.

"It was a successful stage for me and the team," Evenepoel remarked with a smile. "Neither I nor Jonas were as quick as Tadej today. There will be other opportunities." Pogacar, 25, regained the overall lead he had established on stage two in Bologna. Evenepoel acknowledged his cautious approach compared to the day's winner, noting, "On the way down, I slipped a couple of times and considered the risks. I did my best."

Vingegaard's Visma team seemed less dominant compared to their 2023 performance, while overnight leader Richard Carapaz of Education First suffered the most, losing over five minutes. Pogacar, who won in 2020 and 2021, is striving to become the first rider since 1998 to win both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour in the same year. The 134km route from Pinerolo concluded an engaging and scenic race start in Italy, with the first four stages visiting Florence, the Adriatic coast, Bologna, and the Piedmont region near Turin. Pogacar's Team UAE dominated the final 25km ascent, setting the pace as their rivals faltered. On Wednesday, stage five will feature a 177km route through valleys between Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and Saint-Vulbas, with fast riders like Biniam Girmay and Mark Cavendish vying for position.