Volta a Catalunya 2016: De Gendt wins Queen Stage, Quintana new leader

Stage 4 in the Volta a Catalunya truly is the Queen Stage. Two climbs in the 'especial' category, while the finish climb brings pure cycling biss. Weening almost solos to victory, but De Gendt takes over with 2 kilometres left. Quintana finishes second to take the leaders jersey. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results stage 4 Volta a Catalunya

1. Thomas De Gendt (bel)
2. Nairo Quintana (col) + 1.07
3. Richie Porte (aus) + 1.36
4. Alberto Contador (spa) s.t.
5. Tejay van Garderen (usa) + 1.36
6. Pieter Weening (nld) s.t.
7. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) + 1.41
8. Chris Froome (gbr) + 1.45
9. Romain Bardet (fra) s.t.
10. Daniel Martin (irl) s.t.

GC after stage 4
1. Nairo Quintana (col)
2. Alberto Contador (spa) + 0.08
3. Richie Porte (aus) + 0.17
4. Daniel Martin (irl) + 0.24
5. Tejay van Garderen (usa) + 0.27
6. Romain Bardet (fra) + 0.32
7. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) + 0.42
8. Chris Froome (gbr) + 0.46
9. Hugh Carty (gbr) + 1.01
10. Rigoberto Uran (col) + 1.16

Race report
The first attempts to get clear are neutralised by Movistar, but due to the fast pace on the first climb, the peloton splits. Geraint Thomas is in the second group, 1’40” down, but he can restore the damage done.

By then ten riders have gone clear: Swift, Gilbert, Erviti, Tcacevich, Plaza, De Gendt, Ten Dam, Durasek, Weening and Dron. They race to a maximum lead of 10’30” after two hours in the saddle.

While climbing the Cantó, one of two ‘especial’ category mountains, Sky is pushing so hard the peloton diminishes to around 40 riders. In the drop De Gendt and Erviti jump clear from the front group. At the next climb, the Enviny (1st category), Weening joins them.

In the descent Erviti goes solo. On the closing climb he is accompanied by Pieter Weening. For a moment. The Dutchman leaves the Spaniard alone without respite and races to a 1 minute lead. De Gendt joins Erviti, while the peloton is 5 minutes adrift.

De Gendt leaves Erviti alone to chase Weening down. With 2 kms left the Belgian catches his prey, while at the same time Van Garderen attacks on the lower slopes. Contador and Quintana counter the American’s attack.

De Gendt soloes to victory and behind him a fierce battle for second place is won by Nairo Quintana. Richie Porte manages to hook up with Contador and he outsprints him on the line, taking a time bonus of 4 seconds.

Dan Martin finishes 37 seconds down on Quintana, so he has to give up the lead and drops down to fourth in the GC

Volta a Catalunya 2016 stage 4: Route maps, height profiles, etc.

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Thomas De Gendt

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