Vuelta 2016 Stage 4: Brave attacker Calmejane climbs to win, Atapuma in red

Lilian Calmejane vuelta stage winnerAt 163.5 kilometers, stage 4 in the 2016 Vuelta leads through the middle mountains to a summit finish after two back-to-back climbs at 5 kilometres each. It's there early escapee Lilian Calmejane attacks to climb to victory, while Darwin Atapuma finishes in second en takes the red jersey. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 4th stage Vuelta

1. Lilian Calmejane (fra)
2. Darwin Atapuma (col) + 0.15
3. Benjamin King (usa) s.t.
4. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) + 0.19
5. Nathan Haas (aus) + 0.23
6. Enrico Battaglin (ita) + 0.24
7. Pierre Rolland (fra) + 0.33
8. Chad Haga (usa) + 0.37
9. Jaime Roson (spa) + 0.40
10. Cesare Benedetti (ita) + 0.42

20. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 2.06
21. Esteban Chaves (col) s.t.
22. Chris Froome (gbr) s.t.
23. Alberto Contador (spa) s.t.
24. Nairo Quintana (col) s.t.
27. Samuel Sánchez (spa) s.t.
29. Louis Meintjes (rsa) s.t.
32. Andrew Talansky (usa) s.t.
40. Simon Yates (gbr) + 2.29
50. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) + 2.40

GC after 4th stage
1. Darwin Atapuma (col)
2. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.29
3. Chris Froome (gbr) + 0.33
4. Esteban Chaves (col) + 0.39
5. Nairo Quintana (col) s.t.
6. Samuel Sánchez (spa) + 1.08
7. Ruben Fernandez (spa) + 1.11
8. Leopold König (cze) + 1.13
9. Peter Kennaugh (gbr) + 1.15
10. Gianluca Brambilla (ita) + 1.23

13. Alberto Contador (spa) + 1.53
15. Simon Yates (gbr) + 2.08
17. Andrew Talansky (usa) + 2.14
31. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) + 3.10
33. Louis Meintjes (rsa) + 3.11

Race report
It takes quite a while for a break to take shape. At the Alto da Serra Capela a group of 19 riders get clear, but they are brought back. Same story for another 19 riders break, who escape after 32 kms. Small wonder, red jersey Ruben Fernandez was aboard. Eventually Thomas De Gendt is the first to crest the Serra Capela, taking 3 KOM points.

With 40 kms done 21 attackers force a proper gap and they race to a 2’22” minutes lead at the top of Monte Caxado. Once again Thomas De Gendt is the first to crest, bringing his KOM-total to 6 points.

The lead goes up to over 5 minutes, yet Nikias Arndt can’t follow the pace and he is dropped soon.

Next to De Gendt the front group consists of, among others, Axel Domont, Darwin Atapuma, Enrico Battaglin, Andrey Zeits, Chad Haga, Zdenek Stybar, Benjamin King, Pierre Rolland, Tsgabu Grmay, Cesare Benedetti, Jaime Roson and Lilian Calmejane. Atapuma is beste placed.

Domont escapes with 14 kms remaining and he is the first escapee to hit the double closing climb with a 4’33” lead over the pack.

The attack by Domont is neutralised after a few kms and then Calmejane gives it a go. Rolland tries to bridge the gap, but to no avail and he is brought back.

The 23-year old Frenchman Calmejane climbs to the win in his first Grand Tour, 15 seconds ahead of Atapuma, who takes the red jersey with a 0’29” advantage over Valverde.

Vuelta a España 2016 stage 4: height profile, maps, and more

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