Peter Sagan survives brutal climbs to sprint to second in close finale on Vuelta a San Juan stage 4.
A series of difficult ascents made stage 4 of the Vuelta a San Juan the hardest day of the race yet, with a third category and two first category climbs combining to create one long drag at the midway point. In spite of this brutal collection of climbs, the peloton still found the legs to close down the break and contest a bunch sprint. Pushing his hardest, the Slovak National Champion, Peter Sagan, came so close to taking the win, having created space in the chaos of the sprint, to take second. Jumping two spots in the GC, Peter also moves to 5th overall with Felix Großschartner close behind in 6th.
185.8km awaited riders today ahead of the race’s rest day. While it’s unusual to have a rest day on a one-week stage race, the high temperatures and demanding terrain made the Vuelta a San Juan a little special in this regard. There was just the matter of getting over the climbs that dominated the stage profile. Coming at the midway point, what looked like one long incline was made up of a single third category ascent before two first category climbs. There was no doubt this would make the day painful, but once this was out of the way, it was all downhill to the finish, where the sprinters might just be able to make it back into contention. For the sprinters to win would mean the day’s break, a trio, had to be kept in check. While the stage went on over some stunning Argentinian scenery, the break built a lead of almost nine minutes, but with the climbing out of the way and BORA-hansgrohe’s Paweł Poljański taking to the front, the gap dropped steadily, with just a minute remaining at the 25km to go point. At 10km to go, the catch still hadn’t been made, but at just 2.5km left and with the bunch hungry for the win, they were swept up by the determined peloton. The Slovak National Champion fought for space having been caught against the barriers, but Peter Sagan had to settle for second on the line in spite of coming so close to victory.
01 F.Gaviria 4h20’26”
02 P.Sagan + 0:00
03 A.Hodeg + 0:00
04 S.Consonni + 0:00
05 L.Pacioni + 0:00
From the Finish Line
"We had another long stage at the Vuelta a San Juan and it was a bit warmer than forecast. The stage played out as expected, with a fast bunch sprint to the finish. We worked well in the last kilometres and after the last turn, I got into the final straight in the front. I had the legs today, I went at full speed but it wasn't enough and I missed the victory at the finish line." – Peter Sagan