Michael Matthews Keeps Lead, Degenkolb Wins Stage 4


CORDOVA, Spain, Aug 26, 2014 (AFP) – Australian rider Michael Matthews
remains the overall leader of the Tour of Spain after Germany’s John Degenkolb
won Tuesday’s fourth stage, a 164.7-km ride from Mairena del Alcor to Cordoba.

Degenkolb, second in this year’s Paris-Roubaix one day classic, crossed the
line ahead of Spaniard Vicente Reynes with Matthews in third after a
fiercely-contested sprint finish.

Degenkolb, who picked up a stage on the Tour of Italy last year and victory
in the Paris-Tours one day race, said he was delighted to have made up for
missing out on Monday’s stage.

“I adore the Tour of Spain and the country itself,” he said.

“I am so happy to be here. Yesterday’s stage was disappointing for me as I
was unable to follow the lead riders.

“It was just I needed two days to get accustomed to the heat. My team-mates
were there to help me and to support me too.

“It is terrific to win a stage of the Vuelta again,” added the German, who
in the 2012 edition won five stages.

Matthews, who won two stages in the race last year, took the overall lead
after winning Monday’s third stage.

The 23-year-old — who is racing the Vuelta as an after thought after he
missed his main target Tour de France this year having suffered a hand injury
just prior to it — leads two of the race favourites Nairo Quintana of
Colombia and Alejandro Valverde in the overall standings.

Wednesday’s fifth stage is a 180km ride from Priego de Cordoba to Ronda.

Tour of Spain results on Tuesday after
the fourth stage, a 164.7 kilometres ride from Mairena del Alcor to Cordoba:

1. John Degenkolb (GER/GIA) 4h02min 55sec
2. Vicente Reynes (ESP/IAM) at same time
3. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI) s.t
4. Damiano Caruso (ITA/CAN) s.t
5. Daniel Martin (IRL/GRM) s.t
6. Alexandre Kolobnev (RUS/KAT) s.t
7. Lloyd Mondory (FRA/ALM) s.t
8. Valerio Conti (ITA/LAM) s.t
9. Bob Jungels (LUX/TRE) s.t
10. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) s.t

1. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI) 13h30min 44sec
2. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) at 8sec.
3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 0:15.
4. Rigoberto Uran (COL/OPQ) 0:19.
5. Damiano Caruso (ITA/CAN) 0:21.
6. Esteban Chaves (COL/ORI) 0:21.
7. George Bennett (NZL/CAN) 0:24.
8. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/TRE) 0:24.
9. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN) 0:27.
10. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BKN) 0:27.

13. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 0:29, 15. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 0:35.

Photo: Corvos