Colombia’s Esteban Chaves won the fourth stage of the Tour of Catalonia on Thursday, crossing the line first at the summit finish to claim his first major victory in two years. The Team BikeExchange rider finished the 166.5km stage at Port Aine, at an altitude of 2,000 meters, seven seconds ahead of a bunch that included overall leader Adam Yates.
“I am very happy, I have never started a season with such good feelings and much less with a win,” said Chaves after claiming the first World Tour win for BikeExchange, formerly Mitchelton-Scott.
Ineos’ Yates holds on to first place in the general classification, 45 and 49 seconds respectively ahead of teammates Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas.
Chaves sits sixth in the overall standings, 1:04 back after a deserved win in the Pyrenees — his first since taking stage 19 at the 2019 Giro d’Italia — after finishing second behind Yates in Wednesday’s third stage.
The 31-year-old attacked with around seven kilometers remaining and managed to hold off a powerful chasing pack which also included 2018 Tour de France winner Thomas and Nairo Quintana, a former victor at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana.
“I knew it was a very tough stage, I had nothing to lose and a lot to gain,” added Chaves.
“There was a lot of headwind and it was a risk (to attack), but in the end it went very well.”
Friday’s fifth stage is a 201.5km run between La Pobla de Segur and Manresa which features a rapid downhill finish.
|1||CHAVES Esteban||Team BikeExchange||4:29:47|
|2||WOODS Michael||Israel Start-Up Nation||0:07|
|3||THOMAS Geraint||INEOS Grenadiers||0:07|
|4||YATES Adam||INEOS Grenadiers||0:07|
|5||KUSS Sepp||Team Jumbo-Visma||0:07|
|6||VALVERDE Alejandro||Movistar Team||0:07|
|7||PORTE Richie||INEOS Grenadiers||0:07|
|8||KELDERMAN Wilco||BORA – hansgrohe||0:07|
|9||QUINTANA Nairo||Team Arkéa Samsic||0:07|
|10||HAMILTON Lucas||Team BikeExchange||0:07|
|1||YATES Adam||INEOS Grenadiers||14:14:15|
|2||PORTE Richie||INEOS Grenadiers||0:45|
|3||THOMAS Geraint||INEOS Grenadiers||0:49|
|4||VALVERDE Alejandro||Movistar Team||1:03|
|5||KELDERMAN Wilco||BORA – hansgrohe||1:03|
|6||CHAVES Esteban||Team BikeExchange||1:04|
|7||ALMEIDA João||Deceuninck – Quick Step||1:07|
|8||CARTHY Hugh||EF Education – Nippo||1:20|
|9||KUSS Sepp||Team Jumbo-Visma||1:29|
|10||YATES Simon||Team BikeExchange||1:32|
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini