Matteo Trentin, benefitting from a strong lead-out in the final technical kilometres of stage 4 of Vuelta 2017, timed his sprint to perfection. Coming off Juan Jose Lobato‘s wheel to surge past the latter, he won by a bike length to hand his team their second Vuelta stage win two days after he finished runner-up to Yves Lampaert. This victory completed the 28-year-old Italian’s hat-trick of Grand Tour wins and handed him the points’ jersey. Chris Froome finished in the bunch to retain his 2sec race lead.
Rider of the Race
Today’s stage winner, Matteo Trentin completes his hat-trick of wins in the Grand Tours (Tour de France 2013 and 2014, Giro d’Italia 2016 and Vuelta a Espana 2017) and becomes only the 100th rider to achieve this magnificent feat. It’s therefore only appropriate that he’s also my Rider of the Race.
Stage 4 was one of the Vuelta’s few designated sprint stages and the peloton worked together to bring back the five-man escape of the day, picking up the last man with less than 8km remaining. The Quick-Steppers initially took the reins, driving the peloton into Tarragona only to be replaced by Bora-hansgrohe with 5km to go. QST reappeared with Angryphilippe leading the charge. Finally, into the final few hundred metres, it was time for Lampaert to bury himself for Trentin. The Italian briefly lost the lead through the final sweeping right-hander to Lobato, who took a more aggressive inside line. As the Spaniard started to fade, Trentin came off his wheel to surge clear with time to sit up and celebrate in the closing metres, while Lobato bashed his handlebars in frustration.
Today’s Rider of the Race explained post-stage:
Two days ago we did a perfect, smart job with Yves Lampaert, and he took the win and the jersey. Today we decided to have my time. The guys were amazing. We got some help from Aqua Blue, UAE and Lotto at the beginning but then, when things went a little bit bananas as it always does in cycling, they just stayed the situation and we got everyone pulling – Tim Declercq pulled the whole day yesterday, he pulled the whole day today. Then basically everybody pulled.
I’m really proud to win this with the Quick-Step team and all the names we have before because next year it’s all going to change. I won in the Tour with them, I won in the Giro with them, and now in the Vuelta also. I’m really proud to make all these presents with this team.
Quickstepper of the day award
He was mentioned in despatches by none other than the Rider of the Race, so please take a bow Tim Declercq. The 28-year-old Belgian, who only joined the team (and WorldTour) this season, is riding in his maiden grand tour and, according to his team, he’s:
A real powerhouse, a rider who can go flat out on the cobbles and who never gives up regardless of the weather and the race conditions, Tim will debut in the World Tour with Quick-Step Floors Cycling, five years after turning pro. A great athlete and a nice guy who can instill calm and confidence in the entire group, Tim will be one of the squad’s pillars in the one-day races – the team’s bread and butter – where his experience and strength are expected to make the difference.
Top 5 stage
1 Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) 4:43:57
2 Juan Jose Lobato (LottoNL-Jumbo) same time
3 Tom Van Asbroeck (Cannondale-Drapac) s/t
4 Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) s/t
5 Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) s/t
Top 5 GC
1 Chris Froome (Sky) 13:37:41
2 David de la Cruz (Quickstep Floors) +0.02
3 Nicolas Roche (BMC) same time
4 Tejay van Garderen (BMC) s/t
5 Vincenzo Nibali (BMC) +0:10
All the jerseys
Leader: Chris Froome (Sky)
Points: Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors)
KOM: Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac)
Combined: Chris Froome (Sky)
Team Classification: Orica-Scott
Most Aggressive Rider: Diego Rubio (Caja Rural)
Header image: Matteo Trentin © TDW Sport/Quick-Step Floors