Stage 4 of the Vuelta a Espana was expected to be the last chance for the sprinters until next week, so it was no surprise the mad dash into El Puig was a hotly contested affair. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quickstep) edged out Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the photo finish.
At such high speeds, every movement counts, and when Bennett took the wrong way on a roundabout, the momentum swung in Deceuninck-Quickstep's favour, as first Zdenek Stybar and then Max Richeze dropped off Jakobsen at the perfect moment. It was also a signal of Bennett's strength that he pushed the Dutch champion to the photo finish after having to fight his way into position alone.
The battle behind the two got a little hairy, and judges relegated Sunweb's Max Walscheid to the back of the bunch for a switch of lines, giving the battered Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) his first podium finish of the race.
The GC standings remained unchanged as the climbers rested their legs for Wednesday's summit finale at the Javalembre Observatory, the first major mountain stage finish of the Vuelta. Nicolas Roche (Sunweb) enjoyed another day in the red jersey, while Jumbo-Visma lost Steven Kruijswijk to injuries from their stage 1 crash in the team time trial.
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