Radioshack’s Manuel Cardoso took the bunch sprint at the end of stage four of the Volta a Catalunya in Spain on Thursday.
Cardoso won ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo (Leopard-Trek) in second and Jose Rojas (Movistar) in El Vendrell after 195km of racing. Pre-stage favourite and stage two winner Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) didn’t finish, having pulled out due to illness.
Spaniard Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Sungard) finished safely in the bunch to keep hold of his overall lead ahead of Cardoso’s Radioshack team-mate Levi Leipheimer, at 23 seconds.
Ireland’s Daniel Martin (Garmin-Cervelo) came across the line in tenth spot to keep hold of his fourth place in the overall classification, 35 seconds adrift of Contador.
Contador found out in the morning that the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the Spanish Cycling Federation’s decision to acquit him of charges relating to testing positive for clenbuterol at the Tour de France last year.
Friday’s fifth stage features three climbs on its 205.8km journey from El Vendrell to Tarragona. The 2011 Volta a Catalunya concludes on Sunday (March 27).
Volta a Catalunya 2011, stage four: La Seu D’Urgell to El Vendrell, 195km
1. Manuel Cardoso (Por) Radioshack in 4-33-02
2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Leopard-Trek
3. Jose Rojas (Spa) Movistar
4. Aitor Galdos (Spa) Caja Rural
5. Frantisek Rabon (Cze) HTC-Highroad
6. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis
7. William Clarke (Aus) Leopard-Trek
8. Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Cervelo
9. Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Cervelo all same time
69. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at same time
Overall classification after stage four
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Bank-Sungard in 17-38-57
2. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Radioshack at 23 secs
3. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Cervelo at 35 secs
5. Chris Horner (USA) Radioshack
6. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Sky at 38 secs
7. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
8. Xavier Tondo (Spa) Movistar
9. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 50 secs
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at 1-12
65. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 9-01
Alberto Contador, race leader
Christian Vande Velde
Manuel Cardoso takes the bunch sprint to win the stage
Alberto Contador still leads overall