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by Mark Zalewski
April 7, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Roglic solos to Pais Vasco stage win; Boels-Dolmans wins Healthy Ageing Tour TTT; Calmejane wins fourth stage at Circuit Cycliste Sarthe; In memoriam: Friends, colleagues pay tribute to Steve Tilford; Phinney out of Paris-Roubaix with concussion; Mark Renshaw fractures ankle in Scheldeprijs; Groenewegen laments Scheldeprijs outcome; More bad luck for Lotto Soudal with Roubaix recon crash; Lefevere still searching for sponsors beyond 2017; Axeon Hagens Berman riding strong performance in European racing; Crowd-funded prosecution of driver involved in cyclist death ends in acquittal; Cyclist uses M65 highway as shortcut; Watch ‘A Sunday In Hell’; Trek Crockett: SSCXWC and Sven Nys.
Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) won the fourth stage of the Vuelta a Pais Vasco, in a solo attack late into the finish in Bilbao. Former race leader Michael Matthews (Sunweb) won the sprint behind ahead of Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain Merida), while race leader David De La Cruz (Quick-Step Floors) held onto the overall lead.
The main break of the day had disintegrated heading onto the finish circuit, and only two riders — Toms Skujinš (Cannondale-Drapac) and Amaël Moinard (BMC) — kept it rolling with the peloton under a minute behind. Skujinš was the last caught as the main climb started at 18km to go.
Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) then attacked, which drew out other top climbers from the field, like Nicholas Roche (BMC) and Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) — while on the other end of the peloton others were found out. At the same moment Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) suffered an ill-timed mechanical and had to take a teammate’s bike. As the road pitched up more, Roche separated himself for a moment. Later Roman Kreuziger (ORICA-Scott) gave it a try, which further shrunk the leading group.
At 14.5km to go the group numbered around 20, including race leader De La Cruz. As the top of the climb drew closer Simon Yates (ORICA-Scott) attacked with Alejandro Valverde, a master descender, following to be on the front for the descent.
Back into Bilbao the group reassembled after the fast descent. Attacks came inside the final few kilometres with De La Cruz forced to chase. Roglic attacked at two kilometres to go and held a small advantage under the flamme rouge, while a crash by the chasing group in the final turn aided his effort. Previous race leader Michael Matthews (Sunweb) led out the sprint, but it was too late, and he had to settle for second.