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Sepp Kuss shows climbing ability at Critérium du Dauphiné

Alaphilippe wins Stage 4, Moscon claims lead

Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe beat Dan Martin in a sprint to win the fourth stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné as the race reached the mountains Thursday in France. In the mountains, Durango’s Sepp Kuss had his best day of the eight-day International Cycling Union (UCI) World Tour race.

Gianni Moscon overtook teammate and previous leader Michal Kwiatkowski in the general classification as Team Sky retained the first three spots overall.

Kuss

Dario Cataldo took part in a long breakaway and went solo after reaching the summit of the Mont Noir – the first beyond-category climb of this year’s race – but was caught about 300 yards from the finish in Lans-en-Vercors.

Kuss finished the fourth stage 37th. He completed the 121½-mile route in 4 hours, 29 minutes, 18 seconds, which was 2:20 off the time of Alaphilippe. He was the second American to cross the stage’s finish line, as he was 10 seconds back of Brent Bookwalter of BMC Racing Team. Bookwalter was 35th.

Kuss, who rides for Team LottoNL-Jumbo and was the second on his team to hit the finish, is now 43rd in the general classification, 7:55 back of Moscon’s lead time. Kuss, 23, climbed from 19th to 12th in the best young rider standings.

Bookwalter is the only American ahead of Kuss in the general classification. He is 21st, 2:47 back of Moscon.

Moscon has a six-second lead on Kwiatkowski and Geraint Thomas ahead of Friday’s fifth stage to Valmorel, where Chris Froome claimed his first stage victory at the Criterium back in 2013. The stage is another mountainous route of nearly 81 miles.

Wednesday was a team time trial. Sky won the 21.75-mile stage in 36:33.46, 37 seconds ahead of closest rival BMC. Lotto Soudal posted the third fastest time, 52 seconds behind Sky. Team LottoNL-Jumbo placed ninth, 1:32 off Sky’s winning time. Twenty-two teams competed.

The race will end Sunday in Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

jlivingston@durangoherald.com

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