The 4th stage of the Vuelta a España is almost a carbon copy of the usual last stage of the Tour of Valencia. Also featuring the Puerto de Oronet with around 35 kilometres out, that race finishes in Valencia, while the 4th stage of La Vuelta goes to El Puig, 20 kilometres to the north. The profiles are virtually the same.
Last February, Dylan Groenewegen stormed to victory in Valencia. The Dutchman is not racing the Spanish, but his fellow fast men are likely to come to the fore.
Sam Bennett is the sprinter to watch. Recently, he won the first three stages on the BinckBank Tour and he continued his winning streak in the 3rd stage in Spain. The Irish champion outgunned Edward Theuns with a clear margin, while Fernando Gaviria was nog longer in the mix. The Colombian was dropped on a climb that topped out almost 40 kilometres.
Yet, Gaviria will likely be the Bennett’s most difficult rival in the sprint finish of stage 4.
Both the Colombian and the Irishmen know how it is to win Grand Tour stages. Gaviria took four at the 2017 Giro d’Italia and two at the 2018 Tour de France. This 2019 campaign has been an injury-blighted season until now. Yes, he took one Giro-stage, but only because Viviani was disqualified for dangerous sprinting. It didn’t feel like a proper victory to Gaviria, who has to go back to January and February for the thrill of a real win (two at the Vuelta a San Juan, one at the UAE Tour).
Bennett has got three Giro d’Italia stage victories under his belt. He shares the record of most wins in the 2018 edition with Elia Viviani and Simon Yates.
Favourites 4th stage 2019 Vuelta a España
*** Sam Bennett, Fernando Gaviria
** Fabio Jakobsen, Edward Theuns, Luka Mezgec
* Phil Bauhaus, Jon Aberasturi, Marc Sarreau
Take a look at the route of the 4th stage of La Vuelta.
Vuelta a España 2019 stage 4: profile and finale
Click on the images to zoom