100th Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (UCI 2.UWT) Stage 4: Ripoll >> Port Ainé (166.5k)
Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) the Belgian serial attacker done his daily routine of “going up the road” and was joined by eleven other riders, including Lennard Kämmna (BORA-Hansgrohe) and Rigoberto Uran (EF Education). At the foot of El Cantó, the leading group had a lead of almost three minutes, but then the game broke open: Kämna smelled opportunities and escaped from the rest. Thomas De Gendt got it more and more difficult, and had to let go and ended up just like the rest of the escapee’s in the peloton, only Kämna kept going, and during the final climb of the Port Ainé, a climb of 18.7 kilometers at an average of 6.8% it became clear that the German would not hold out. Yates and co. continued the hunt, brave Kämna declined. At less than 15 kilometers, the peloton definitively calculated the escape from BORA-Hansgrohe. At 7 kilometers from the finish, Esteban Chaves (Team BikeExchange) who also showed his strong climbing legs on Wednesday and finished second – saw his chance. He shot out of nowhere, and his attack seemed a lot more promising than Kruijswijk’s who tried a bit earlier. The Colombian had a lead of 20 seconds a kilometer from the finish, and that turned out to be enough for the stage win. For Chaves, it is his first victory in 2 years. Adam Yates (Ineos-Grenadiers) remains the leader. Dan Martin seems to still suffers an illness but finished safely in 37th place about 7 minutes down to the winner Chaves.