Vuelta a Espana in photos: stages 4 to 6

by Matt de Neef

With nearly a week of the 2014 Vuelta a Espana now completed, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is back in the overall lead having won on the uphill finish to stage 6. The race is wonderfully poised ahead of the tough second week, with the general classification favourites already coming to the fore. We hope you enjoy this selection of images from stage 4 to 6 of the race, courtesy of Jim Fryer and Iri Greco of BrakeThrough Media.

Be sure to check out Jim and Iri’s photos from stages 1 to 3 of the Vuelta as well.

Having narrowly beaten Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) to win stage 3, Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) went into stage 4 as the overall leader of the Vuelta; the second Grand Tour he’s led this season. Stage 4 belonged to John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) though, who took the sprint victory, while Matthews’ third place was enough to see the young Australian keep the overall lead.

Degenkolb went back-to-back the following day, winning stage 5 in controversial circumstances. Second-placed Nacer Bouhanni ( claimed Degenkolb forced him into the barriers, but the commissaires ruled differently, ensuring Degenkolb’s victory would stand. Matthews finished in the lead bunch to secure a third day in red.

Stage 6 saw the first significant uphill finish of the race and in the sweltering heat that’s plagued the race all week, the GC contenders came out to play. After appearing to work for teammate Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde still had the legs to follow a Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) attack, before striking for victory. He was followed over the line by Chris Froome (Sky) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).

The stage win puts Valverde back into red (he led the race after stage 2 for one day) ahead of stage 7, which also finishes with a climb.

In the meantime though, be sure to check out the following gallery of photos from stages 4 to 6 courtesy of BrakeThrough Media. Click through to follow them on Instagram and Twitter.

Editors' Picks