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As it happened: Groves powers to victory on Vuelta a España stage 4 as Evenepoel holds onto red

Vuelta a Espana 2023 stage 4 profile

(Image credit: Unipublic/ASO)

Vuelta a España 2023 stage 4 preview
Vuelta a España - Everything you need to know
Vuelta a España 2023 route
Vuelta a España teams
Vuelta stage 3 results


Hello and welcome to our Live coverage of stage 4 of La Vuelta a España 2023.

The first day of mountains are behind us with the general classification starting to take shape. 

Apparently there has already been more drama. With four men arrested for allegedly planning on sabotaging the race by pouring 400 litres of cooking oil on the riders.

The jerseys going into stage four are:

GC top 10 going into stage four:

Today is a big opportunity for the sprinters at the race. 

However! This might not be as simple as the peloton controlling the race. The two climbs in the second half of the stage could cause problems for the fast men.

Race start

This break looks to have gone. The gap is already over two minutes. Perfect for the sprinters teams and ideal for Sepúlveda as now he can potentially take the polka dot jersey our right. 

The best placed rider in the break is Sepúlveda. But the Argentinian is almost 10 minutes down on Evenepoel at the start of today.

160km to go, gap at 2'14"

Team dsm-firmenich join Alpecin-Deceuninck on the front for their Italian sprinter, Alberto Dainese. 

Colombian star Nairo Quintana was at the start in Andorra la Vella today and was seen chatting to the bosses of both UAE Team Emirates and Movistar. 

The first 45 minutes of racing have been fast with the average speed sticking to around 50kph (30mph). The break are not hanging around, but the peloton are not letting them off the leash. 

It was a tough day for Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) yesterday with the Welshman losing over 45" on Evenepoel. Read what he had to say after the stage by clicking the link below...

140km to go, gap coming down

The kilometres are being ticked off so quickly today. The riders have done the first 50km of the race in just under an hour. 

The gap is continuing to gradually close. It is now at 1'48" between the bunch and the trio of riders up the road.  

The current temperature is a very pleasant 24 degrees Celsius with a wind now dropping to 7kph. It was at around 20kph earlier but has slipped away as the day has gone on. 

Some red touches to Evenepoel's bike today... 

120km to go, 1'48" gap

The sunshine is blazing down on the riders today with
Intermarché-Circus-Wanty joining Alpecin-Deceuninck and Team dsm-firmenich on the front of the peloton. Temperature jumping up to 26 degrees C and is said to hit 30 later today. 

It is the classic view of La Vuelta with the scorched landscape, wide road and baking sunshine. 

My favourite Tweet yesterday was from Egan Bernal where he posted these pictures of him and Geraint Thomas with the caption "Like old times with The Boss Geraint Thomas"

A very special day for 20-year-old Grand Tour debutant, Lenny Martinez of Groupama-FDJ, who wears the white jersey for Remco Evenepoel today.

100km to go, 1'14"

Break and peloton now well over the halfway point of the stage. Just Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Romain Combaud (Team dsm-firmenich) leading the peloton. Gap to the break is now 1'17".

A reminder of the breakaway rider:

80km to go, gap going out again

The peloton really did respond to the breakaway pushing the pace as they took a minute out of them in the last 10km. We're around 10km away from the first KoM of the day, the Alto de Belltall.

There is a block crosswind all the way to the line now at about 14kph. It isn't strong enough to create echelons, though. 

Alpecin-Deceuninck have brought the entire team to the front with Kaden Groves being looked after by the newly crowned mountain bike short-track world champion, Sam Gaze. 

We are climbing! The Alto de Belltall. 9.3km with an average gradient of 3.7%.

60km to go, 1'16" gap

Remco Evenepoel well protected by his Soudal-QuickStep squad. He was very isolated on the final climb yesterday. Will the strength in depth from Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates prove to be too much in the end for the Belgian champion?

KoM sprint (Alto de Belltall)

The new KoM standings (Top 3)

50km to go, 57" gap

Like every single road stage we have had so far, Team dsm-firmenich's Chris Hamilton is on the front of the bunch hammering the pace for his sprinter, Dainese. 

The gap dips under 30" now. The team cars and neutral service are taken out of the gap. It looks like the break will not make it to the KoM sprint on the next climb. 

Onto the Coll de Lilla. The second of the Cat3 climbs today. But this is a harder average gradient. However, it is much shorter. Just 5.2km long with the average gradient just under 5%. Just 34" between the break and the peloton. 

Pace change. Alpecin-Deceuninck move to the front again with multiple other teams trying to swamp them as they head onto the gradients of the Coll de Lilla. 

A real outsider for today has just been moved up towards the front by his Caja Rural teammates. And that is the Venezuelan champion, Orluis Aular. With the small incline to the line, it could suit his credentials more than one of the purer sprinters. 

KoM spirnt (Coll de Lilla)

30km to go, 18" gap

Eduardo Sepúlveda sits up from the breakaway and leaves Okamika and González out front to battle for the most combative prize.

Sepúlveda caught by the peloton who are really flying now. Multiple teams swarming around the front of the bunch as they all try and take control. 

AG2R-Citroen move up for Vendrame and the intermediate sprint.

Intermediate sprint

Breakaway caught. 

Ineos Grenadiers move to the front with the entire team. Filippo Ganna and Kim Heiduk could have a good go at this finish. 

10km to go

Ganna and Heiduk focusing on keeping their GC riders as safe as possible instead of looking for their own results which is understandable. Omar Fraile joins them at the front now too. 

Soudal-QuickStep, Bahrain Victorious, Jumbo-Visma, UAE Team Emirates, Movistar and Jayco-AlUla all on the front now. 

5km to go

Crash including Coquard and Buitrago

Dylan van Baarle leads the peloton but it is Milan Menten's Lotto-Dstny men who are on his wheel as the roundabouts stretch the peloton right out. 

UAE Team Emirates fly to the front for Sebastian Molano as well as Lidl-Trek for Edward Theuns. 

Flamme Rouge! 

500m to go. Aular, Menten, Hostetter and Askey all moving up too. 


Sebastian Molano launched first but Kaden Groves wins stage four of La Vuelta a España! 

Stage 4 top 10

A fine victory from the Australian sprinter.

As it stands, Evenepoel, Vlasov, Mas and Vingegaard all gain four seconds on Ayuso, Roglič, Arensman, Martinez, Almeida, Thomas and the rest of the GC contenders. 

Provisional GC after stage 4

Read the full race report of today's stage by clicking the link below...

Thanks to Groves' points that he took today and on stage two where he came second behind Kron, he takes the lead in the green jersey standings ahead of Vendrame with his 75pts to the Italian's 62pts. 

Looking towards tomorrow's stage, the profile is very similar to today. 

Kaden Groves back on the top step at a Grand Tour with another stage win added to the list. 

Another day in red awaits for Remco Evenepoel

A new look and another visit to the podium for Kaden Groves.

Evenepoel keeps hold of white. Much like today, Lenny Martinez will continue to wear the jersey on his behalf.

And finally, Eduardo Sepúlveda takes the polka dot jersey off of Evenepoel's shoulders as he takes a three point lead on the Belgian. 

And that bring our live to a close. Thank you very much for following the race with us. Hopefully you join us on Cyclingnews again for another live blog as we follow stage 5 of La Vuelta España 2023. But until then, goodbye!

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