Vuelta a España Stage 4: Sprint Finish on First Day in Spain22. August 2017, Tarragona (ESP) — Road Team
Stage 4 of the Vuelta a España was the first chance for the sprinters to shine as the General Classification contenders tried to stay out of trouble in the first stage on Spanish soil.
The day’s breakaway was formed quickly in the stage when five riders went clear and the peloton sat up to allow the quintet to establish a three-minute advantage in the first 20km of racing.
With almost 200km on the cards, the breakaway managed to go more than seven minutes clear of the bunch in the first 100km before the sprinters’ teams started to organise the chase.
Nicolas Roche and Tejay van Garderen, who started the day in third and fourth place respectively on the General Classification, were well-protected by their BMC Racing Team teammates throughout the stage and as the pace picked up, the duo were well-positioned towards the front of the bunch.
On the category 3 Alto de Belltall climb, the breakaway started to split and eventually it was just Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) and Diego Rubio (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) in the lead.
Despite the gap between the two groups rapidly decreasing with 50km to go, the leading duo managed to hold the storming peloton off until the final 10km when the race came back together.
The sprint trains were well and truly formed as the peloton navigated the final 5km and as the riders entered the tricky final kilometer, it was eventual winner Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) who was well-placed to take the win.
Daniel Oss was BMC Racing Team’s best-placed rider crossing the line in 14th place and no change in the General Classification saw Roche and van Garderen maintain their top five positions.
The peloton faces a rolling day on stage 5 with five categorized climbs on the cards, including a punchy uphill finish in Alcossebre.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I think after the first few days, it was important to, as strange as it sounds, recover a little bit. The team did a great job to protect Tejay and myself through the whole stage and make sure we weren’t going to get caught out in any splits and stay out of trouble as it was a very technical finish. Tomorrow is going to be another very demanding stage. It’s a tough finish and I think it will be another GC day for Tejay and myself to hang on as much as we can.”
Vuelta a España
Stage 4 Escaldes-Engordany > Tarragone (198.2km)
Top 3: 1. Matteo Trentin (Quickstep-Floors), 2. Juan José Lobato (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), 3. Tom Van Asbroeck (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 1.4. Daniel Oss, 32. Francisco Ventoso, 37. Nicolas Roche
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.