Tour of the Basque Country: stage four - five observations

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Tour of the Basque Country: stage four – five observations

Wout Poels shines, Alejandro Valverde attacks and Simon Yates impresses

Wout Poels (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) was the man of the moment after an enthralling finale to the fourth stage of the Tour of the Basque Country.

The Dutchman accelerated on the final climb of the day – the category one ascent of the Alto de Usartza – to leave an elite group of chasing riders trailing in his wake.

Michal Kwaitkowski pulled off an admirable role in support, disrupting the chase – but it came at the cost of his GC ambitions as he lost some seconds.

Wout Poels relentless attacking paid off with stage victory (pic: OPQS/Tim de Waele)

Mikel Nieve (Team Sky) also missed out, but Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) deservedly cut two seconds from Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo)’s lead – reward for his relentless marking of his compatriot and rival.

British neo pro, Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE) also impressed, briefly leading solo and finishing 42 seconds back to move up to 17th overall.

A career-best WorldTour result awaits for the young Brit if he can keep it up.

Read our five observations from stage four over the following pages, and add your own in the RCUK Forum.

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