Rigoberto Uran Victorious in Stage 4 of Volta a Catalunya 2012
Team Sky's Columbian Rigoberto Uran managed to find the human power needed to produce a sprint to the finish line and in the process referred Team Katusha's Denis Menchov to a 2nd place finish.
Team Sky's Columbian Rigoberto Uran managed to find the human power needed to produce a strong sprint to the finish line of stage 4 of the Volta a Catalunya and in the process referred Team Katusha's Denis Menchov to a 2nd place finish for the Russian rider. Sylvester Szmyd secured Team Liquigas-Cannondale an additional race finish in the top of the rankings.
Uran was one of only six riders to slip the field near the top of the final climb in an attack started by Szmyd and Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). Uran and Samuel Sánchez of Team Euskaltel-Euskadi lead the breakaway group hard on the final descent to maximize their advantage.
The sextet's lead hovered around the 10 seconds mark for much of the final 15 kilometers and it was tantalizingly close going into the last kilometer, but Uran timed his sprint to perfection as it was all close to being brought back together and crossed the line half a wheel length in front of fellow escapees Menchov.
"I got in the first break earlier and then the second one went away at the top of the last climb which included quality riders like Denis Menchov, Levi Leipheimer and Samuel Sánchez so I knew it was a good move. I had hoped we'd take more time but the chase group brought it back towards the end," Uran commented after the stage finish.
"I've been feeling really good this week and a few days ago Brad [Wiggins] worked amazingly for me when I got third in stage two, but didn't quite have it at the end so I really wanted to win this one to repay some of that work and show that I could finish it off," Uran added.
Team Omega Pharma-QuickStep's Levi Leipheimer has previously expressed his dissatisfaction with the lack of a time trial as part of this year's Vuelta a Catalunya. Today he got struck with bad luck in the final kilometers.
"That was good bike racing. We had a strong 6 man group but came up 350m short of gaining time. I finished with 50 psi in front tire. Exciting downhill," Leipheimer commented.
Team Sky sports director Sean Yates was open about the advice he had given Uran during today's racing in Spain. "At the end I told Rigoberto to sit on in the last kilometer just to save his legs for the sprint. It was worth a gamble as the gap was so small and it all worked out which was great to see - he was made up in a big way.
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