The Astana rider made a strong attack inside the final 7 km of the race, firstly catching the early break and later counterattacking at the final km to take the win. The time, won on the other favorites brought Lopez into the lead in the general classification of the race.
- I knew this stage could be a good moment to do something in the general classification. So, with the whole team we were motivated to do it well. The team did a great job for me during the whole day, protecting me well and providing me a very good position on the last climb. Yesterday I saw I have the legs to stay with the strongest riders of this race, so today I decided to try to attack on the final climb. Maybe, it was a risk, but for the first time I did an attack with around 8.5 km to go. And later, I attacked again inside the final 7 km, giving my best in this attack. I just went away, keeping the highest pace I could and this brought me the stage win. I am really happy with this victory, especially after being close to it last few times. Now I am the leader of the overall, but, for sure, the race is still open. We still have three stages to go and the battle for the GC is still ahead. I am happy with my win, so now I will move day by day in this race, - said Miguel Angel Lopez.
The fourth stage of the Volta a Catalunya, started from Llanars, proposed a very hard route with 4 difficult climbs (3 climbs of 1st category and 1 climb of special category), including La Molina climb passed twice. A big group of 25 riders went away on the descent after the first climb with Astana’s Davide Villella among the escapers.
The peloton increased the pace of the race dramatically at the first pass of La Molina climb, but still two riders, Marc Soler and Gregor Mühlberger were able to hold their small advantage. Miguel Angel Lopez attacked from the GC contenders group with 8.5 km to go, followed by Egan Bernal, Adam Yates and Nairo Quintana. But, later, a new powerful attack of the Astana rider remained without answer. Shortly, Lopez caught Mühlberger and Soler, continuing pushing hard until the last kilometer of the race, when a new counterattack brought him the stage victory and the jersey of the overall leader of the race.
After 4 stages Miguel Angel Lopez has 14 seconds of advantage over Adam Yates and 17 seconds over Egan Bernal.
For Astana Pro Team today’s success of Miguel Angel Lopez is 20th victory in the season of 2019.
Stage 5 of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya will be held tomorrow: 188.1 km from Puigcerdà to Sant Cugat del Vallès.
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