David De La Cruz retains overall lead on an eventful stage full of attacks, with yet another crash taking down Alberto Contador
Primož Roglič (LottoNL-Jumbo) continued his impressive season with victory on stage four of the 2017 Tour of the Basque Country in Spain on Thursday.
The 27-year-old Slovenian had done much to animate the finale of the stage, attacking several times over the final climb of Vivero and into the finish in Bilbao.
Volta ao Algarve winner Roglič made his final attack within the last 5km count, as a late crash held up some of the chasing group.
Despite former race leader Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) attempting to catch Roglič in the dying couple of hundred metres, he failed to get back in touch and had to settle for second place.
Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida) came home for third just ahead of Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and British rider Simon Yates (Orica-Scott).
There was no change to the overall leader, with the previous day’s winner David De La Cruz (Quick-Step Floors) arriving at the line in the front group. The Spaniard sits just one second ahead of Roglič overall, with Kwiatkowski in third at three seconds.
Defending champion Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) again suffered misfortune, just as he did on the race’s opening stage. He was one of those riders felled in the late crash – having also been caught up in an earlier incident.
British rider Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) was another rider involved in an a crash. He withdrew from the race due to his injuries, as did Spaniard Daniel Navarro (Cofidis).
The 2017 Tour of the Basque Country now hits its final two days: the ‘queen’ climbing stage to Eibar on Friday and a decisive 27.7-kilometre individual time trial on Saturday.
Tour of the Basque Country 2017, stage four: Donostia to Bilbao, 174.1km
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo, in 4-23-46
2. Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb, at 2 secs
3. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
5. Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott
6. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
7. Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJ
8. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
9. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, all at same time
General classification after stage four
1. David De La Cruz (Esp) Quick-Step Floors, in 16-38-42
2. Primož Roglič (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 1 sec
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky, at 3 secs
4. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar Team, at 3 secs
5. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 3 secs
6. Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJ, at 3 secs
7. George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 3 secs
8. Ruben Fernandez (Esp) Movistar, at 3 secs
9. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac, at 3 secs
10. Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb, at 3 secs