Italian Daniele Bennati (Liquigas) outclassed Belgium's Tom Boonen (Quick Step) to claim victory on the Vuelta a España's fourth stage. Bennati, who also holds the Spanish Grand Tour's leader's jersey, claimed the stage win just one day after Boonen upstaged him on the leg to Córdoba.
While happy about scoring the leader's jersey, Bennati had admitted on the previous day it was a stage win he had been targeting. This victory takes the Liquigas rider's Vuelta stage win tally to four.
"The sprint was how I like - linear and without confusion," said Bennati. "First I exploited the exceptional work of my team-mates, then I followed the wheel of Wouter Weyland and when we reached 180 metres I sped away."
In addition to the event's maillot oro, Bennati also has the points classification lead. While he's expecting the general classification to shake out on today's time trial, Bennati thanked his team-mates for their hard work.
"At Liquigas the saying 'all for one, one for all' is valid," said Bennati. "Everyone respect his role to help the team - this is our strength.
"Many peoples, for example, had doubt about the cooperation between me and [Filippo] Pozzato. We showed that working together and helping each other we can collect many satisfactions.
The peloton will face its first individual time trial today. Bennati expects the 42.5 kilometre stage in Ciudad Real to have a big impact on the overall standings, with the rider likely to lose the leader's jersey.
"I'm happy to be leader," he said. "But tomorrow there's a time trial and will be difficult to keep the gold jersey. I'll do all to honour it, but I'm not here to win the Vuelta. My goal is fixed on the stage victories and I'm not satisfied with one."
For full coverage of Stage 4, click here.