Vuelta – Degenkolb’s win on stage 4


John Degenkolb wins stage 4 whilst Michael Matthews retains the Red leader’s jersey and adds the Green to his collection on stage 4 of the Vuelta a Espana

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Vuelta – Degenkolb’s win on stage 4

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Giant Shimano’s John Degenkolb sprinted to an emphatic victory on stage four of the Vuelta a España today into Córdoba, making it the seventh Grand Tour in a row where his team have won a stage. John dug deep to make it over the day’s main climb, a second category ascent in the final 30 kilometres, while other sprinters dropped off the pace.

At the finish he was privy to a strong lead-out from Chad Haga, putting him in a perfect position to finish off the job in style. “It was like riding in a sauna today” said the stage winner. “It was impossible to get enough drink and ice. The team were great firstly before the climb in helping with this then after in positioning me and chasing the attacks. Birthday boy Chad especially did a fabulous job and it’s nice to make him a birthday present”.

“It’s a long time since my last win, I counted last night and it’s a lot of second places since winning Gent Wevelgem so it’s a big relief to be back winning.”
“We ended up getting over the top and down the bottom with four of us in the front group and from there it was about doing what we had to do.

Red & Green for Bling
Multiple grand tour stage winner Michael Matthews retained the red race leader’s jersey and claimed the green sprinter’s jersey with a third place on stage four of the Vuelta a Espana. After another dedicated day from the entire ORICA-GreenEDGE team, Matthews entered the sprint on eventual winner John Degenkolb’s (GIA) wheel but got caught up amongst a hectic finish, recovering to take the minor placing.

Following his stage win yesterday the 23-year-old’s overall lead extends to eight seconds, his nearest rival Nairo Quintana from Movistar. “It was definitely a hard stage with the final category two climb with about 25km to go,” Matthews said. “My team rode awesome again today, they did everything they could for me and got me in the right position in the final but it was a little bit hectic”.

“I would have liked to have won today, it’s a course that suited me and I would have liked to have done the double but that’s racing and the bonus is that we keep the red jersey for another day. I expected Degenkolb to be there today he is obviously climbing really well and I knew it would be a drag race between him and I, but a couple of guys got between us in the last few hundred meters and I didn’t quite get there to contest for the win.”

A breakaway of four riders escaped early in the stage, but unlike yesterday their advantage was kept to a minimum on a day where soaring heat posed one of the biggest challenges for the peloton. ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Sam Bewley, Brett Lancaster and Mitch Docker tirelessly took the reins at the front of peloton again and by the first categorised climb of the day, the breakaway’s advantage was negligible.

Back together on the second and final ascent, British neo-pro Adam Yates went with a four-rider move as the peloton crested the climb before their 20 second lead was brought back in the final ten kilometres for the reduced bunch kick.
Sport director Neil Stephens was pleased with the commitment shown by the whole team in their designated roles throughout the stage. “Right from the start they boys had it clear in their mind that there was a chance that we could try for another stage win,” Stephens said.

“And as a side note, that we would probably be able to keep the leader’s jersey too. It was a really really hot day, the temperature in the car was saying 42 degrees, and they really did a fantastic job”.

1. Degenkolb John, Team Giant-Shimano 4:02:55
2. Reynes Mimo, VicenteIAM Cycling
3. Matthews Michae, lOrica GreenEDGE
4. Caruso Damiano, Cannondale
5. Martin Daniel, Garmin Sharp

19. Contador Alberto, Tinkoff-Saxo
20. Valverde Alejandro, Movistar Team
24. Froome Christopher, Team Sky
30. Quintana Nairo, Movistar Team
36. Evans Cadel, BMC Racing Team
67. Yates Adam, Orica GreenEDGE 1:01
93. Boonen Tom, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 6.15
115. Kennaugh Peter, Team Sky 10.47
133. Millar David, Garmin Sharp 13.44
138. Sagan Peter, Cannondale
148. Gilbert Philippe, BMC Racing Team
162. Craven Dan, Team Europcar 16.55
192. Rowe Luke, Team Sky

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