AFP / Yuzuru Sunada
Katusha’s Spanish rider Joaquin Rodriguez retained the lead of the Volta a Catalunya after Thursday’s fourth stage won by American Tejay Van Garderen. Rodriguez finished fourth in the gruelling 166.4km stage between Alp and the Vallter 2000 ski resort, a ride which featured ascents of five Pyrennean peaks.
In the cold and fog, all the Tour’s favorites came through in the same group after the final, uncategorized climb. Spain’s Alberto Contador finished third at 3sec from Van Garderen, Rodriguez at 4 seconds, with Colombian Nairo Quintana 5 seconds and Britain’s reigning Tour de France winner Chris Froome 8 seconds just off the pace. In the overall standings, eight riders are grouped within 30 seconds, Rodriguez sitting 4 seconds ahead of Contador, with Van Garderen a further 3 seconds adrift. Froome lies 17 seconds off Rodriguez in sixth spot.
Friday’s fifth stage is a 218.2km ride between Llanrs Vall de Camprodon and Valls.
Volta a Catalunya Stage 4
1. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 4:49:32
2. Romain Bardet (FRA) @ s.t.
3. Alberto Contador (ESP) @ :03s
4. Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) @ :04
5. Nairo Quintana (COL) @ :05
6. Andrew Talansky (USA) @ :08
7. Christopher Froome (GBR) @ s.t.
8. Warren Barguil (FRA) @ :15
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) @ :16
10. Robert Kiserlovski (CRO) @ :21
General Classification After Stage 4
1. Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP/Katusha) 17:47:34
2. Alberto Contador (ESP) @ :04
3. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) @ :07
4. Romain Bardet (FRA) @ :10
5. Nairo Quintana (COL) @ :10
6. Christopher Froome (GBR) @ :17
7. Andrew Talansky (USA) @ :18
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) @ :26
9. Warren Barguil (FRA) @ :42
10. David Arroyo (ESP) @ :45