clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Valverde is the King of Timing again

New, 35 comments

Stage 4 of the Vuelta provided a long wait for an explosive finale. On the tough final uphill kilometers Movistar's Alejandro Valverde once again proved he is the master of timing his efforts and launching his sprint at the exact right moment. He takes the stage just ahead of Sagan who just could not come around the Spaniard in the final meters. Esteban Chaves remains the race leader.

JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images

It was a case of delayed gratification at the Vuelta as the long stage provided very little to keep the riders and viewers awake on the way to Vejer de la Frontera. A harmless six man break got a huge timegap that was methodically reeled in without much drama and the last of the escapees were caught with ten kilometers to go. That left the teams with just enough time to move their captains into position before the final four kilometers that were uphill, at times at steep above 10% gradients.

A few early kamikaze riders, Tosh van der Sande and Pello Bilbao tried their luck with early attacks but the cruel gradients and the steady tempo set by Movistar and Katusha made their efforts futile. A more serious challenge came closer to the finish from Samuel Sanchez, soon followed by Nicholas Roche who has started this Vuelta very offensively. Sanchez soon faded while Roche was keeping a strong pace ahead of the chasing pack. Back there Sagan had done well to stay on the wheels of the better climbers to give him at least a shot to use his power sprint in the final uphill 50 meters. Sagan's teammate Majka led the chase to reel in Roche but unfortunately for the two he had Valverde in his slipstream and the Spaniard launched his attack perfectly to overtake Roche. Sagan got on his wheel but ,much like the day he lost out to Greg van Avermaet in the TdF, the climb had taken just a little snap out of his sprint and he never looked to be able to come round Valverde. Another second to add to his collection but yesterday's win probably makes it a lot less painful.

valverde podium vuelta

Another chapter is written in the "cyclists win weird shit"-saga

All the big favorites came in single file after Valverde and Sagan and got the same time as the winners so there where no changes to the general classification.

Top 10 Stage 4

1. ESPVALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro 121 MOVISTAR TEAM 05h 07' 30''
2. SVKSAGAN Peter 209 TINKOFF - SAXO 05h 07' 30'' + 00' 00''
3. ESPMORENO FERNANDEZ Daniel 186 TEAM KATUSHA 05h 07' 30'' + 00' 00''
4. IRLROCHE Nicolas 8 TEAM SKY 05h 07' 30'' + 00' 00''
5. PORGONCALVES José 45 CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA 05h 07' 30'' + 00' 00''
6. ESPRODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin 181 TEAM KATUSHA 05h 07' 30'' + 00' 00''
7. FRASIMON Julien 58 COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS 05h 07' 30'' + 00' 00''
8. POLMAJKA Rafal 201 TINKOFF - SAXO 05h 07' 30'' + 00' 00''
9. COLQUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander 125 MOVISTAR TEAM 05h 07' 30'' + 00' 00''
10. COLCHAVES RUBIO Johan Esteban 141 ORICA GreenEDGE 05h 07' 30'' + 00' 00''

Top 10 General Classification

1. COLCHAVES RUBIO Johan Esteban 141 ORICA GreenEDGE 13h 11' 31''
2. NEDDUMOULIN Tom 174 TEAM GIANT - ALPECIN 13h 11' 36'' + 00' 05''
3. IRLROCHE Nicolas 8 TEAM SKY 13h 11' 46'' + 00' 15''
4. IRLMARTIN Daniel 156 TEAM CANNONDALE - GARMIN 13h 11' 55'' + 00' 24''
5. ESPVALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro 121 MOVISTAR TEAM 13h 11' 59'' + 00' 28''
6. ESPRODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin 181 TEAM KATUSHA 13h 12' 06'' + 00' 35''
7. ESPMORENO FERNANDEZ Daniel 186 TEAM KATUSHA 13h 12' 07'' + 00' 36''
8. COLQUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander 125 MOVISTAR TEAM 13h 12' 07'' + 00' 36''
9. GBRFROOME Christopher 1 TEAM SKY 13h 12' 11'' + 00' 40''
10. ITAARU Fabio 21 ASTANA PRO TEAM 13h 12' 18'' + 00' 47''