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Vuelta a San Juan Stage 4 – Live Coverage

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 2020 Vuelta a San Juan. We'll have coverage of the 185.8km 4th stage from Jachal to Valle Fertil and the village of San Augustin.

Vuelta a San Juan Internacional 2020 hub page


Today's 185.8km stage is the longest of the week and precedes the rest day in the seven-stage race. The day starts in Jachal and makes its way through Argentina's Valle Fetile – known fo its fossils and dinosaur finds – to the tiny village of San Augustin. It's quite a trek for the peloton and the race entourage, but the beautiful finish setting makes it worth the time. The locals are excited to see throngs of international guests, and the entire area comes out for the festival.

Today's stage includes two intermediate sprints and three KOMs. The sprints are ordinary enough, coming at 36km and again at 146.2km, but the KOMs are quite unusual. 

The flag dropped while we were catching up and the peloton is 25km into the day, just 11km from the first sprint. Deceuniunck-QuickDStep are on the front.

Remco Evenepoel captured the overall lead yesterday from Fernando Gaviria with a blistering performance int he 15.5km time trial. 

And the top 10 in the general classification. This will look familiar:

The leaders are 2km from the sprint

Deceuninck's Zdenek Stybar takes the sprint.

As we maneuver the Cyclingnews blimp closer, it appears a group is trying to slip away from the bunch.

50km. The bunch apparently didn't like the make up of what looked to bea 10-rider group and they've pulled them back. It's all together once again!

60km. Still no breakaway although the attacks continue to fly. It's going to be a very, very fast stage of this keeps up. The next prize to pluck on the course is the first KOM at 90km, then a second at 96km and a third at 104.5km.

An escape has snapped the elastic 71km into the day.

We've got these names so far, but we're missing one.

Robin Carpenter (Rally Cycling)
Augustin Fraysse (Argentina)
César Enrique Gárate (Peru)
Vladimir Ilchenko (Russia)
Mattia Bais (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec)
Matteo Busato (Vini Zabù-KTM)
Iker Ballarin (Fundación-Orbea)
Daniel Juarez (Agrupacion Virgen De Fatima)

Here's a complete list of the breakaway that got away at 71km: 

Five more riders have joined our leaders, and they have 50 seconds on the peloton.

Sergio Aguirre (Municipalidad de Rawson Somos Todos),

Filippo Ganna (Italy), currently 32 seconds out of the overall lead, has also joined the leaders, and they're at the bottom of the climb

15-rider lead group is:

Laureano Rosas (Transportes Puertas de Cuyo)
Robin Carpenter (Rally Cycling)
Augustin Fraysse (Argentina)
Alain Quispe (Peru)
Vladimir Ilchenko (Russia)
Mattia Bais (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec)
Matteo Busato (Vini Zabù-KTM)
Iker Ballarin (Fundación-Orbea)
Daniel Juarez (Agrupacion Virgen De Fatima)
Sergio Aguirre (Municipalidad de Rawson Somos Todos)
Alessandro Ferreira (Brasil)
Royner Navarro (Peru)
Hugo Ruiz (Peru) 
Rubén Ramos (Equipo Continental Municipalidad de Pocito)
Filippo Ganna (Italy)

It's Carpenter over Bais and Busato on the first KOM at 90km

That's it for the breakaway. The peloton has pulled the escapees back before the second KOM of the day at 96km.

César Nicolás Paredes (Team Medellin) takes KOM number 2 at 96km with an impressive jump from the field

That's a category 1 KOM

The next KOM comes at 104.5km and is also a category 1. Then it's all downhill to the finish for another 85km

Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) takes out the final KOM of the day, a category 1 at 104.5km.

Looks like out race leader, young Evenepoel, got second in that KOM. He's certainly starting out the season in fine form.

There's a lot of downhill now before the finish in San Agustin

The peloton has split in the high speeds. Race leader Evenepoel is in the lead group, which has 50 seconds on group 2

With 55km to go the peloton is back together

Colombian Fernando Gaviria is the favourite in San Agustin. He's got his UAE  Team Emirates lead-out man Max Richeze to count on. Richeze actually won this stage in 2018 when both riders were on Deceuninck-QuickStep after Gaviria went down in a crash earlier in the stage.

The tiny village of San Agustin, where today's stage finishes, is centered around a park that contains beautiful sculptures in the Catholic tradition and a magnificent chapel. On this day, the village is overrun with team cars and vans, television trucks wires, and multitudes of mini buses that transport the set-up and tear-down crews along with all the other parts of the race entourage.

Cofidis has come forward to set the pace on the front of the peloton.

Rally's Robin Carpenter and Peio Goikoetxea (Fundación-Orbea) are on the attack ahead of the final sprint at 146.2km. They almost look like teammates in the bright orange kits of their respective squads.

Rally, of course, is the long-time US team that moved to the Pro Continental level in 2018. Fundación-Orbea is a three-year-old Pro Conti team. Man those kits look similar from up here in the Cyclingnews blimp

Carpenter takes the second sprint of the day ahead of Goikoetxea. Evenepoel, remarkably, won the final spot from the field.

Less than 40km to go now and they're probably going to take this very fast as they make their way across the plains to San Agustin. There are a few dips in the road to allow for run-off when it rains, but other than that it should be smooth sailing and slightly downhill all the way to the finish village.

Carpenter and Goikoetxea have about 40 seconds on the bunch

Carpenter is starting his season in Argentina the way he finished last season, as Rally's most aggressive rider, consistently making the breaks in races and rolling the dice that he can make something happen from there. 

With 25km to go, Carpenter and Goikoetxea have 45 seconds.

It's raining on the bunch the riders now. It's coming down pretty heavily. 

Gaviria won here last year and has to be excited about grabbing a second win, although the rain could dampen the enthusiasm a bit. Stage 1 winner Rudy Barbier will have his Israel Start-Up Nation train revved up and ready for the finish as well.

There are two tight turns inside the final kilometre in San Agustin that the riders will have to deal with. Reports say it isn't currently raining at the finish, although it did earlier.

With13km to  go our two leaders are still just in front of the bunch, but the catch looks imminent.

10km to go with the two-rider breakaway holding onto a small gap

Gaviria, Barbier, Sagan, Hodeg and maybe McCabe are the top names to watch.

Gaviria must be feeling well, UAE Team Emirates are driving the pace with 5km to go. Carpenter and Goikoetxea are still just off the front fighting hard.

Goikoetxea is back in the bunch while Carpenter continues. The lead outs are forming, however, and the American will be back inn the fold soon.

And they've got Carpenter with 2.5km to go. Bora is bringing Sagan forward

Cofidis is there with UAE on the front. Gaviria is lined up well.

QuickStep riders are behind UAE. Bora is trying to find a spot

1km to go with Bora on the front. Sagan has got Gaviria's wheel

UAE back on the front

Gaviria goes with Sagan on his wheel. Hodeg and Barbier are both challenging, but it's Gaviria again!!. The Colombian from UAE Team Emirates gets his second win of the race and his second win of the 2020 season

Barbier second, Hodeg third and Sagan fourth

Gaviria got a perfect lead out from his team, which waited patiently while Bora and Israel Start-Up Nation went a touch too soon. They dropped the Colombian off on the front with 200 metres to go, and he took care of business. Sagan was lined up perfectly on his wheel but couldn't come past, while Hodeg and Barbier came from further back and chose their own lines to the right, Barbier going the better of the two but unable to get past Gaviria.

Stage top 10:

1 Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates 4:08:03

Evenepoel will keep his overall lead for another day. The 20-year-old has a rest day tomorrow (yes, there's a rest day in a seven-stage race), and then he and the rest  of the peloton will face Alto Colorado, a long grinder of a climb at the end of stage 5 that is exposed, windy and loooooong.

Gaviria gets another. His second consecutive year of winning this stage. His lead-out man, Max Richeze, won it in 2018. Richeze's lead out was so good today that he finished 10th while freewheeling in watching to see if his leader would get the victory.

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