Vuelta a Espana 2014: stage four – five observations

John Degenkolb proves sprinting class as Sky and Movistar show their strength

John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) took the honours on stage four of the Vuelta a Espana, with Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE) protecting the red jersey.

But the day was significant not only for Degenkolb’s sixth career Vuelta stage win, achieved with a stunning sprint, but by a number of shows of strength from within the peloton too.

John Degenkolb returned to winning ways on stage four (pic: Sirotti)

Sky and Movistar both hit the front in numbers over the climbs to reduce the peloton to a select group of 60 riders.

Meanwhile rising British star Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE) showed he is not just at his first Grand Tour to clock up the miles in the peloton, accelerating to form a short-lived four-man break.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was another of those four men, hence Yates slowing it down to protect Matthews’ red jersey.

But from both, and from Sky and Movistar, it will certainly not be the last time we see them come to the fore at this year’s race.

Read our five observations in full over the following pages.


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