Vuelta 2014: Degenkolb storms to victory, Matthews strengthens lead

John DegenkolbTuesday, August 26th - In 173.4 kilometres stage 4 travels from Mairena Del Alcor to Córdoba. In the second half of racing the riders are to crest a 2nd and a 3rd category climb and the arrival is a false flat uphill. John Degenkolb survives and sprints in a big way to a big victory. Matthews takes bonfication and holds on to the red jersey, whilst finishing third. (Slideshow route/profile)

Vuelta 2014: Results 4th stage

1. John Degenkolb (Ger)
2. Vincente Reynes (spa) s.t.
3. Michael Matthews (aus) s.t.
4. Damiano Caruso (ita) s.t.
5. Daniel Martin (Irl) s.t.
6. Alexandr Kolobnev (rus) s.t.
7. Lloyd Mondory (fra) s.t.
8. Valerio Conti (ita) s.t.
9. Bob Jungels (lux) s.t.
10. Fabio Aru (ita) s.t.

GC after 4th stage
1. Michael Matthews (aus)
2. Nairo Quintana (col) + 0.08
3. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.15
4. Rigoberto Uran (col) + 0.19
5. Damiano Caruso (ita) + 0.21
6. Esteban Chaves (col) s.t.
7. George Benett (nzl) + 0.24
8. Haimar Zubeldia (spa) s.t.
9. Alberto Contador (spa) + 0.27
10. Wilco Kelderman (Nld) s.t.

11. Robert Gesink (Nld) + 0.27
12. Samuel Sánchez (spa) + 0.29
13. Cadel Evans (aus) s.t.
14. Warren Barguil (fra) + 0.34
15. Chris Froome (gbr) + 0.35
18. Joaquim Rodriguez (spa)+0.42
20. Daniel Martin (Irl) + 0.43
22. Fabio Aru (ita) + 0.45
30. Andrew Talansky (USA) + 0.56
32. Ryder Hesjedal (can) s.t.
41. Wout Poels (Nld) + 1.22

Race report
Once the flag has been dropped Francisco Javier Aramendia, Gert Joeaar, Sebastien Turgot and Jimmy Engoulvent go for glory. In 19 kilometres they race to a gap of over 4 minutes, after which the gain goes down to under 3 minutes with Orica doing all the work in the pack. The Aussie-squad is probably eyeing up another Michael Matthews party.

The leaders are caught by Txurruka on the first climb. The Spaniard passes them and takes all 3 mountain points. In the descent Engoulvent joins him, but once at the bottom of Alto del Catorce por ciento the pack is together again. However not for a long time. Sagan and Gilbert are the first riders with a reputation to drop. As the summit is approaching Bouhanni is in trouble and finally he has to drop also. Matthews hangs on, just like Degenkolb.

Anacona attacks and with the help of Yates he breaks free, whilst Valverde and Sicard join them. Anacona is the first to crest the 2nd category climb, but once in the valley the four leaders are caught. Still 8 kilometres to go to the finish line.

Orica powers upfront, but it’s an unleashed John Degenkolb who is thundering to victory in the streets of Cordoba. Vincente Reynes is finishing second, Michael Matthews third.

Noteworthy are GC riders Jurgen Van den Broeck (+ 9.16), Julian Arredondo (+ 11.11), Thibaut Pinot (+ 24.15) and Carlos Betancur (+ 39.10).

Vuelta 2014 stage 4: Images and more

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John Degenkolb

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