Despite a second consecutive win for Milram's Alessandro Petacchi, Caisse dEpargne rider Pablo Lastras kept his overall lead after stage four of the Vuelta a Andalucía from La Guardia de Jaén to Écija on Wednesday.
"Things occurred exactly as I hoped and we could reckon on the help of the teams of the sprinters to neutralize the breakaways," said Lastras after he crossed the finishing line.
"The entire team did a great job, as it already did it in the previous stages. Tomorrow will not be an easy day and we will have to be very careful, but I hope to finish this race the best possible way, which means on the first step of the podium," said the Caisse d'Epargne rider.
After his win, Petacchi lauded his team-mates, crediting them for "always maintaining control over the five escapees without giving them too much of a margin." He added happily, "I feel really good to be able to give my team the third win of the year."