After a quiet opening three stages it was probably a little naive of us to be placing our hopes and dreams of some grand tour excitement and drama on Stage 4‘s flat (ish! for La Vuelta) profile. Would there be echelons? No – no matter how many times a certain commentator mentioned them. Would we see some GC guys have a little dig on the final small, yet steep-ish, ramp (I told you, it was flat-ish!)? No. Would we indeed get any action? No. What did unravel was a classic GT sprinters stage – the breakaway, the catch, the bunch finish. But, come the end of the stage there wasn’t an unhappy cycling fan in the universe, thanks to a strong comeback win by Deceuninck QuickStep’s Fabio Jakobsen! A tumble in the closing kilometres for Rein Taaramae while looking resplendent in the red jersey, meant that he finished some time behind the bunch, but with his GC lead safely intact, thanks to the 3km rule.
Yes, it’s time for the hottest race on record – the spicy Vuelta a Espana. While we love the craziness of the Vuelta, sometimes it’s the languor of those uneventful stages that brings out the spice and Tweet heat from fans that is GOLD for this column. And we’ll be serving it up through the whole three weeks. Vamos!