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Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana stage 4 – Live coverage

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Hola and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 4 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.  

As the Cyclingnews blimp takes height, we join the 193km stage at the mid-way point.

We have a break of five riders with a lead of 2:45 but we expect the sprint teams to chase them down for their fast finishers.

QuickStep-AlphaVinyl and Bora-Hansgrohe are leading the peloton, clearly thinking their sprinter can win today. 

As you may have read on Cyclingnews, both Team DSM and Jumbo-Visma did not start the stage after COVID-19 cases in their ranks. 

Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) is the new race leader after he divested Remco Evenepoel (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) of the yellow jersey with a powerful attack on the gravel climb to win the stage 3 at Antenas del Maigmó.

The five rider break leads by 3:00. 

The five are: 

The big news of stage 3 was how Remco Evenepoel lost any chance of taking three wins out of three stages.

Alasdair gives us an update from the finish in Torrevieja. The exposed roads around the pink salt water lake men there's a risk of attacks and echelons in the final kilometres. 

63km to go, with the break of 5 riders still 2:15 ahead.  

As well as the Covid-19 withdrawals,  Ilnur Zakarin crashed during stage 3 and was not able to continue the race. 

The race is now heading towards the seafront and holiday resort. The winds could be a factor very soon. 

We can see the flags flying at the port of Torrevieja. 

It is cloudy in the Valencia area today and the wind is blowing. 

With the risk of wind and attacks, riders are fighting for position at the front of the peloton. 

Crash! 

The speed sparked a touch of wheels. 

The two riders to go down are Omar Freile and Carlos Rodriguez of Ineos. They are in pain but are up and standing.  

The race will soon be near the coast, with the wind blowing from the riders' right. 

Once through the intermediate sprint in Torrevieja, the riders face a loop of the lake. 

45km to go

We can also see the Movistar team on the front.   

The riders enter into the streets of Torrevieja. That gives them some welcome protection from the wind but there are a number of tight corner. 

40km to go

Ineos are now leading the chase. Are they planning an attack in the wind and go after the intermediate sprint time bonuses?   

The Meta Volante is done, with the 5 attackers taking the bonus seconds. Ineos just want to stay safe and upfront.

Now the pelton passes through the sprint and the finish area, leaving 3.5km to race. 

The riders will soon emerge back into the cross winds. 

The wind is blowing from the riders' right now as they start the loop of the laguna. 

25km to go

The 5 attackers know their chances are gone but fight on. 

20km to go

More houses and so more protection from the cross winds. 

Gruppo compatto! 

Did we speak too soon? 

QuickStep are there and vigilant but do not seem convinced there is enough wind to split the peloton.

15km to go

Movistar take over on the front of the peloton to protect Valverde and Mas. 

Elia Viviani will fancy his chances today. He's being protected by Ben Swift up front. 

All the teams are lined out but also shoulder to shoulder. The speed is above 50km/h. 

Ivan Cobo of Equipo Kern Pharma makes a solo attack but the peloton will surely eat him up whenever they want.  

The roads are back into the holiday town and rising slightly, making for more tension and fight for position in the bunch.

Intermarche are moving up for Alexander Kristoff.  

UAE also fancy their chances with Molano.

5km to go

The speed is up to 82km/h on a false flat with a tailwind! 

There is soon as right and then left turn. 

Swift leads Viviani through the fast corner as Evenepoel does his part to help Morkov and Jakobsen.  

2km to go

Some riders go off the road! 

Last km!

Riders are moving up on the left and right. Where is QuickStep?

Moschetti takes it for Trek-Segafredo.

The Italian hit the front coming out of the final corner and had the power and speed to hold off his rivals. 

That was a highly-fought sprint, with positioning vital in the last two kilometres. The QuickStep team opted to have Evenepoel lead it out but Morkov and Jakobsen were too far back with the pace so high and couldn't find a way back up on the outside of the final curve.  

Jakobsen tried to change his line but his rivals were ahead of him and he could only watch them sprint for victory. 

Here's the moment Moschetti wins the sprint and starts his celebrations.

It was Moschetti's six career win and his first since last year's Per Sempre Alfredo race in Tuscany in March. 

This great shot shows how much of a fight there was for the sprint. 

Moschetti clenched his fist in celebration.  

Trek-Segafredo were saddened by the sudden death of trusted mechanic just before the start of the season and Moschetti wanted to remember him.  

“It’s always important to win,” Moschetti said. 

“My two teammates were involved in the crash with 1.5km to go but I went on the right and so I could follow the other guys. In the last corner I saw a gap on the left side and so I tried sprint to the end on the left side.”  

Thanks to joining us for live coverage of the stage. We will back on Sunday for live coverage of the final stage to Valencia. 

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