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La Vuelta: Stage 4 Degenkolb makes no mistake

August 30, 2014

The last time I was in Cordoba it was so hot we had to find relief in air conditioned shops. It was just as hot today as the mercury topped 40 degrees, but there was no shelter for the peloton. The stage had a few climbs, none really hard, but the top teams were really pushing the pace on the Category 2 climb towards the end of the stage. That was enough to drop some of the sprinters like Bouhanni and plenty of others, but Degenkolb and Matthews were able to hang on. Sagan is still showing no interest in the finishing sprints, so either he is very off form or lacks motivation. He is moving team next year, which can kill the urge to fight for stage wins.

Movistar, Sky, Tinko and Katusha were all seen working at the front, but it was Valverde who attacked on the descent in the last few kilometres. His interpretation of working for his team mate obviously does not exclude going for stage wins himself. He was chased down and Degenkolb timed his finishing sprint very well on the uphill drag to the line. He was criticised for messing up yesterday so made no mistake today and won by over a bike length.  Matthews retains the race lead.

There was little action in the GC but Van den Broeck and Arredondo lost several minutes.


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