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Vuelta Stage 4: Alejandro Valverde wins, Esteban Chaves keeps overall lead

Late attack by Nicolas Roche caught with line in sight, Team Sky rider remains third on GC

World number one Alejandro Valverde of Movistar has won Stage 4 of the 2015 Vuelta in Vejer de la Frontera, the Spanish champion's ninth career stage win in his home Grand Tour.

On a tough finish in the Andalucian hilltop town, Valverde beat Peter Sagan of Tinkoff-Saxo into second place, with the Katusha rider Daniel Moreno third.

Team Sky’s Nicholas Roche, third overall, was on his own at the head of the race going up the final ramp to the finish but was caught just ahead of the line and finished fourth, with Orica-GreenEdge’s Esteban Chaves retaining the red jersey.

Today’s 209.6 kilometre stage from Estepona was largely flat but had a sting in its tail in the shape of a steep climb, the toughest part of which was around a kilometre long, that started with around 4 kilometres remaining.

With the ascent preceded by a sharp right-hand bend, there was plenty of jostling for position before the road headed upwards, with the peloton strung out as the road headed upwards.

Pello Bilbao of Caja Rural led the group up the climb and under the 2 kilometre to go banner, where BMC Racing’s Samuel Sanchez sprang an attack as the gradient eased off and went into a downhill section, the former Olympic champion followed by Roche.

A final ramp of up to 14 per cent awaited in the final 500 metres, with Roche hitting it first but Valverde, whose style of riding is tailor made to this type of terrain, overhauled the Team Sky rider as did Sagan and Moreno.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Edgeley | 8 years ago

I wonder if the scallies who stole a camera from a rider after a crash and tried to nick a bike were Brits on holiday.

Simon_MacMichael | 8 years ago

That was embarrassing, cheers. Think the green jersey gave me a flashback  1

iUpham replied to Simon_MacMichael | 8 years ago

No worries  1 so do you have any predictions for the GC? I personally would quite like to see Quintana come out on top. Of course I am supporting Froome, but watching the Valverde/Quintana double act is something quite special!

iUpham | 8 years ago

Peter Sagan rides for Tinkoff-Saxo  1

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