Vuelta a España 2012 stage 4 is a 160.6 km mountain stage from Barakaldo to the Valdezcaray Ski Resort. This will be the second opportunity in a row for the team leaders and general classification contenders. The Vuelta will leave the Basque Country and enter the Rioja region.
The top of Valdezcaray will be the finish point of a Vuelta stage for the fifth time in its history. It has been 21 years since the last time this happened, and in the four previous editions, it was one of the riders battling it out in the general classification who won, namely: Sean Kelly, Pedro Delgado, François Bernard, and Fabio Parra.
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Vuelta a España 2012 stage 4 quick info
- DATE: August 21, Tuesday
- STAGE TYPE: Mountains
- START-FINISH: Barakaldo > Valdezcaray
- STAGE DISTANCE: 160.6 km km
Vuelta a España 2012 stage 4 profile
Last 5 kilometers
Vuelta a España 2012 stage 4 start: Barakaldo
Barakaldo is a municipality located in the Biscay province in the Basque Country. Located on the Left Bank of the Estuary of Bilbao, the city has an industrial river-port heritage and has undergone significant redevelopment with new commercial and residential areas replacing the once active industrial zones.
Tourist attractions of Barakaldo include the Botanic Garden, the Bilbao Exhibition Centre, the medieval Bridge of Castrexana, and some of the city’s street sculptures. In July, the town celebrates “Las Fiestas del Carmen” which includes open-air concerts and large fairs.
Vuelta a España 2012 stage 4 finish: Valdezcaray
Valdezcaray is a ski resort situated near the resort town of Ezcaray in the upper Oja Valley of the Sierra de la Demanda, Iberian System (province of La Rioja, Spain).
It has 22 km of marked pistes.
Vuelta a España 2012 Stage 4: Simon Clarke wins
Simon Clarke of Orica GreenEdge outsprinted Tony Martin of Omega Pharma-Quick Step in a duel and won Vuelta a España 2012 stage 4.
General Classification leader Alejandro Valverde of the Movistar team lost some time due to a crash and lost the race leader’s red jersey to Joaquim Rodríguez of Katusha Team.
Clarke and Martin were part of the stage’s early break in the company of Assan Bazeyev of Astana, Jesus Rosendo Prado (Andulicia) and Luis Angel Mate of Cofidis.
Alejandro Valverde was the day’s big loser. Before the day’s final climb, red jersey holder Alejandro Valverde of Movistar Team crashed with a few riders from Liquigas-Cannondale. Just in time, Sky hit the front, and rather than waiting for Valverde, they increased the pace during a crosswind section.
Valverde chased hard but never succeeded in regaining contact with general classification contenders. By the finish, he just managed to limit his losses to 54 seconds to the other overall contenders.
Sky continued their pace-setting at the foot of the final climb. Then Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank duo of Alberto Contador and Daniel Navarro took over. After Navarro’s turn, Contador increased the page, Chris Froome of Sky and Nicolas Roche of Ag2r-La Mondiale successfully hang on his rear wheel on Valdezcaray, the trio made 7 seconds on the Rodriguez group. Then Roche attacked, the other two decided to wait Rodriguez group.
Rodriguez, Froome and Contador all crossed the line together 1:04 behind Clarke. But pre-race favourite Igor Anton of Euskaltel-Euskadi lost some time to the general classification contenders.
Valverde was not happy after the stage. He did a “visit” to Sky Team bus and tweeted: “Everybody Is free to behave the way he wants to but after provoking the crash you should not attack. This is not fair.” from his Twitter account.
Movistar sport director Eusebio Unzue eventually pulled up alongside the Team Sky car and had a few choice words with Sky’s Sport director Nicolas Portal, even accusing Sky of causing the crash and then attacking.
He said that: “Of course they should have stopped because they were the one that caused the crash when they accelerated,” to the Spanish television. “It would have been the fair thing to do because 20 riders fell to the ground.”
Portal defended his position, saying that there were too many moving parts in the drama to stop riding.
Portal said that: “I feel bad. I raced with Valverde, he is a great guy, but we did not cause the crash. It was not as if there was a crash and we attacked. We were making the race and there was a crash later. What (Unzue) said is almost like a joke. It was not like that.”
Vuelta a España 2012 Stage 4 Results
- Simon Clarke, Australia, Orica-GreenEdge, 4:30:26
- Tony Martin, Germany, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, 0:00:02
- Assan Bazayev, Kazakhstan, Astana Pro Team, 0:00:22
- Marcos Garcia, Spain, Caja Rural, 0:00:55
- Nicolas Roche, Ireland, AG2R La Mondiale
- Linus Gerdemann, Germany, RadioShack-Nissan, 0:00:57
- Laurens Ten Dam, Netherlands, Rabobank Cycling Team
- Andrey Zeits, Kazakhstan, Astana Pro Team, 0:01:01
- Bauke Mollema, Netherlands, Rabobank Cycling Team, 0:01:04
- Jan Bakelants, Belgium, RadioShack-Nissan
- Przemyslaw Niemiec, Poland, Lampre-ISD
- Tomasz Marczynski, Poland, Vacansoleil-Dcm
- Steve Morabito, Switzerland, BMC Racing Team
- Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso, Portugal, Caja Rural
- Christopher Froome, Great Britain, Sky Procycling
- Winner Anacona Gomez, Colombia, Lampre-ISD
- Maxime Monfort, Belgium, RadioShack-Nissan
- Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver, Spain, Katusha Team
- Sergio Luis Henao Montoya, Colombia, Sky Procycling
- Kevin Seeldraeyers, Belgium, Astana Pro Team
- Alberto Contador Velasco, Spain, Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
- Robert Gesink, Netherlands, Rabobank Cycling Team
- Andrew Talansky, USA, Garmin-Sharp
- Juan Jose Cobo Acebo, Spain, Movistar Team
- Damiano Cunego, Italy, Lampre-ISD
- Tiago Machado, Portugal, RadioShack-Nissan
- Bart De Clercq, Belgium, Lotto-Belisol Team
- Rinaldo Nocentini, Italy, AG2R La Mondiale
- Daniel Navarro Garcia, Spain, Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
- Daniel Moreno Fernandez, Spain, Katusha Team
- Rigoberto Uran, Colombia, Sky Procycling
- Amets Txurruka, Spain, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 0:01:34
- Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui, Spain, Euskaltel-Euskadi
- Igor Anton, Spain, Euskaltel-Euskadi
- Rémi Pauriol, France, FDJ-Big Mat
- Alberto Losada Alguacil, Spain, Katusha Team, 0:01:57
- Rob Ruijgh, Netherlands, Vacansoleil-Dcm, 0:01:59
- Adrian Palomares Villaplana, Spain, Andalucia
- Alejandro Valverde Belmonte, Spain, Movistar Team
- Eros Capecchi, Italy, Liquigas-Cannondale
- John Gadret, France, AG2R La Mondiale
- Andrey Kashechkin, Kazakhstan, Astana Pro Team
- Yohann Bagot, France, Cofidis
- Hernani Broco, Portugal, Caja Rural
- Rafal Majka, Poland, Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
- Serge Pauwels, Belgium, Omega Pharma-Quick Step
General classification after stage 4
- Joaquim Rodríguez Oliver, Spain, Katusha Team, 13:18:45
- Christopher Froome, Great Britain, Sky Procycling, 0:00:01
- Alberto Contador Velasco, Spain, Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank, 0:00:05
- Bauke Mollema, Netherlands, Rabobank Cycling Team, 0:00:09
- Robert Gesink, Netherlands, Rabobank Cycling Team
- Rigoberto Uran, Colombia, Sky Procycling, 0:00:11
- Daniel Moreno Fernandez, Spain, Katusha Team, 0:00:14
- Nicolas Roche, Ireland, AG2R La Mondiale, 0:00:24
- Alejandro Valverde Belmonte, Spain, Movistar Team, 0:00:36
- Laurens Ten Dam, Netherlands, Rabobank Cycling Team, 0:00:46
- Juan Jose Cobo Acebo, Spain, Movistar Team, 0:00:47