Matteo Trentin (Italy) gave his Quick Step squad another stage win of the 2017 Vuelta a España on Tuesday, two days after he was runner-up to teammate Yves Lampaert. Trentin, off to Orica-Scott next year, adds the triumph to a win earlier in the month at the Vuelta a Burgos. Chris Froome retained his red jersey.
— Vuelta 2017 (@Vuelta2017) August 22, 2017
The course’s profile descended steadily for 198-km from the start town of Escaldes-Engordany, with only a Cat. 3 bump in the middle of the course interrupting the trend. It was a hot day in Spain.
— Quick-Step Cycling (@quickstepteam) August 22, 2017
Straight away, a foursome dashed down the road and then waited for a fifth rider to join. After the first hour and 44-km, the gap was 5:15.
On the Cat. 3 climb, the breakaway shattered, and two riders carried on in front. Stéphane Rossetto (France/Cofidis) took the maximum points. Meanwhile, leadership in the peloton had gone from Sky to Aqua Blue, Lotto-Soudal and Quick Step.
— Team COFIDIS (@TeamCOFIDIS) August 22, 2017
Pressure mounted on the sprinters’ teams as the intrepid duo still had a 3:00 gap with 35-km to go. A crash took down Sunweb’s GC man Wilco Kelderman and he laboured to rejoin the field.
With 13-km remaining, the duo’s lead was 53-seconds, so the two riders started attacking one another. Their big day out came to an end with 7-km to go.
Positioning for the tight bend 300-metres from the line in Tarragona was going to be crucial. There was also plenty of roundabouts on the run-in. Once more, luck wasn’t on the side of Froome’s rivals, as Ilnur Zakarin needed a bike change.
Various attacks failed and no team could really grab the reins. In the finale, Trentin was third wheel and then followed LottoNL-Jumbo’s JJ Lobato, coming around the Spaniard on the left for the Grand Tour stage win hat trick.
— World Cycling Stats (@wcstats) August 22, 2017
Hugo Houle was top Canadian in 33rd.
Wednesday heads back into the mountains for the first summit finish, a 3.5-km, 10% knee-breaker.
2017 Vuelta a España Stage 4
1) Matteo Trentin (Italy/Quick Step) 4:43:57
2) JJ Lobato (Spain/LottoNL-Jumbo) s.t
3) Tom Van Asbroeck (Belgium/Cannondale) s.t
33) Hugo Houle (Canada/AG2R) s.t
2017 Vuelta a España GC
1) Chris Froome (Great Britain/Sky) 13:37:41
2) David de la Cruz (Spain/Quick Step) +0:02
3) Nicolas Roche (Ireland/BMC) s.t.
11) Michael Woods (Canada/Cannondale) +1:13