Vuelta a Espana 2017: Matteo Trentin sprints to stage four win

QuickStep Floors claim second victory in three days as Chris Froome retains red jersey

Matteo Trentin (QuickStep Floors) claimed victory on stage four of the 2017 Vuelta a Espana, outsprinting Juan Jose Lobato (LottoNL-Jumbo) on the highly technical finale.

After Chris Froome (Team Sky) took the red jersey on the race’s first mountain stage, stage three the previous day, stage four was always expected to end in a bunch sprint.

And after doing plenty of work in the bunch, Trentin completed his QuickStep Floors team-mates work to bag their second win in three days.

Lobato was second and Tom van Asbroeck (Cannondale-Drapac) finished third, with Froome safely in the bunch to retain his race lead.

Matteo Trentin sprinted to victory on stage four of the 2017 Vuelta a Espana (Pic: Sirotti)

A bunch sprint was anticipated in Tarragona but, unlike on stage two, a decent-sized breakaway formed with Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis), Felipe Osorio (Manzana Postobon) and Caja Rural-Seguros duo Diego Rubio and Nicholas Schulz present.

Aqua Blue Sport were the only one of the four wildcard teams not represented, instead focussing on Adam Blythe’s sprinting hopes, and the Irish team were a regular presence near the front of the bunch.

Johan le Bon (FDJ) bridged across to the leaders, who were happy to wait for them, while Team Sky – defending the red jersey – were content to let the leaders go.

With Sky content not to set a particularly furious pace – Froome had at least ten minutes over everyone up the road – the sprint teams came forward to lend a hand and bring the gap down from its seven-minute peak.

QuickStep Floors, UAE Team Emirates and Aqua Blue Sport worked well together on the front, and as the gap came down Rossetto and Rubio attacked on the day’s lone category-three climb.

The gap was down to a minute with 15km still to race, but there was still tension in the bunch as Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) and British debutant Mark Christian (Aqua Blue Sport) suffered two separate crashes.

Chris Froome successfully protected the red jersey (Pic: Sirotti)

Both remounted, with GC outsider Kelderman being chaperoned back to the strung-out bunch by his team-mates, though Manxman Christian took longer to get going again.

Rubio and Rossetto did not work well together, attacking each other as the pressure from behind began to tell, and it was gruppo compacto with 8km still to race on the technical finale.

Just short of the three-kilometre-to-go kite, Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Daniel Moreno (Movistar) hit the deck in a crash towards the back of the bunch – the former’s GC bid taking a big hit as a result.

Passing under the flamme rouge, QuickStep Floors were on the front, but had Blythe riding their wheels as they headed onto the highly technical final kilometre.

Lobato opened up his sprint first, with Blythe boxed in further back, but Trentin had open road before him to accelerate out of Lobato’s wheel and take the stage win.

Blythe finished 15th in the end, two places in front of Froome as the Team Sky man retained his red jersey.

Pozzovivo’s crash, meanwhile, means Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) moves into the top ten overall, with brother Adam staying in eighth.

Vuelta a Espana 2017: stage four – result

1) Matteo Trentin (ITA) – QuickStep Floors – 4.43.57hrs
2) Juan Jose Lobato (ESP) – LottoNL-Jumbo – ST
3) Tom van Asbroeck (BEL) – Cannondale-Drapac
4) Edward Theuns (BEL) – Trek-Segafredo
5) Jens Debusschere (BEL) – Lotto-Soudal
6) Sacha Modolo (ITA) – UAE Team Emirates
7) Lorrenzo Manzin (FRA) – FDJ
8) Soren Kraigh Andersen (DEN) – Team Sunweb
9) Youcef Reguigui (ALG) – Dimension Data
10) Jetse Bol (NED) – Manzana Postobon

General classification

1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 13.37.41hrs
2) David de la Cruz (ESP) – QuickStep Floors +2″
3) Nicolas Roche (IRL) – BMC Racing – ST
4) Tejay van Garderen (USA) – BMC Racing
5) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Bahrain-Merida +10″
6) Johan Esteban Chaves (COL) – Orica-Scott +11″
7) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +38″
8) Adam Yates (GBR) – Orica-Scott +39″
9) Romain Bardet (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +48″
10) Simon Yates (GBR) – Orica-Scott – ST

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