Thursday 26 March 2015 - 17:12

Volta Ciclista a Catalunya Stage 4: GC Shuffle on La Molina

Volta Ciclista a Catalunya Stage 4: GC Shuffle on La Molina

Etixx - Quick-Step rider Rigoberto Uran was able to make the selection that eventually decided the 188.4km Volta Ciclista a Catalunya Stage 4 on Thursday, but a few riders out of his group emerged to go for the victory.

Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) won the stage, with Richie Porte (Team Sky) placing 2nd and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) finishing 3rd on the Category 1 La Molina summit finale.

It appeared the select group would be the riders to go for the stage when two remaining riders from an original breakaway clung to a 35" advantage with 7km remaining. The possibility turned out to be reality, as Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky) attacked out of the group and tried to go solo over the top of the two leaders just before they were brought back by the peloton with 5km to go.

Van Garderen bridged to the Team Sky rider with 4km to go. In the meantime, several other riders tried to bridge but were unsuccessful. Contador countered out of the Uran group as those chasers were brought back, and only John Darwin Atapuma (BMC Racing Team) was able to stay with him. 

Van Garderen saw Contador was closing and accelerated again, dropping Kiryienka. Porte, meanwhile, was chasing his way back into the key actions. Contador went over the top of Kiryienka in pursuit of van Garderen and Kiryienka, then led teammate Porte and Atapuma back to Contador going into the last kilometer.

Porte attacked in the final few hundred meters trying to catch van Garderen, but he went on to win solo. Porte was 2nd, and Contador 3rd.

The difficulty of the stage and the finale caused a shift at the top of the overall classification. Rolland relinquished his race leadership to Bart De Clerq (Lotto Soudal). Porte moved up to 2nd, and Pozzovivo 3rd.

Uran finished 13th, 27" down on van Garderen. Uran is now 6th in the GC, 45" down on De Clerq. 

Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to 195.4km Stage 5, from Alp to Valls, on Friday.

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