The Danish rider was outsprinted by Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) on the final ramp to the line but showed he is carrying impressive form as the race returned to Spanish soil.
After being well positioned by his teammates, Pedersen launched a final move looking to distance his rivals for the stage but he was unable to hold off a rampaging Roglič.
On missing out to the Slovenian, Pedersen said: “It’s clear he [Roglič] was the strongest and to lose to him on a climb like this is ok. I hoped to do a top 10 so I’m pretty happy with today’s result… I know I can do finals like this. It’s tough in this peloton but if you never try you never win.”
He added: “It was pretty tough on the final climb with 20 kilometres to go. The boys set a good tempo on the bottom so I could survive the steep part. After that we wanted to cruise with the peloton over the top and had a big gear for the downhill so we could really gain speed and follow. Then we just hoped for the best on this final steep part to the finish.”
The 26-year-old finished second to Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) twice in the Netherlands, clearly demonstrating his versatility on the varied terrain of the first few stages of the Spanish Grand Tour. After picking up more points on the uphill finish, Pedersen now sits second in the points competition just nine from the lead of the Irish rider.
Stage five to Bilbao will provide another opportunity for the Dane to gather points on a stage where Bennett is unlikely to do well. He admitted that taking the green jersey is a big target for Trek-Segafredo in the coming days.
Pedersen concluded: “The shape is good and we are really here to win this green jersey. Every day our aim is to get the points so thanks to the whole team, they were really impressive for me today.
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1