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Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2014

Date range:
March 24-30

March 27, Stage 4: Alp - Vallter 2000-Setcases 166.4km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

Hello and welcome to live coverage from stage 4.

  1. 91.4km remaining from 166.4km

    13:22:18 CET

    To bring you right up to speed on the second mountain stage in the race, we have a group of four up the road, and after 75km of racing they have a gap of close to four minutes over the Katusha lead peloton.

  2. 13:26:20 CET

    • Movistar

    Your four leaders are Ruben Plaza Molina (Movistar Team), Stef Clement (Belkin Pro Cycling Team), Thomas De Gendt (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step), and Maxime Mederel (Team Europcar). They have 3'40 over the peloton and have just crested the Alto de Cannes with Plaza leading them over the top.

     

    Katusha, by the way, have been joined by Saxo, and Sky at the front of the peloton.

  3. 13:28:21 CET

    • Orica GreenEdge

    Jack Bobridge currently leads the KOM comp but with three more climbs to come it's going to be hard task hanging onto the jersey.

  4. 13:29:49 CET

    Both the break and the peloton are on the descent of the last climb now and will have the feedzone at the foot of the climb.

  5. 13:31:24 CET

    • White Jersey

    In terms of the GC, here's how things stand coming into the stage.

     

    1 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 12:58:00
    2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:05
    3 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:09
    4 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:11
    5 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:13
    6 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:14
    7 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
    8 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin Sharp
    9 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
    10 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 0:00:20

  6. 13:33:02 CET

    Rodriguez won yesterday, putting in a trademark attack inside the last 1km. Today is a different prosect though and could suit Contador and Froome a bit more. We've already seen that both riders, plus Quintana, have ideas for the overall title but Rodriguez will be hard to shake.

  7. 81.4km remaining from 166.4km

    13:33:37 CET

    85km into the stage and the break have 3'35 over the peloton.

  8. 13:38:55 CET

    Reports from our man on the ground is that the snow is coming down at the finish and that it's going to get worse later on.

  9. 13:40:45 CET

    And there are three substantial climbs remaining on today's menu:

    Km. 114,6 Oix (1ª), 7,7 km at at average of 5,3 % (max 10 %)
    Km. 132,6 Rocabruna (1ª), 7,5 kms at an average of  5,6 % (max 14 %)
    Meta Vallter 2000 (Especial), 12 kms at an average of 7,8 % (max 12 %)
     

  10. 13:48:04 CET

    No snow yet for the riders but it has started to rain. It's only going to get worse from here I'm afraid.

  11. 62.4km remaining from 166.4km

    13:53:48 CET

    104km raced already and the break is close to the lower slopes of the Alt Oix. It's a pretty strong group with plenty of horsepower in there.

  12. 14:02:49 CET

    And the leaders draw out another 30 seconds or so over the peloton with the gap now out to 4'20.

  13. 14:08:01 CET

    De Gendt was first at the intermediate sprint, followed by Clement and Mederel.

  14. 55km remaining from 166.4km

    14:12:18 CET

    Inside the final 55km and the gap to the leaders is at 3'55. The break and the peloton are all climbing.

  15. 14:16:56 CET

    It's just 4 degrees Celsius at the finish but meanwhile the break have been pegged back to 2'55.

  16. 14:23:24 CET

    America's Tejay van Garderen has bounced back after illness took him out of Paris-Nice. He was fourth yesterday and today's stage suits him as well. He's not as explosive as some of the climbers here but he can drag himself back into contention.

     

    One American who hasn't been in as good shape is Chris Horner. He's out of the race due to injury. You can read about the Vuelta winner, here.

  17. 14:24:29 CET

    While you can also watch race highlights from Milan-San Remo right here as well.

    And you can subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, here.

  18. 56.4km remaining from 166.4km

    14:29:51 CET

    • Garmin-Sharp

    Garmin who saw defending champion Daniel Martin lose time yesterday have sent Janis Acevedo up the road in pursuit of the four-man break. 110km covered.

  19. 14:32:51 CET

    • AG2R

    Another rider who is out of the race is Carlos Betancur. You can read why, here.

  20. 14:35:11 CET

    Sky are currently the peloton. They lost Richie Porte a few days ago but Froome will be looking for a stage win today, as well as the race lead.

  21. 14:47:22 CET

    At the day's third categorised climb - the category 1 Alto de Oix with 51.8km remaining - Clement was first over the top, followed by Mederel, Plaza and De Gendt.

    Kanstantsin Siutsou (Sky) led the peloton over in 5th place

  22. 14:49:34 CET

    Janier Acevedo (Garmin-Shar) was brought back, but now Sander Armee (Lotto Belisol) has attacked from the peloton.

  23. 14:51:50 CET

    The four man break - comprised of Stef Clement (Belkin), Thomas De Gendt (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Ruben Plaza (Movistar) and Maxime Méderel (Europcar) - led the peloton by 2:55 at the summit of Alto de Oix with 51.8km remaining.

  24. 14:55:14 CET

    The breakaway group has begun its ascent of the penultimate climb - the category 1 Rocabruna. The ascent is 7.5km long at an average gradient of 5.6%, but its steepest pitch is 14%

  25. 14:56:59 CET

    The break holds a lead of 2:45 at the start of the Rocabruna. When the riders reach the summit there will be 33.8km remaining in the stage, with the hors categorie rated finishing climb of Vallter 2000 still to come...

  26. 14:59:57 CET

    We have word now that the break has crested the Rocabruna ascent ahead of the peloton, but its lead has now dropped to 40 seconds. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) led the chase over the category 1 KOM.

  27. 30.4km remaining from 166.4km

    15:01:32 CET

    The break's lead is now at 50 seconds after 136km of racing.

  28. 15:06:26 CET

    Low fog so we've had to fly so close to the peloton we can almost touch those POC helmets. But it's Tinkoff on the front now with the gap to the leaders at 1'10.

  29. 15:07:45 CET

    Up ahead and De Gendt is clear and alone. He's less than 30km to go but it's almost all uphill from here.

  30. 15:08:45 CET

    Contador is just at the back of the Tinkoff train, skipping out of the saddle as he always does. Quintana, Froome, van Garderen and Rodriguez are all close by.

  31. 15:11:31 CET

    Plaza is trying to bring de Gendt back but the former Giro podium finisher is on a mission and still leading the race by around a minute.

  32. 15:13:57 CET

    The Omega rider has 30 seconds on the chasers with the bunch at one minute. Omega Pharma are enjoying an incredible start to the season but holding off Tinkoff is probably too big of an ask for de Gendt on this occasion.

  33. 18km remaining from 166.4km

    15:15:21 CET

    18km to go for the lone leader. There's a flat section of road, a false flat and then the final climb to the ski station begins. Tinkoff are winding things up at the front of the peloton.

  34. 15:15:49 CET

    Further reports of snow at the finish.

  35. 15:17:50 CET

    There's not much wind on the climb but it's down to around 2 degrees.

  36. 15:18:40 CET

    As for the final climb, it's fairly narrow. It becomes flatter with 4 kms to go then kicks up again with 2 km to go.

  37. 15:19:52 CET

    Katusha and Movistar have moved up towards the front of the peloton now as well. Sky are waiting in the wings with Chris Froome.

  38. 15:20:41 CET

    15km to go and De Gendt still leads with around a minute on the peloton.

  39. 15:22:37 CET

    Serpa for Lampre has attacked the peloton and he's now third on the road with Plaza and then de Gendt up ahead.

  40. 15:24:48 CET

    It looks like De Gendt, Plaza and Serpa are going to come together. The peloton at 1'15.

  41. 13km remaining from 166.4km

    15:26:47 CET

    13km to go and real climb to the finish is about to start.

  42. 15:30:13 CET

    Three leaders together on the climb, with the bunch still at 1'15.

  43. 15:31:30 CET

    The fog means we can only see around 20 feet infront of us. If riders start attacking in this it could be carnage.

  44. 15:33:18 CET

    11km to go and the three leaders have 40 seconds on the bunch but Rolland has attacked with a huge move. He's 10 seconds clear of the peloton and closing on the three leaders. Still no moves from the main favourites.

  45. 15:37:00 CET

    Barguil and Bennett have joined forces with Rolland with the peloton just behind.

  46. 15:39:53 CET

    A quick plug but you can subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, right here.

  47. 15:40:46 CET

    In the race, we're into the final 9km and the entire race is within 30 seconds with Plaza, Serpa and de Gendt still leading and the Rolland group in the middle.

  48. 15:43:46 CET

    8km to go and it's all back together. De Gendt and co. have sat up and Saxo, Katusha and Movistar continue to set the pace. The peloton is being ripped apart on the climb though.

  49. 15:46:09 CET

    The road rises up again and this is the perfect place to launch an attack.

  50. 15:47:54 CET

    No moves from the favourites just yet. They're all waiting and this is playing into Rodriguez's hands.

  51. 15:50:46 CET

    Into the final 3km and it's still together.

  52. 15:52:59 CET

    Barguil has watched the favourites for long enough and he's attacked again. He's got a small gap.

  53. 15:54:58 CET

    Less than 2km to go and Barguil has seven seconds on the group containing Contador, Rodriguez, Quintana and Froome. van Garderen is also there.

  54. 15:56:21 CET

    Froome has attacked.

  55. 15:57:06 CET

    Froome has been brought back and now Contador attacks.

  56. 15:57:26 CET

    we're in the final 1000m and Contador is going clear.

  57. 15:58:52 CET

    Quintana and Rordiguez catch Contador but Froome has been dropped. He's alone.

  58. 15:59:19 CET

    Van Garderen is there.

  59. 15:59:42 CET

    He's made the move and he's going clear in the sprint.

  60. 16:00:48 CET

    And he's got it. Van Garderen followed the key moves and then sprinted clear inside the final 100m to take the stage win. The rest of the favourites come over the line one by one. Froome just about made contact with them by the finish.

  61. 16:02:02 CET

    Rodriguez should hold his overall lead though.

  62. 16:03:02 CET

    It looked like Bardet was second.

  63. 16:03:29 CET

    With Contador in third place.

  64. 16:17:09 CET

    1 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 4:49:30
    2 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:00
    3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:03
    4 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:04
    5 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:05
    6 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin Sharp 0:00:08
    7 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:08
    8 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:15
    9 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:16
    10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:21
    11 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA 0:00:26
    12 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:37
    13 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:49
    14 Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:51
    15 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:00:51

  65. 16:17:24 CET

    General classification after stage 4

    1 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 17:47:34
    2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:04
    3 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:07
    4 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:10
    5 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:10
    6 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:17
    7 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin Sharp 0:00:18
    8 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:26
    9 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:42
    10 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA 0:00:45

  66. 16:18:02 CET

    Thanks for joining us today. You can find our report, results, and photos, right here.