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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, August 30, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

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Vuelta a España stage four team reports

We posted the race organizer's report with the results.

Here's the report from GC leader Remco Evenepoel's Team Soudal Quick-Step:

Remco Evenepoel enjoyed his 21st day as leader of a Grand Tour as the peloton made its way back to Catalunya after the summit finish in Andorra. Tarragona – once the oldest Roman settlement on the Iberian Peninsula – welcomed the race for the first time since 2017, when our team took the spoils in a bunch sprint, with Matteo Trentin.

A mass gallop also decided the winner of this fourth stage, but it was a fraught one, two crashes in the last four kilometers leaving only a small group to contest the victory. In the end, it was Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) who prevailed, on the uphill drag to the line, while Evenepoel concluded safely in the bunch, only a handful of seconds behind.

Remco Evenepoel finished 12th in stage four. Sirotti photo

Overall, it was a pretty calm day for the 23-year-old Belgian of Soudal Quick-Step, and a well-deserved one for that matter after the intense and eventful start of this edition. The first reigning Belgian Champion in 45 years to win a stage of La Vuelta, Remco will hope for a similar scenario on the roads to Burriana, where Wednesday’s 186.2km stage five concludes.

“My team did a great job protecting me the entire day and especially in the finale, where we stayed calm as things became more hectic due to the presence of that many roundabouts. I felt good after yesterday’s crash – the team doctors took really good care of me – I didn’t experience any stiffness on the bike, and it was a nice first day, and a quite calm one, in the red jersey. Tomorrow should be another opportunity for the sprinters, and afterwards we’ll focus again on the climbing and the fight for the general classification”, said Remco after the finish.

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Here's the report from second-place Juan Sebastian Molano's UAE Team Emirates:

Sebastian Molano showed his sprinting legs are close to where they need to be, with a narrow defeat on stage 4 of the Vuelta España. The 28 year old took second on the technical, fast, ramp to the line in Tarragona after a crash marred finish.

Molano was navigated into the final kilometre well by Marc Soler and leadout man Rui Oliveiria who dropped him off in a good position, where he kicked out from a distanced before narrowly being overtaken by Kaden Groves (Deceuninck-Alpecin) on the line.

Juan Sebastian Molano (on right) finished second to Kaden Groves. Sirotti photo

Molano: “I like these kind of finishes, the team worked well to place me perfectly but I knew Groves was strong and he was well positioned on my wheel. I came very close but that’s how it got in cycling sometimes.There was a crash in front at the finish also and I narrowly escaped it so I was lucky. I have good legs and I hope to have more opportunities, even tomorrow could be another chance.”

Tomorrow’s stage from Morella to Burriana (186.2km) is more unpredictable which could see a break or sprint come together.

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Here's the stage four report from Primoz Roglic's & Jonas Vingegaard's Team Jumbo-Visma:

As expected, the fourth stage of the Vuelta a España ended in a bunch sprint. Primoz Roglic and Jonas Vingegaard, Team Jumbo-Visma's leaders in the Spanish grand tour, crossed the line unscathed and in the same time as the day's winner, Kaden Groves.

Here's Jumbo-Visma rider Attila Valter finishing 47th next to Jefferson Cepeda.

The fourth stage saw a lightning start. "Very soon, a lead group of three got away from the peloton", sports director Marc Reef said. "The peloton decided to control the race. The stage had some nervous moments because of the wind, but there were no echelons. The pace was relatively high for most of the day."

In the final, Wilco Kelderman crashed. He continued but finished more than three minutes down and lost his place at the top of the general classification. "This loss of time is a big disappointment", Reef said. "But luckily, he was able to continue. Primoz and Jonas finished safely and without losing any time. The team kept them out of the wind all day. The focus is now on tomorrow."

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And here's the report from Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Strong positioning work led to the team crossing the line safely in a finale marred by crashes on stage four of La Vuelta.

After the final climb of the day, the Grenadiers took up the work at the front of the peloton. Impressive turns from Filippo Ganna, Kim Heiduk, and Omar Fraile lined out the bunch until the sprinters teams took over.

The group stayed attentive near the front of the race, as a large crash blocked the road behind them just before the three kilometre to go banner.

On the technical run-in the team yet again were well placed to avoid another crash with just a few hundred metres to go, crossing the line shortly behind the stage winner Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck).

The 185 kilometre stage to Tarragona was characterised by a consistently high pace throughout the day, with the average speed at the line a blistering 45 km/h.

Thymen Arensman jumped up two places to 12th overall, 45 seconds back on continued race leader Remco Evenepoel (Soudal

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