Itzulia Basque Country: McNulty takes lead on stage 4

Ion Izagirre (Astana-Premier Tech) won stage 4 of the Itzulia Basque Country after a close sprint against Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious).

Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) finished third and did enough to move into the race lead after a break of six formed on the final descent of the stage and put time into a group of GC favourites that included Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma).

After four stages of racing McNulty now leads the race by 23 seconds over Roglič with Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) third at 28 seconds.

Izagirre, Bilbao, McNulty, along with Esteban Chaves, Emanuel Buchmann, and Vingegaard formed the winning break after the final climb of the Erlaitz, with Chaves and Bilbao the first to make their move. A combination of strong riding and a lack of cooperation within the chase behind saw the gap move their advantage out to 30 seconds and then almost a minute on the flat run-in.

Buchmann attacked with 1.6km to go but was quickly brought back before Chaves kicked for home with 800m remaining. It looked as though the BikeExchange climber would take the second win of his season but with 200m remaining he was dragged back by Buchmann before Izagirre struck out with a long sprint. Bilbao almost edged the Astana Premier Tech rider on the line but the Bahrain rider just came up short.

How it unfolded

A rapid start, coupled with a long downhill section soon after, ensured that the opening hour of racing was run off at a near breakneck speed. There were several attempts to form a break, with even Roglič and Carapaz jumping free from the peloton but it took a full 110km of racing before a four-man group was eventually allowed to go clear.

Omar Fraile (Astana-Premier Tech) and Jon Barrenetzxea (Caja Rural), and before them Simon Geschke (Cofidis) and Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck-QuickStep) were among those to attack on the first climb of the Deskarga but it was on the next climb of the Alkiza when Ben O'Connor (AG2R Citroën), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Jefferson Cepeda (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), and Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo) finally moved clear.

They built a slender lead over a rampant bunch and on the lower slopes of the Jaizkibel. The quartet held just over a minute with Astana and then Bahrain setting a furious pace on the familiar climb. Once again Bauke Mollema found himself going backwards on the early slope as up ahead the break began to attack each other with just under 50km to go. Lopez and O’Connor moved clear and formed a new alliance with the peloton at 1’05 with 45km remaining but the pace from Mikel Landa’s team and then from BikeExchange was enough to bring back Cepeda and Martin before the summit and reduce the remaining riders’ advantage to 38 seconds by the summit with Ineos Grenadiers taking over at the front of the peloton.

UAE Team Emirates took over the descent and the approach towards the final climb of Erlaitz. At the foot of the climb with 26km to go Lopez and O’Connor’s slim margin evaporated with a group of fewer than 50 riders still in contention. Roglič and Pogačar put their remaining teammates on the front. Astana, with Jakob Fuglsang were the first team to try and up the pace but it was Landa who put in the first serious dig with 24.7km to go. Esteban Chaves initially lead the chase but then jumped across to the Spaniard alongside Brian McNulty. With 1.6km to go until the summit, Chaves began to feel the strain, with McNulty, third overall at the start of the stage pushing clear with Landa on his wheel.

Jumbo-Visma’s Vingegaard dragged the pair back just before the summit, but by that point, less than 15 riders were still in contention with 22km to go. Pello Bilbao and Chaves linked up with an attack on the rolling descent with McNulty, Izaguirre, Buchmann, and Vingegaard joining them to make a dangerous group of six. They built up a lead of 26 seconds with a group of 13 that included Roglič and Pogačar leading the chase. Alejandro Valverde took charge of the chase group with 11km to go in a bid to bring the leaders back but as the road briefly flattened out with 10km to go the six upfront had 35 seconds of an advantage. David Gaudu was the next to attack, but the Frenchman was heavily marked. James Knox broke free with 8km to go.

With 5km to go the leading six had 52 seconds with the stop-start nature of the chase allowing them to build on their gap, and when Jumbo-Visma finally began to work it was on the understanding that McNulty had all but secured the race lead for stage 5. The race is now tightly balanced with two stages, including a summit finish on the final day, remaining.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech 4:17:07
2Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
3Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates
4Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
5Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
6Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange 0:00:02
7Patrick Bevin (NZl) Israel Start-up Nation 0:00:49
8James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep
9Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
10Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
11Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
12Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
13Simon Geschke (Ger) Cofidis
14Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
15Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Team DSM
16Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo
17Alejandro Osorio Carvajal (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
18Pierre Latour (Fra) Total Direct Energie
19Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
20Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
21David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
22Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
23Fabio Aru (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos
24Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
25Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
26Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
27Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious
28Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis
29Sam Oomen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
30Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech
31Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
32Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team
33Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
34Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:05:42
35Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
36Jose Felix Parra Cuerda (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
37Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
38Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Total Direct Energie
39Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team
40Jesus Ezquerra Muela (Spa) Burgos-BH
41Eddie Dunbar (Irl) Ineos Grenadiers
42Mark Donovan (GBr) Team DSM
43Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
44Niklas Eg (Den) Trek-Segafredo
45Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
46Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
47Jon Agirre Egaña (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
48Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Team BikeExchange
49Laurens De Plus (Bel) Ineos Grenadiers
50Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
51Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:08:20
52Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Team BikeExchange
53Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
54Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-up Nation
55Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates
56Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R Citroën Team 0:10:00
57Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
58Romain Combaud (Fra) Team DSM
59Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
60Larry Warbasse (USA) AG2R Citroën Team
61Daryl Impey (RSA) Israel Start-up Nation
62Simon Clarke (Aus) Team Qhubeka Assos
63Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo
64Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team
65Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
66Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:12:01
67Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:13:54
68Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
69Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ
70Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Burgos-BH
71Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) Total Direct Energie
72Fabien Doubey (Fra) Total Direct Energie
73Fabien Grellier (Fra) Total Direct Energie
74Julien Simon (Fra) Total Direct Energie
75Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Start-up Nation
76Sébastien Grignard (Bel) Lotto Soudal
77Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain Victorious
78Ian Garrison (USA) Deceuninck-QuickStep
79Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
80Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
81Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal
82Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
83Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
84Fernando Barceló Aragon (Spa) Cofidis
85Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
86Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
87Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
88Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
89Unai Cuadrado Ruiz De Gauna (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
90Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Movistar Team
91Victor de la Parte (Spa) Total Direct Energie
92Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
93Daniel Navarro (Spa) Burgos-BH
94Alexander Cataford (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
95Oscar Cabedo Carda (Spa) Burgos-BH
96Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo
97Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
98Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis
99Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
100Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R Citroën Team
101Nicolas Prodhomme (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
102Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team DSM
103Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
104Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
105Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den) Team BikeExchange
106Roger Adria Oliveras (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma 0:18:46
107Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
108Raul Garcia Pierna (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
109Stefan De Bod (RSA) Astana-Premier Tech
110Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
111Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
112Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
113Andreas Leknessund (Nor) Team DSM
114Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
115Felix Gall (Aut) Team DSM
116Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team
117Einer Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar Team
118Eros Capecchi (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
119Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Education-Nippo
120Héctor Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team
121Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
122Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
123Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
124Jon Barrenetxea Golzarri (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
125Diego Camargo Pineda (Col) EF Education-Nippo
126Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
127Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain Victorious
128Dion Smith (NZl) Team BikeExchange
129Damien Howson (Aus) Team BikeExchange
130Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
131Lars van den Berg (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
132Matthew Holmes (GBr) Lotto Soudal
133Ben Swift (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
134Jon Irisarri Ricon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
135Sean Bennett (USA) Team Qhubeka Assos
136Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
137Romain Seigle (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
138Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis
139Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
140Josef Cerny (Cze) Deceuninck-QuickStep
141Andrey Amador (CRc) Ineos Grenadiers
142Juan Felipe Osorio Arboleda (Col) Burgos-BH 0:20:46
143Txomin Juaristi Arrieta (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
144Théo Delacroix (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
145Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Team Qhubeka Assos
146Filippo Conca (Ita) Lotto Soudal
147Ander Okamika Bengoetxea (Spa) Burgos-BH
148Carlos Canal Blanco (Spa) Burgos-BH
149Alex Howes (USA) EF Education-Nippo
150Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal
151Alexander Evans (Aus) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
152Oier Lazkano Lopez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
153Urko Berrade Fernandez (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
154Mikel Aristi Gardoki (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
155Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team Qhubeka Assos
156Mauro Schmid (Swi) Team Qhubeka Assos
157Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
Row 157 - Cell 0 Kevin Vermaerke (USA) Team DSM
Row 158 - Cell 0 Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
Row 159 - Cell 0 Clément Davy (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
Row 160 - Cell 0 James Piccoli (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
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Sprint 1 - Andoain, km 115,3
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team 10
2Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 6
3Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 4
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Sprint 2 - Errenteria km 137,3
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 10
2Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 6
3Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 4
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Mountain 1 - Deskarga (Cat 3) km 55,8
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 3
2Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis 2
3Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 1
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Mountain 2 - Alkiza (Cat 3) km 102,4
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 3
2Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 2
3Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team 1
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Mountain 3 - Jaizkibel (Cat 2) km 147,7
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team 6
2Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 4
3Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 2
4Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates 1
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Mountain 4 - Erlaitz (Cat 1) km 166,9
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates 10
2Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious 8
3Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma 6
4Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 4
5Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 2
6Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 1
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Combativity
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
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Young riders
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates 4:17:07
2Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
3Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:49
4Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Team DSM
5Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo
6Alejandro Osorio Carvajal (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
7David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
8Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
9Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious
10Jose Felix Parra Cuerda (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma 0:05:42
11Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
12Eddie Dunbar (Irl) Ineos Grenadiers
13Mark Donovan (GBr) Team DSM
14Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
15Jon Agirre Egaña (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
16Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
17Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:08:20
18Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) Total Direct Energie 0:13:54
19Sébastien Grignard (Bel) Lotto Soudal
20Ian Garrison (USA) Deceuninck-QuickStep
21Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
22Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
23Fernando Barceló Aragon (Spa) Cofidis
24Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
25Unai Cuadrado Ruiz De Gauna (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
26Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
27Nicolas Prodhomme (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
28Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
29Roger Adria Oliveras (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma 0:18:46
30Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
31Raul Garcia Pierna (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
32Stefan De Bod (RSA) Astana-Premier Tech
33Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
34Andreas Leknessund (Nor) Team DSM
35Felix Gall (Aut) Team DSM
36Einer Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar Team
37Jon Barrenetxea Golzarri (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
38Diego Camargo Pineda (Col) EF Education-Nippo
39Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain Victorious
40Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
41Lars van den Berg (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
42Sean Bennett (USA) Team Qhubeka Assos
43Théo Delacroix (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:20:46
44Filippo Conca (Ita) Lotto Soudal
45Carlos Canal Blanco (Spa) Burgos-BH
46Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal
47Alexander Evans (Aus) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
48Oier Lazkano Lopez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
49Urko Berrade Fernandez (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
50Mauro Schmid (Swi) Team Qhubeka Assos
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Teams
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Astana-Premier Tech 12:52:59
2Jumbo-Visma
3Bahrain Victorious
4UAE Team Emirates 0:04:53
5Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:05:42
6Movistar Team
7Ineos Grenadiers
8Bora-Hansgrohe 0:07:31
9Cofidis 0:10:00
10EF Education-Nippo
11Team BikeExchange 0:12:26
12Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:13:54
13Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:14:53
14Team DSM
15Israel Start-up Nation 0:17:31
16Total Direct Energie 0:18:47
17AG2R Citroën Team 0:26:42
18Groupama-FDJ 0:26:59
19Team Qhubeka Assos 0:27:57
20Equipo Kern Pharma 0:28:32
21Burgos-BH 0:31:52
22Euskaltel-Euskadi
23Trek-Segafredo
24Lotto Soudal 0:40:04
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General classification after stage 4
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates 12:25:21
2Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:23
3Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:28
4Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious 0:00:36
5Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:43
6Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:01:02
7Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:07
8Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:13
9Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech 0:01:15
10Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious 0:01:23
11Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:01:32
12Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
13Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo 0:01:42
14Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech 0:01:44
15Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange
16David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:52
17Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Team DSM 0:01:58
18James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:02:01
19Pierre Latour (Fra) Total Direct Energie 0:02:02
20Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo 0:02:33
21Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis 0:03:21
22Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:35
23Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious 0:04:04
24Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers 0:04:10