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Friday, April 7, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. - Epictetus

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Vuelta al País Vasco/Tour of the Basque Country stage four team reports

We posted the report from race organizer with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner & GC leader Jonas Vingegaard's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Jonas Vingegaard has also won the fourth stage of the Itzulia Basque Country. In a sprint-a-deux, the leader of Team Jumbo-Visma defeated Mikel Landa to consolidate his lead in the overall standings.

Jonas Vingegaard just beats Mikel Landa to win stage four.

The riders were presented with a series of climbs, just like the days before. The highlight was La Asturiana, a second-category climb about 25 kilometres from the finish. At the foot of the climb, Vingegaard took three bonification seconds, which put him a little further ahead of his closest rivals.

A number of GC riders tried to break away on the slopes of La Asturiana, but Vingegaard was on guard. The winner of the 2022 Tour de France closed the gap and tried to get away. Only Mikel Landa was able to keep up, and the two quickly gained a thirty-second lead. Although the chase group came close, the Dane prevailed in the sprint.

"I had a super good day today", Vingegaard said after the 22nd victory of the season for Team Jumbo-Visma. "I felt good on the last climb and thought: why don't I just try it myself? I decided to go for it and only had Mikel with me. We worked well together and made it to the line. I am overjoyed to have won for the second day in a row. I didn't expect it this morning."

Vingegaard now leads the general classification thanks to the bonification seconds he gained. He has a 12-second advantage over Landa and a 31-second advantage over David Gaudu. Vingegaard would have preferred the gap to the rest of the top ten to be bigger. "At one point, Mikel and I had a 30-second lead, but there wasn't much left of that advantage on the line. That was a shame."

Vingegaard knows what to expect over the next two days. "Undoubtedly, there will be attacks. I will do everything in my power to keep the jersey, and after the stage, we'll see where we stand. For now, tomorrow is the most important day."

A blemish on the victory was the crash of Rohan Dennis. With 50 kilometres remaining, the 32-year-old Australian hit the asphalt and was unable to continue. "With Rohan, we lose a key pawn", sports director Frans Maassen said. "The good news is that he has no fractures, but he has a lot of scratches. Hopefully, he will recover quickly."

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Here’s the report from third-place Mauro Schmid’s Team Soudal Quick-Step:

Mauro Schmid finished again on the podium at the prestigious one-week race, after a great display of teamwork and strength from his Soudal Quick-Step teammates that took our squad to the top of the team classification ahead of the last two days.

Mauro Schmid at the Coppi Bartali stage race earlier this year. Sirotti photo

On a relentless stage four which comprised four climbs, including La Asturiana (7.4km, 6.7%), our team hit the front both before and after this demanding ascent, taking center stage at the front of the peloton. After pulling to bring Mauro in a good position at the start of the ascent, the Wolfpack regrouped on the incredibly technical descent to Santurtzi, signalling the start of a fierce chase behind the two riders in the lead.

Around half a minute separated them with ten kilometers to go, but Mattia Cattaneo and James Knox rode admirably, burying themselves for Mauro and reducing the deficit to just five seconds going under the flamme rouge. Another huge pull of the Italian brought the chasers within reach, but the duo barely made it and Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) took the win, just ahead of the small group from where Mauro sprinted to third place.

“The guys worked hard for me today and I am grateful for that. On the climb I suffered a bit on the steep part, but I tried to ride at my own pace and towards the top I began feeling better. I was then lucky to have Mattia and James with me on the descent, they believed in our chances and gained time with each kilometer. I am disappointed that in the end it was so close, but we can be proud of how we raced. I am grateful to the boys, they were amazing”, said Mauro after the stage.

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And here’s the Tour of the Basque Country report from Brandon McNulty’s UAE Team Emirates:

Brandon McNulty showed again his consistency on a fast run to the line to finish 5th on stage 4 of Itzulia Basque Country which started and finished in Santurtzi (175km).

On a day which packed over 3,000 metres of elevation over four categorised climbs, McNulty stuck with the main group of favourites on the final climb which crested at -18km before the long technical descent into the finish in Santurtzi.

Brandon McNulty in Yellow at the 2021 Tour of the Basque Country. Sirotti photo

Jonas Vingengaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) jumped away on the climb to build a steady gap of 30’’ on the peloton though would have the gap reduced to just 2’’ on the line, with Vingegaard taking the stage and holding the yellow jersey.

McNulty finished to the fore of a select group behind in 5th and moves into 8th place on GC at 38’’.

McNulty : “Every day I’m getting better. Today was a very hectic day in the bunch but the team was super good and looked after me.It was full gas all the way up the final climb. In the end I was happy with 5th. I think we’re in a good spot where we can think about going on the offensive over the coming stages.”

Before this Felix Grossschartner was involved in a crash with -48km but luckily escaped with only abrasions to rejoin the peloton and to finish the stage.

Tomorrow the riders face another hilly test on stage 5 starting and finishing in Amorebieta (165km).

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And here’s the Tour of the Basque Country report from Team Bora-hansgrohe:

The fourth stage traversed the hilly landscape west of Bilbao and ended after 175.7 km with a 15 km long descent down to Santurtzi at the port of Bilbao. The peloton fell apart on the final climb, but Sergio Higuita and Emanuel Buchmann were still in this group.

With 20km to go, Vingegaard and Landa attacked out of that group and on the final descent they had a 25 second lead. The duo settled the day's win between themselves, while Sergio and Emanuel crossed the finish line in the chasing group, in 11th and 12th place respectively.

"The disappointment from yesterday's missed opportunity with Sergio is still pretty deep, but today was not a stage for him, especially with the long descent. Nevertheless, we gave it a try. He tried to close the gap to the leading duo with Gaudu, but in the end he didn't succeed. We ultimately had two riders, Sergio and Emanuel, just outside the top 10, but as I said, it was not a stage for us today with the 15km descent. As far as the next stages are concerned, there will be a lot of changes in the general classification on the last day in particular and we are keeping an eye on that to see if we can make up a few more places there." - Jens Zemke, Sports Director

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