Team Sky’s campaign for the Volta a Catalunya remained on track despite Bradley Wiggins’ abandonment yesterday in treacherous conditions.
Rigoberto Uran won today’s stage four by jumping clear of a six-man escape group as the peloton closed in with just 400m of the 199km stage remaining.
The Columbian is now placed sixth on general classification, tied with 16 other riders at 1.32 behind race leader, Michael Albasini (GreenEDGE).
Uran said he was ecstatic after claiming his first win for Team Sky.
“I’ve been feeling really good this week and a few days ago Brad [Wiggins] worked amazingly for me when I got third but didn’t quite have it at the end so I really wanted to win this one to repay some of that work and show that I could finish it off.”
Uran’s directeur sportif, Sean Yates, added: “I told Rigoberto to sit on in the last kilometre just to save his legs for the sprint. It was worth a gamble as the gap was so small and it all worked out which was great to see – he was made up in a big way.
“It’s fantastic for Rigo – he often races with Bradley [Wiggins] which means he’s usually in a support role so it’s great for him to have an opportunity to shine and take that chance with the victory.”
Yesterday, Team Sky’s management seemed unclear whether Wiggins would be allowed to continue after failing to finish stage three in severe weather conditions.
Tomorrow’s mountainous fifth stage from Asco to Manresa covers a grueling 207.1km, including the first category climb of Alt de Montserrat.
Ireland’s Daniel Martin (Garmin-Barracuda), winner of stage nine on last year’s Vuelta a Espana, is now fourth in a top 20 packed with potential winners, including fifth placed Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel Euskadi), and sixth-placed Uran.
Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) is eighth, Denis Menchov (Katusha) thirteenth, and Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) is fifteenth.
Volta a Catalyuna stage four
1) Rigoberto Uran Uran (COL) – Sky Procycling – 5:13.12
2) Denis Menchov (RUS) – Katusha Team
3) Sylvester Szmyd (POL) – Liquigas-Cannondale
4) David Moncoutie (FRA) – Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne
5) Jurgen Van Den Broeck (BEL) – Lotto Belisol Team
6) Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (SPA) – Euskaltel-Euskadi
7) Matteo Carrara (ITA) – Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
8) Dario Cataldo (ITA) – Omega Pharma – QuickStep
9) Julien Simon (FRA) – Saur – Sojasun
10) Robert Kiserlovski (CRO)- Pro Team Astana
1) Michael Albasini (SWI) – GreenEDGE – 12:25.24
2) Steve Morabito (SWI) – BMC Racing Team + 1.32
3) Jurgen Van Den Broeck (BEL) – Lotto Belisol Team
4) Daniel Martin (IRL) – Garmin-Barracuda
5) Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (SPA) – Euskaltel-Euskadi
6) Rigoberto Uran (COL) – Sky Procycling
7) Sergio Pardilla Belllón (SPA) – Movistar Team
8) Damiano Cunego (ITA) – Lampre – ISD
9) Thomas Danielson (USA) – Garmin-Barracuda
10) Robert Kiserlovski (CRO) – Pro Team Astana