Vuelta a Espana: John Degenkolb powers to stage four victory

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John Degenkolb sprinted to victory on stage four of the Vuelta a Espana to claim his sixth stage win at the Spanish Grand Tour.

Degenkolb eased to victory on the flat finish in Cordoba after out sprinting his rivals by more than several bike lengths.

Home support

Vicente Reynes gave the home crowds something to cheer about after crossing the line in second place and race leader Michael Matthews finished in third.

Degenkolb admitted he was disappointed after stage three but was pleased to win another stage today.

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According to Sky Sports, the German said: "I love the Vuelta a Espana. Yesterday was quite disappointing to not hang on – it was too hard and too explosive.

"Today I felt a little bit better. To handle the heat I need one or two days to adapt and today it worked out. It’s great to win another stage of the Vuelta.”

Six stage wins

The 25-year-old has now won six stages of the Vuelta in his career and he also won stage four of the race last year too.

Matthews holds onto the red jersey and his third place finish means he gained another four bonus seconds. The Orica-GreenEdge rider is now eight seconds clear of second placed Nairo Quintana and 15 seconds clear of Alejandro Valverde.

Froome ascending

Chris Froome has moved up to 15th place in the overall standings after finishing 24th in today's stage. 

Temperatures rose to 40 degrees during the stage making some of the climbs almost unbearable but the riders managed to complete the 164.7km route without any injuries or illnesses.

Stage four result

1 John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Shimano, 4:02:55
2 Vicente Reynes (Spa) IAM Cycling, same time
3 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge, st
4 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale, st
5 Dan Martin (Ire) Garmin-Sharp, st
6 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha, st
7 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, st
8 Valerio Conti (Ita) Lampre-Merida, st
9 Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing, st
10 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, st
Selected others
19 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo, st
20 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, st
24 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, st
30 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, st

General classification

1 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge, 13:30:44
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, +8sec
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, +15
4 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +19
5 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale, +21
6 Johan Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge, same time
7 George Bennett (NZ) Cannondale, +24
8 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek Factory Racing, st
9 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo, +27
10 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin, st
Selected other
15 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, +35

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