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  5. 2017 Vuelta a España, stage 4

2017 Vuelta a España

STAGE 4: Escaldes-Engordany to Tarragona

This will be the second stage to favor a bunch gallop, another of the few opportunities for sprinters in the 2017 Vuelta. We may have a few breakaways at the beginning, but the sprinters’ teams will be able to control them and head down to Tarragona in order to win the stage.

Stage 4: Trentin wins Quick-Step's second stage

Matteo Trentin

Matteo Trentin sprinted to victory in Tarragona on Tuesday in one of the Vuelta a España’s rare sprinter-friendly days in stage 4. It was the second win so far for his Quick-Step team at this grand tour. JJ Lobato (LottoNL-Jumbo) was second, and Tom van Asbroeck (Cannondale-Drapac) finished third.

“I will think about that in the future,” said Trentin, who will join Orica-Scott next season. “I am really proud to make this with Quick-Step team. I won in the Tour with them, in the Giro with them … And now in the Vuelta as well so I am really proud to make all these results.”

Sky’s Chris Froome kept the overall race lead, which he assumed on stage 3, a much hillier day than Tuesday’s 193km race.

Top 10, stage 4

1. Matteo Trentin (ITA/QST), in 4h43:57.
2. Juan José Lobato (ESP/LNL), at 0:00.
3. Tom Van Asbroeck (BEL/CAN) 0:00.
4. Edward Theuns (BEL/TRE) 0:00.
5. Jens Debusschere (BEL/LOT) 0:00.
6. Sacha Modolo (ITA/EAU) 0:00.
7. Lorrenzo Manzin (FRA/FDJ) 0:00.
8. Søren Andersen (DEN/SUN) 0:00.
9. Youcef Reguigui (ALG/DDT) 0:00.
10. Jetse Bol (NED/MZN) 0:00.

Top-10 overall

1. Christopher Froome (GBR/Sky), in 13h37:41.
2. David De la Cruz (ESP/QST), at 0:02.
3. Nicolas Roche (IRL/BMC) 0:02.
4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 0:02.
5. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/BAH) 0:10.
6. Esteban Chaves (COL/ORI) 0:11.
7. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) 0:38.
8. Adam Yates (GBR/ORI) 0:39.
9. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 0:48.
10. Simon Yates (GBR/ORI) 0:48.

Once the final two breakaway riders, Diego Rubio (Caja Rural) and Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis), were caught with 8km to go, the race was on for the sprint.

The finish was marred by a few crashes on the fast, wide run-in to the finish. Ag2r La Mondiale’s Domenico Pozzovivo was one of the notable favorites taken out before the final 3km of the stage.

Quick-Step was at the head of affairs into the final kilometer. It was a wise move, as the race funneled into a sweeping roundabout corner and then a sharp right turn with less than 1km to go.

Lobato led out the sprint and had a clear shot a the line. “Stef Clement did a great job in the final,” he said. “By doing so, I could position myself more easily. At three hundred metres before the line, I started sprinting. Unfortunately Trentin was stronger today. Luckily, I will get more chances.”

On the fast, straight finish, Trentin jumped off the Spaniard’s wheel and won the day.

With his win Tuesday, the Italian is now a stage winner in all three grand tours.

On Wednesday, the Vuelta returns to the hills with a 157.7km race from Benicàssim to Alcossebre. Stage 5 has five categorized climbs plus an uphill finish.