Volta a Catalunya 2018 Stage 4: Valverde wins and moves into overall lead
At 170.7 kilometres, the Volta a Catalunya's 4th stage travels over two intermediate climbs to the final haul up to La Molina. Alejandro Valverde bests young Egan Bernal in a two-up sprint. The Spaniard moves back into the overall lead. (Slideshow route/profile)
Results 4th stage 2018 Volta a Catalunya
1. Alejandro Valverde (spa)
2. Egan Bernal (col) s.t.
3. Nairo Quintana (col) + 0.06
4. Pierre Latour (fra) + 0.23
5. Thibaut Pinot (fra) s.t.
6. Marc Soler (spa) s.t.
7. Simon Yates (gbr) s.t.
8. George Bennett (nzl) + 0.55
9. Hugh Carthy (gbr) + 0.59
10. Daniel Martínez (spa) + 1.03
GC after the 4th stage
1. Alejandro Valverde (spa)
2. Egan Bernal (col) + 0.19
3. Nairo Quintana (col) + 0.26
4. Pierre Latour (fra) + 0.48
5. Simon Yates (gbr) + 1.12
6. Thibaut Pinot (fra) + 1.14
7. Marc Soler (spa) + 1.18
8. George Bennett (nzl) s.t.
9. Hugh Carthy (gbr) + 1.24
10. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) + 1.28
Attacks are flying once the flag drops, but nothing sticks for 80 kms. Valverde seizes to opportunity to win the intermediate sprint in Perafita and takes a time bonus of 3 seconds.
Just before the first KOM, Alt de Jou, Esteban Chaves charges, while Joey Rosskopf, Tom Skujins and Stéphane Rossetto bridge across. Yet, once on the climb the Colombian continues alone and he is the first to reach its crest, 1 minute ahead of Rosskopf, Rossetto, Skujins and Mikel Bizkarra with the peloton another 40 seconds behind.
The chasers are reeled in before the Coll de la Creueta, while Chaves survives the sheer endless climb of 21 kilometres. He crests 1’10” ahead of the main group, where leader Thomas De Gendt has been dropped.
On descent Chaves is almost brought back when Matej Mohoric goes on the counter-attack. Alejandro Valverde reacts and Chaves hooks on with the Spaniard, but they stop their efforts.
Mohoric hits the last climb 1 minute ahead of the peloton. Pierre Latour, Marc Soler, George Bennett, Hugh Carthy and Élie Gesbert go after him. Valverde closes the gap with Nairo Quintana, Egan Bernal and Simon Yates on his wheel.
Soler once again attacks and Latour and Valverde rejoin him. Bernal and Quintana hook on, too, while Soler is dropped. A group with Yates, Bennett, Carthy and Thibaut Pinot catch the Paris-Nice winner. Latour can’t follow the pace of the front group.
Just before they move through La Molina Quintana strikes, forcing Bernal to respond. The young Colombian closes the gap on his compatriot, but obviously this wears him out. When he attacks with 600 metres out Valverde simply jumps to his wheel and patiently waits to distance Bernal in the last metres.
The Unbeatable once again moves into the overall lead. Valverde now leads Bernal by 19 seconds, while Quintana is 26 seconds behind.
Read also: route 4th stage 2018 Volta a Catalunya
Volta a Catalunya 2018 stage 4: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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