De Gendt wins the stage, Quintana takes the overall lead in Catalunya

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) broke a three-year drought to an end by claiming an impressive solo win in his trademark attacking fashion on the queen stage of the Volta a Catalunya.

Nairo Quintana’s (Movistar) many attacks finally made Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) crack and the Colombian rode to second place which allowed him to move into the overall lead with an 8-second advantage over the Spaniard. Richie Porte (BMC) finished third and is also third overall.

De Gendt looked like his former self when he joined the right 10-rider break in the queen stage of the Catalan race and emerged as the strongest on the final climb. He gauged his effort perfectly to pass a fading Pieter Weening (Roompot) inside the final 2km and take an emphatic solo win.

Behind De Gendt, the GC battle was on and it was Nairo Quintana who emerged as the strongest. The Colombian attacked repeatedly in an attempt to get rid of Alberto Contador and inside the final kilometre, he managed to escape, riding to second on the stage and claiming the overall lead.

Quintana has an 8-second advantage over Contador, while Porte is 9 seconds further adrift. He will try to defend that position in tomorrow’s fifth stage which is significantly easier. It is mostly flat and includes two category 2 climbs. The final of those comes with 10.6km to go and from there it is a downhill run to an uphill sprint in Valls. The stage has been decided in reduced bunch sprints in the past but has also been marked by strong wind.

Volta a Catalunya 2016 – stage 4 results (Bagà – Port Ainé):

1 Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)

4:52:04

2 Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +01’08”
3 Richie Porte (BMC) +01’23”
4 Alberto Contador (Tinkoff)

,,

5 Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) +01’36”
6 Pieter Weening (Roompot – Oranje Peloton)

,,

7 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) +01’41”
8 Christopher Froome (Sky) +01’45”
9 Romain Bardet (AG2R)

,,

10 Daniel Martin (Etixx – QuickStep)

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General classification after stage 4:

1 Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

19:01:43

2 Alberto Contador (Tinkoff)

+08”

3 Richie Porte (BMC)

+17”

4 Daniel Martin (Etixx – QuickStep)

+24”

5 Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing Team)

+27”

6 Romain Bardet (AG2R)

+32”

7 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha)

+42”

8 Christopher Froome (Sky)

+46”

9 Hugh Carthy (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)

+01’01”

10 Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale)

+01’16”

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