BAHRAIN MERIDA Cycling Team staying close to the top
La Campana, 18th February – BAHRAIN MERIDA Cycling Team is staying closed to the top, even without their team leader, Ion Izaguirre, who had to rest after yesterday’s crash. Ivan Garcia took 12th place, Yukiya Arashiro 13th and Javier Moreno kept the title of leading Andalusian.
Mostly sunny day with a N/NW wind of 8 km/h assured good conditions for today’s race, with three climbs, fast downhill and a long flat stage before finish line. All the riders and staff were very sorry that Ion Izaguirre, the team leader, couldn’t participate in today’s race. However, the plan was to continue with good work and strategy as in the first three stages of Vuelta Ciclista a Andalusia.
Harald Morscher, team director said: “I’m sure our riders will continue to be a good squad, even without Ion today. We made a reset and Javier Moreno and Ondrej Cink will be the leaders and Ivan Garcia and Yukiya Arashiro have big potential for the long flat part towards Sevilla.”
Soon after today’s stage began – 25km into the race, a group of 6 riders made a breakaway of 2 or 3 but not more than 4 minutes, and kept the gap all the way through Alto de las Minas (Cat. 3), Alto de Constantina (Cat. 2) and Alto de Cazalla (Cat. 3) climbs. As the race continued downhill to the flat part and heading toward Sevilla, the peloton started to catch up with the breakaway group.
BAHRAIN MERIDA Cycling Team was continuously stable in the group with satisfying progress. By 5km to go, the peloton came close to the leaders with a gap of 10 seconds and 2km to go everyone was set for the final sprint.
Ivan Garcia said that he is satisfied with today’s stage, but also sorry that he took the wrong angle before the sprint.
Also Yukiya Arashiro is satisfied with his performance and with the performance of the whole team. He also added that the whole team missed Ion Izaguirre in today’s race.
Ondrej Cink is currently 9th in the overall classification and is very satisfied and motivated to stay among the top 10 after tomorrow’s last stage of Vuelta Ciclista a Andalusia. Javier Moreno is 10th in the overall and has the same ambition as Ondrej.
photo: Miwa IIJIMA
Classification – Stage 4;
1. COQUARD, Bryan (FRA) DIRECT ENERGIE 04:10:33
2. HOELGAARD, Daniel (NOR) FDJ
3. HOFSTETTER, Hugo (FRA) COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDIT
4. HOFLAND, Moreno (NED) LOTTO SOUDAL
5. KREDER, Raymond (NED) ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOT
12. GARCIA, Ivan .(ESP) BAHRAIN – MERIDA
13. ARASHIRO, Yukiya (JPN) BAHRAIN – MERIDA
50. MORENO, Javier (ESP) BAHRAIN – MERIDA
76. CINK, Ondrej (CZE) BAHRAIN – MERIDA
81. NOVAK, Domen (SLO) BAHRAIN – MERIDA
118. NIBALI, Antonio (ITA) BAHRAIN – MERIDA
Individual calssification after Stage 4:
1. VALVERDE, Alejandro (ESP) MOVISTAR TEAM 13:12:07 60
2. CONTADOR, Alberto (ESP) TREK – SEGAFREDO a 01 46
3. PINOT, Thibaut (FRA) FDJ a 06 32
4. PELS, Wout (NED) TEAM SKY a 21 84
5. ROSA, Diego (ITA) TEAM SKY a 45 51
9. CINK, Ondrej (CZE) BAHRAIN – MERIDA a 01:48 9
10. MORENO, Javier (ESP) BAHRAIN – MERIDA a 01:50 83
Team classification – after Stage 4;
1. TEAM SKY SKY GBR 39:37:52
2. BAHRAIN – MERIDA TBM BRN 39:41:12 a 03:20
3. TEAM SUNWEB SUN NED 39:45:56 a 08:04
4. FDJ FDJ FRA 39:48:25 a 10:33
5. TREK – SEGAFREDO TFS USA 39:50:15 a 12:23