Daniel Felipe Martínez beats Julian Alaphilippe by centimetres at the Zamudio finish line. The gap in the general classification remains the same.
The fourth stage of the Itzulia between Vitoria-Gasteiz and Zamudio arrived with 185.6 km to go. The start was attended by big names in cycling, including the presence of the general director of the Tour de France, Christian Prudhomme.
The day started with a hard-fought breakaway that consolidated 20 km into the race with a large group of 16 riders including names such as Geraint Thomas (65, IGD), Davide Formolo (24, UAD), Ruben Guerreiro (214, EFE) and Cristian Rodriguez (106, TEN).
Despite the size of the group, the peloton did not let the escapees go very far, with a maximum lead of 3 minutes. After the climb to Jata, the breakaway was down to just four riders, who were joined by another three on the descent from Urruztimendi. With just 30 km to go the breakaway group had to decide whether to compete for the stage amongst itself or on the hard ramps of Vivero. The peloton meanwhile controlled the distance, which was around 2’40”.
The second climb to Vivero via the northern slope brought the peloton closer to the race leaders, with Brambilla (183, TFS) launching a few attacks. The Ineos-Grenadiers team made the race harder by stretching out the group of favourites. Meanwhile, at the head of the race, French rider Victor Lafay (76, COF) left his breakaway companions behind and pulled steadily towards the finish line.
Attacks then began from the group of favourites who hunted down members of the breakaway. Remco Evenpoel took a risk to force the favourites on the descent from Vivero, although he did not see it through. With 9 km to go, the gap was reduced to 1 minute between the leaders and the group of favourites, when they neutralised them. It was then that almost the entire UAE Team Emirates group started to pull the group back to close the gap. Finally, Evenpoel closed the last stretch and caught Victor Lafay with 1 km to go.
Everything played out in the sprint with Ulissi (26, UAD), Alaphilippe (41, QST) y Daniel Felipe Martinez (63, IGD). The latter took the stage by a few centimetres.
The general classification maintains the gap between the favourites with Primoz Roglic leading Remco Evenepoel by 05″ seconds. Daniel Felipe Martínez climbs to 3rd place on account of his finishing bonus. The leaders of the different classifications are as follows:
- Individual: Primoz Roglic (1, TJV)
- Mountain: Cristian Rodríguez (106, TEN)
- Points: Julian Alaphilippe (41, QST)
- Youth: Remco Evenepoel (44, QST)
- Teams: Ineos-Grenadiers
- Best Euskaldun: Peio Bilbao, (11, TBV)
- Combativity (4th stage): Victor Lafay (76, COF)