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Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2018: Stage 4

Hello an welcome to a sunny Basque Country for the key individual time trial.

 

The early starters have already raced but all the overall contenders are further down the TT start list. 

 

Race leader Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) will be last to start. 

 

Former TT world champion Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky) is next off. 

Pat Bevin (Trek-Segafredo) is the the fastest so far with a time of 22:36 for the 19km flat course.

 

Michal Kwiatokowski comes in fast now but is 11 seconds slower than Bevin. 

 

We mistakenly listed Bevin as a Trek rider but he is obviously in BMC colours in 2018 after moving from Cannondale. 

 

Next off is Neilson Powless of LottoNL-Jumbo. 

 

It will be good to see what the young American can do today.

 

The final 50 riders are about to start.

 

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain) is off very soon, as the likes of Bardet, Landa, Roglic and Alaphilippe warm up on the rollers at their team buses.

 

Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky) sets 11:16 for 9.6km. He's 15 seconds slower than the fastest time but is faster than Bevin and Kwiato.

 

The stage has two long, flat sections, where the time trial specialists will have a clear advantage.

 

 

Nibali is off. He's been struggling so far after riding the Tour of Flanders on Sunday before flying to Spain for a big week of racing.

 

Nibali is hoping the big block of racing will give him a peak for the Ardennes Classics. 

 

Kiryienka is tucked low on his Pinarello TT bike as he fights the cross winds.

 

Remi Cavagna set the fastest time of 11:01 after 11km but then slowed considerably. 

Michael Matthews sets 11:25 at the same split.

 

Kiryienka sets a time of 22:37 if the timing is correct. He is 2 seconds slower than Bevin. 

 

The wind seems to be picking up more and more and so playing a part in the stage results.

 

Matthews sets 23:02 and is fifth fastest so far. 

 

Spilak is off now but the last 20 big-name riders will start at two-minute intervals.

 

Ilnur  Zakarin is off now. He's struggled so far but is Russian TT champion and a stage race contender. 

He's building for the Giro d'Italia of course but could talk back time on some of is rivals today.

 

This is a Twitter pics of Zakarin at the start of the TT.

 

 

David de la Cruz of Team Sky sets off. He's a contender today perhaps. 

 

Nibali was well off the pace, finishing 67th so far. He's clearly focused on the finally road stages and the Ardennes. 

 

Dylan Teuns is blasting down one of the long straight roads.

Can he beat teammate Bevin?  

 

Teuns sets 23:10. Not bad but not fastest.  

 

Pat Bevin (BMC) still leads with 22:36.

 

There are perhaps only two or three riders who can now challenge Bevin's time. 

 

They include de la Cruz of Team Sky and of course Primoz Roglic of LottoNL.  

 

Rigoberto Uran is off now. He's not a great TT rider and so will be riding to limit his losses today. 

 

De la Cruz is 35 seconds down after 11km. It will be very difficult for him to come back from that. 

 

Next off is Nairo Quintana (Movistar). How much will he lose today? It will surely end his overall chances. 

 

Here comes Zakarin. He's set 23:24 and so is out of the top ten.  

 

Quintana is ticked low on his TT bike but he is surely losing seconds every kilometre.

 

 

Bardet is off now. We're at the sharp end of the TT.

 

De la Cruz is only sixth fastest with a time of 23:03. 

 

 

 

Bevin is sitting nervously in the hot seat as fastest so far.

 

He could win the stage, with only Roglic a possible rival now. 

 

Quintana is 1:00 off the pace at the 11km split.  

 

3-2-1 and Landa is off. 

 

Landa is 43 seconds down on Alaphilippe. Can he pull something back today? Perhaps but Roglic is the favourite to win the stage and take the race lead. 

 

Landa improved his TT skills at Team Sky and seems to be going for it today. 

 

Roglic is next off. He's wearing the green points jersey today. 

 

Uran is off the pace with 24:00. The crowd groaned at that time but cheered Alaphilippe away. 

 

Alaphillipe is in yellow as he tucks low over the bike and tries to keep the speed high.

 

Here comes Mollema. He sets 23:09. 34 slower than Bevin. 

 

He gained 51 seconds on Uran.

 

Landa is off the pace at the 11km time split. He sets 11:53. 

 

Roglic is close to 50km/h as he fights a headwind.

 

Roglic is just 8 seconds down on Alaphilippe overall. He will surely pull those seconds back today but he needs to gain time for the final hilly stages. 

 

At the 11km time split, Roglic sets 11:19. That's third fastest but will surely old his speed on the way home and also has a tail wind.   

 

Alaphilippe will come past in two minutes or so.

 

Buchmann finishes strongly and sets a time of 23:24. He'll gain time of many of his GC rivals today.

 

Roglic is the virtual race leader now. He's already pulled back 8 seconds on Alaphilippe.

 

Alaphillipe set 11:41 at the 11km time split. 

 

Roglic was 11:19.

 

Bevin is nervously waiting for Roglic to finish. This could be the biggest win of his career.

 

23:42 for Landa. Not bad but he's going to drop important seconds to some GC rivals.

 

Alaphilippe has his mouth wide open but his position on the TT bike is not great compared to Roglic. 

 

23:37 for Ion Izagirre. 

 

Today's TT will shake up the GC placings.

 

Here comes Roglic.

 

22:26 Roglic is fastest!  

 

Roglic beats Bevin by 9 seconds. 

 

Roglic slows down, recovers and heads back to the podium.

 

Now we wait to see how much Alaphilippe will lose at the line.

 

Here is Alaphilippe. He sets 23:08. 

 

He lost 42 seconds to Roglic.

 

Alaphilippe fiished 8th in the TT, He lost time but is still in the fight for overall victory considering how strong he was on the two opening hilly stages. 

 

Provisional results confirm that Roglic set a time of 22:26, nine seconds faster than Pat Bevin (BMC).

 

 

This is the top ten for the stage

 

1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:22:26
2 Patrick Bevin (NZl) BMC Racing Team 0:00:09
3 Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky 0:00:11
4 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Sky 0:00:14
5 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 0:00:20
6 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:00:36
7 David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky 0:00:37
8 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:42
9 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:43
10 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team

 

Roglic is now warming down in the podium area. He looks happy with his performance.

 

 

Alaphilippe is 34 down on Roglic now in the GC.

 

This is the general classification after stage 4.

        

1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 13:41:26
2 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:34
3 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:33
4 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:36
5 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:42
6 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:48
7 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:51
8 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:01:57
9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:08
10 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:02:11

 

The fight for the podium places and WorldTour points continues until Saturday with two testing hilly stages.   

 

On Friday stage 5 is from Vitoria-Gasteiz to Eibar over 164.7km.

 

 

 

It includes two nasty climbs in the finale before a gradual riding finish.

 

 

 

Saturday's final stage offers a real final showdown, with a short 122km stage between Eibar and Arrate. However it includes 8 categorised climbs, including the final wall up to Usartza 3.1km at 12.7%! 

The finish is virtually at the top of the climb.

 

The TT also shook up the other GC placings and will produce a real fight for the top ten.

 

Mollema is a distant third overall, 1:33 down on Roglic but Patrick Konrad (Bora) is only 3 seconds behind the Dutchman. 

 

Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain) is fifth overall, nine seconds down on Mollema, with Emanuel Buchmann (Bora) at 15 seconds. 

 

 

 

 

Landa is further back but only 18 down on Mollema. Just behind him are Pello Bilbao (Astana) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar). 

 

Quintana is 2:08 down on Roglic but only 35 second off third place.

 

 

This is a shot of Roglic's super fast Bianchi TT bike. 

 

 

 

Roglic made his former ski jumper's Telemark podium pose to celebrate his win.

 

 

Here's Roglic during the time trial. 

 

 

This is Roglic front on, in a photo from the race organiser.

 

 

For more great photos from the time trial and fo our full stage report, click here. 

 

 

We'll be back on Friday for more live coverage of the aggressive racing from the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. 

 

Of course we will also have full coverage of the countdown to Paris-Roubaix. 

 

For our first recon gallery click here.

 

A number of teams were out riding the pave today, including world champion Peter Sagan.

 

 

We'll soon have a special report from the Quick-Step Floors press conference as they confirm their team for Sunday. 

 

Quick-Step Floors are due to check out the pave on Friday before heading into France to Compiegne for Saturday's team presentation and then Sunday's race. 

 

Thanks for joining us today. We'll be back tomorrow. 

 

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