Igor Anton Climbs to Stage 4 Win in 2010 Vuelta a Espana
Igor Anton wins stage 4 of the Tour of Spain 2010 for Team Euskaltel; Omega Pharma-Lotto's Philippe Gilbert leads 2010 Vuelta a Espana overall.
Igor Anton roared away with 400 metres to go on a lung-busting steep final climb through the streets of Valdepenas de Jaen to claim Spain's first victory in this year's Vuelta a Espana on Tuesday.
The Euskaltel-Euskadi climbing specialist reached the top of a narrow, twisting ascent just one second before Italy's Vincenzo Nibali and Slovakia's Peter Velits.
Philippe Gilbert of Belgium finished fifth, five seconds back, to retain the overall lead with a 10-second advantage over Anton. Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez is third.
"I wanted to attack a lot earlier but I kept a cool head and tried to calculate when I would do most damage," Anton told reporters.
"On a very similar ascent (earlier) this year, I made the mistake of accelerating too early and I got caught."
"Then I got third yesterday but this time I made sure my attack counted."
A talented climber who won the toughest mountain stage of the 2006 Tour of Spain, to the Calar Alto observatory 2090 metres above sea level, Anton said he did not rate his chances of overall victory in 2010.
"I've never even won a small stage race, so to start talking about my chances in the Tour of Spain is illogical," he said. "I don't rule it out, who would? But for now I'll concentrate on stage wins."
Belgian Classics specialist Gilbert said after a tough five hour ride through the remote northeast sierras of Andalusia, there were no hiding places on Tuesday's tough final climb.
"There aren't any secrets on an ascent like that, we went flat out to the bottom and then on it was a test of a pure strength," he said.
"I lost a few percentage points and on a short, sharp climb, that's what makes all the difference."
Race director Javier Guillen said that the race will pay tribute to double Tour de France winner Laurent Fignon, who died on Tuesday after fighting cancer, with a short ceremony at the start of Stage 5 on Wednesday.
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