- Jonas Vingegaard tries to seal the Itzulia with an attack from behind on the La Asturiana pass.
- The Danish Jumbo Visma rider retains his yellow jersey
We have passed the halfway point of the Itzulia 2023 and reached stage 4, with start and finish lines in Santurtzi. A stage with 175 kilometres and 4 mountain passes.
The stage started fast, with many breakaway attempts, but a group of riders did not form until kilometre 40: Harm Vanhoucke (DSM, 76), Jonathan Caicedo (EFE, 83), Natnael Tesfazion (TFS, 157), Jon Barrenetxea (CJR, 194), Alan Jousseaume (TEN, 225).
The peloton was led by Jumbo Visma for the first part of the race, letting the leading group go for 6 minutes and 45 seconds. In the second half of the stage, Ineos Grenadier upped the pace and quickly reduced the gap. Jon Barrenetxea, in the breakaway, scored some very important points for the mountain classification.
With 28 kilometres to go, the breakaway group was neutralised and the overall favourites fought to the last metre for the sprint points. Everything counts in this year’s tight race. Thereafter, the race focussed on the last pass of the day. EF Education-Easypost upped the pace and Jonas Vingegaard ran out of teammates. With 6 kilometres to go before the finish, the leader launched a very hard attack. He could only be followed by a great Mikel Landa (TBV, 141). The following group included Enric Mas (MOV, 121), Ion Izagirre (COF, 61), Sergio Higuita (BOH, 53) and David Gaudu (GFC, 91) amongst others. At the front, all the pressure was on the yellow jersey and they opened a gap of 28 seconds with the chasing group.
The leading duo reached the top of La Asturiana with a 32-second lead and faced the last 14 kilometres with a clear chance of winning the stage.
Mikel Landa and Jonas Vingegaard did not stop until the finish line and although they were almost neutralised in the last metres, the Danish Jumbo Visma rider took the stage with Mikel Landa coming second.
Standings after Stage 4
Stage winner: Jonas Vingegaard (TJV, 161)
Overall individual ranking: Jonas Vingegaard (TJV, 161)
Mountain classification: Jon Barrenetxea (CJR, 194)
Overall points classification: Jonas Vingegaard (TJV, 161)
Overall ranking best young rider: Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (TFS, 154)
Overall team classification: SOUDAL QUICK-STEP
Overall ranking best Basque rider: Mikel Landa (TBV, 141)
Most combative: Jon Barrenetxea (CJR, 194)