Thursday, April 9, 2009
Alberto Contador Remains In Yellow
Michael Albasini (Team Columbia-Highroad) has won the fourth stage of the Vuelta al País Vasco. The 28-year-old Swiss rider outsprinted breakaway companions Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Silence-Lotto) and Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) after the trio spent nearly 150 kilometres of the 161 kilometre stage off the front.
Six riders, Albasini, Van Den Broeck, Vande Velde, Philip Deignan (Cervélo TestTeam), José Luis Arrieta (AG2R La Mondiale) and Ricardo Serrano (Fuji-Servetto), attacked approaching the stage's second categorized climb, the category one Alto de Urkiola. Arrieta and Serrano were absorbed by the peloton on the slopes of the Alto de Urkiola while Deignan would ultimately lose contact with the break on the final categorized climb of the day, the Alto de Beci, after approximately 130 kilometres of racing.
The break reached a maximum advantage of 7:45 before the efforts of Euskatel-Euskadi and Caisse d'Epargne reduced the lead to 1:25 at the finish.
None of the riders in the break were threats to the overall lead of Alberto Contador (Astana) who retained his slim lead over Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel - Euskadi).