Primoz Roglic (LottoNl-Jumbo) won stage 4 of the Vuelta al País Vasco today, after the Slovenian rider attacked from within peloton during the last 3 kilometers to seize the stage honors by two-seconds over his closet rival Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb).
Roglic made several attempts to ride clear as the race neared the finish in Bilbao. However, it wasn’t until after the final climb that the LottoNL-Jumbo rider succeeded in getting away along the descent.
From there, Roglic managed to fend-off any late challenges during the final run-in to the finish.
Meanwhile, Bahrain Merida’s Giovanni Visconti succeeded in nixing Team Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski, to claim third spot on the podium.
As a result of today’s victory, Roglic moved up into second place in the overall classification, just one second behind David de la Cruz (Quick-Step).
Earlier race action saw a small breakaway group containing Amal Moinard (BMC Racing Team), Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Toms Skujins (Cannondale-Drapac) and Maxim Belkov (Katusha-Alpecin), ride clear early on in the stage.
From there, the escapees went on to establish a maximum advantage of around five minutes over the peloton.
A crash later plagued the peloton, as several riders collided with fixtures in the road – with 30 kilometers to go.
Among the casualties were Dimension Data’s Stephen Cummings, UAE Team Emirates’ Darwin Atapuma and Cofidis’ Daniel Navarro, who were all forced to abandon.
In addition, Alberto Contador was also involved in the crash as well, but the Spanish rider managed to rejoin the race without any serious injury or loss of time, only to suffer a mechanical problem a short time later which required him to swamp bikes with his teammate Julien Bernard.
At that point, the last of the escapees had already been caught by the peloton, giving way to BMC’s Nicholas Roche to attack.
However, the Irish rider was quickly reclaimed by peloton.
Flurry of subsequent attacks then came from Roman Kreuziger, Simon Yates and Primoz Roglic, all of whom were quickly reeled back in one-by-one.
Shortly thereafter, Roglic initiated his winning move along the descent, quickly opening up a slight gap for himself that would hold until the finish.
In the meantime, Matthews won the sprint for second place ahead of Visconti, while race leader De la Cruz finished safely in the peloton to retain his grip on the overall race lead.
A late crash just before the sprint resulted in yet another delay for Contador, which again didn’t result in any kind of a time loss for the Trek rider.
Top 10 Finishers
1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 4:23:46
2 Micheal Matthews (Aus) Sunweb 0:00:02
3 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
4 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
5 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott
6 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
7 Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJ
8 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
9 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
10 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
General Classification after stage 4
1 David De La Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 16:38:42
2 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:01
3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 0:00:03
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
5 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJ
7 George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
8 Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team
9 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac
10 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb
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